Maybole 2 Glenafton 1

Pre-Season Friendly09/07/2022
KO 2:15pm
Ladywell Stadium
Maybole Juniors2 (1)Kirkwood, Connelly
Glenafton Athletic1 (0)McMullin

Captain Craig Pettigrew, Alan Cairns, Jamie McKernon and Hugh Kerr all returned from the summer break for the Glens second pre-season friendly. Starting for Maybole were former Glens players – keeper Ally Semple and striker Michael Riley while on the bench was midfielder Calum Thomson, a summer signing from Loch Park.

Ladywell Stadium was bathed in sunshine with the mercury rising by the minute!

The hosts looked lively from the start with Michael Riley leading the line and won back-to-back corners that the Glens defence dealt with comfortably. 

On 7 minutes Paul Paton nicked the ball and threaded a pass upfield for Sean McKenzie to chase down then drive into the box forcing Semple to rush from his line sending the striker tumbling to the ground with a slide tackle, leaving the ball to run aimlessly wide of the post. Glens continued to press and Jamie McKernon’s floated free kick into the six-yard box where Hugh Kerr leapt high above Semple and central defender only for his header to dip over the bar.

Play then ebbed back and forward for long periods without either side finding an opening to test the keepers, that was until midway through the half.

Maybole won a corner on the right and playmaker Paul Cameron clipped it into a busy box where central defender Lewis Kirkwood took a step forward before hooking the ball over his shoulder and into the air before it dipped over the heads of the keeper and defenders and into the net.

Normal service was resumed as play flowed from end to end with only a couple of half chances on show. Hugh Kerr made good progress down the left to whip the ball into the box only for Semple to intercept and clutch the ball cleanly. Later, Riley won the ball in the centre circle to break upfield and into the right-hand side of the box only for the back-tracking Michael McMullin to deflect the striker’s low angled shot wide and the corner kick that followed was cleared.

Some sustained pressure from the Glens began with Paton’s free kick to the back posted headed wide by a defender as Pettigrew threatened.  It was the Glens captain that met McKernon’s corner at the back post only for his header to be deflected wide for another corner. McKernon’s kick was headed on by McMullin and met by Kerr deep in in the six-yard box only for Semple to push away his point-blank header and his defenders scramble the loose ball clear.

On 36 minutes McKenzie’s perseverance in the box won another corner kick that was headed clear by Riley to initiate a neatly worked counter attack from Maybole.  It was Riley that picked up the ball on the centre circle to quickly feed Cameron wide on the left. From here he broke up the wing and then rolled the ball forward for No 11. on the overlap to whip the ball to the near post only for No. 10 to send his free header wide of the post – a let off for Glens.

Back came Glens and from the outskirts of the Maybole box Paton rolled the ball back to McKernon who quickly picked out Kerr on the 18 yard line where he turned quickly to crack a low shot that was comfortably held by Semple.

The hosts countered with a break down the left with Cameron and No.10 that ended with a corner which was headed clear by McKernon, hooked on by Paton and gathered by Sam McKie to drive from the centre circle to deep into the Maybole box only for his cut-back to blocked by two defenders.

At the other end McMullin and then Pettigrew headed cleared a couple of dangerous balls into the box.

HT Maybole 1 Glens 0

Glens kicked off the second half and 50 seconds later they were level. McKernon whipped a corner kick into the heart of the box for Michael McMullin to leap and bullet a header from 6 yards out that despite Scott Dinwoodie’s attempt to block it on the line his header sent the ball bulging into the roof of the net.

Played continued to rage back and forth as the sun continued to beat down.

Maybole broke down the right and although the ball into the box was cleared Craig Reid pounced on the loose ball to curl a powerful shot that whizzed wide of the far post.

On 52 minutes Glenafton made a triple change with Martin, McKernon, McKie making way for David Blyth, Calvin Kemp and Ryan Nisbet. While Maybole brought on Calum Thomson.

Glens then enjoyed a good spell of pressure. McKenzie’s determination down the left won a corner kick that Paton curled high to the back post where Craig Pettigrew outleapt Kirkwood only for his header to fly inches wide. McKenzie switched play to Blyth on the right to break forward to the corner of the penalty box before slipping the ball wide to Caldwell who cut it back into the box where McKenzie got the jump on two defenders to drill a low shot from 8 yards out only for Semple to pull off a great save and push the ball wide of target before a defender on the bye line launched the ball upfield.

Back came Maybole through Reid with a quick break down the right but his cross was blocked by Alan Cairns and the corner that followed was headed clear by Pettigrew only for the loose ball to be recovered by Maybole and after some neat one-twos the ball was whipped into the box where keeper Conor Cullen clutched it cleanly at the near post.

Pettigrew from deep on the right pinged a long diagonal ball upfield for McMullin to chase down on the left-hand side of the box before clipping the ball to the incoming McKenzie, who with a defender on his back turned to angle a shot for the back post only for Semple to get down low and hold at the near post.

At the other end a Kirkwood header from a corner kick dipped over the bar.

On 73 minutes Maybole regained the lead after substitute McKenzie Connelly, on the park for 5 minutes, intercepted a pass back to Cairns leaving him with a free run into box, where he then cut inside the back tracking Pettigrew before firing a low shot into the net past the wrong-footed keeper.

Soon after Pettigrew had to leave the field for treatment for a short spell and then later on call it a day.

Maybole came close again after fine footwork from Reid before laying of the ball to No. 18 on the left hand side of the box and although his low-angled shot beat Cullen at his near post the ball drifted wide of the back post.

At the other end Blyth chased down a ball to the right-hand side of the box before side-stepping the defender and curling a shot from the 18 yard line that sailed over the bar. Soon after he broke down the right wing and again cut inside the defender before shooting first-time from a tight angle only for the ball to find the side-netting. Glens continued to press and Semple did well to punch clear Nisbet’s dangerous ball into the box.

The closing five minutes came and went without any further chances of note.

FT Maybole 2 Glenafton 1

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1. Connor Cullen 2. Adam Caldwell 4. Craig Pettigrew 3. Alan Cairns 5. Michael McMullin; 11. James Martin (David Blyth) 6. Jamie McKernon (Calvin Kemp) 8. Paul Paton 7. Sam McKie (Ryan Nisbet); 9. Hugh Kerr, 10. Sean McKenzie.
Match Photos
Maybole Juniors v Glenafton Athletic

Footnote: It was great to have a blether with former Glens, Maybole and Kilmarnock player Chris Fleming at the game who was with his former Glens team-mate Jim Marshall; both now playing in the highly successful Cumnock Strollers walking football side.

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