Bonnyton 0 Glenafton 1

Saturday 20 Aug 2022 KO 2:00pm The Synergy Arena, Kilmarnock
Trade Radiators South Challenge Cup1st Round
Bonnyton Thistle 0 (0)
Glenafton Atheltic 1 (1)Blyth

Glenafton made three changes to the 11 that started against Pollok last Saturday for this South Challenge Cup 1st round tie. In came David Markey, David Blyth and Sean McKenzie for Connor Cullen, Adam Caldwell and Leon Murphy.  The visitors set up with three at the back Ollie Rowe, captain Craig Pettigrew and Michael McMullin. Meanwhile, up front Sean and Cameron McKenzie lined up together for the first time since they joined in the summer, the first brothers to turn out for the club since the Mitchell brothers, Danny & Glen, ten seasons ago.

Cameron & Sean McKenzie

The two league games between the sides last season ended with each recording a narrow home win, with only a goal separating them; Glens 1-0 and Bonnyton 4-3.  Today was to be no different, other than the away side edging the match on this occasion.

Bonnyton started brightly and forced a couple of corner kicks in the opening 5 minutes. The first came after Stewart Davidson’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide and although the kick was met at the back post by Kyle McAvoy the loose ball was cleared by Pettigrew. Back came Bonnyton with Craig Patterson bursting through the middle before playing a one-two with Taylor Allan to set up a shot that was deflected wide too. After some head tennis in the box, keeper David Markey clutched the ball safely from under the bar.

David Markey

The visitors then took a grip of the game with patient build up play from the back three and the occasional signature long ball from Pettigrew while Jamie McKernon and Paul Paton controlled the midfield picking their passes to set up attacks. Glens won a spate of corner kicks the first of which by Sean McKenzie was headed clear by Davidson. Sam McKee jinked down the right to earn another that was cleared but the ball recovered by Glens wide on the left. S. McKenzie and whipped to the back post where Rowe headed it back across the face of goal just beyond C. McKenzie and wide of the other post. McKee and David Blyth then combined down the right to win another corner that keeper Evan Currie plucked out the air in a packed six-yard box.

On 14 minutes McKee lined up to float another corner kick, from the left this time into a busy box but instead rolled it back up the touchline some 25 yards to Dylan O’Kane who quickly fired a vicious dipping shot that beat the outstretched hand of the keeper and rebounded off the bar but fortunately it then bounced off Callum McDonald and was hooked clear for a corner by Chris Love. 

Dylan O’kane’s shot crashes off the bar.

McKee’s kick was headed out of the box by Paul O’Donnell and the ball pounced on by O’Kane to lash another shot that took a deflection to send the ball over the bar.  McKee floated the corner to the back post beyond the reach of Currie’s leap and although the incoming McMullin won the header in a packed box the ball drifted wide of the post.

On 17 minutes the hosts broke down another Glens attack deep in their own half and countered with some fine passing play before Rory Campbell picked up the ball in the centre circle and released the lively McAvoy down the left who then cut inside and squared to Campbell on the outskirts of the ‘D’  who in turn slipped the ball to McDonald to clip the ball to the back post for the unmarked McAvoy to power a header beyond the reach of Markey for Allan to slam the ball home from a few yards out but from an offside position.

Bonnyton offside

Unperturbed another fine move began with Jordan Duffy and McAvoy combining down the left before picking out Patterson in the box who held the ball brilliantly before laying it off to Allan who then ran along the 18-yard line before curling a shot that Markey did well to get down low and push past the post at full stretch. The corner skimmed off the head of Love and McMullin was first to react and chase down the ball before setting off on a lung-bursting run into the into Bonnyton half and then slot an inch perfect pass to C. McKenzie on the outskirts of left-hand side of the box who took O’Donnell out of play with a delightful pass into the path of the incoming Blyth to progress to the corner of the six yard box before clipping the ball past the advancing Currie only for the ball to slip inches wide of the far post.

Paul Paton

The deadlock was broken on 21 minutes. Paton intercepted Duffy’s forward pass in the Glens’ half of the centre circle and quickly dispatched the ball down the right wing for McKee, with Duffy back-tracking in hot pursuit, while the McKenzie brothers were breaking into the box.  McKee, now about 12 yards from the goal-line and a couple yards from the edge of penalty box, however his cross was cut-out by Duffy’s raised arm a foot outside the box earning the defender a yellow card and the Glens a free kick. The visitors packed the box with their back three and front two seemingly, to challenge for Paul Paton’s free kick, only for the midfielder to roll a perfectly weighted ball into the ‘D’ for the incoming David Blyth to drill a low shot from 18 yards that took a deflection before bulging the net.

Bonnyton were immediately on the front foot with a lightning break that ended with Patterson, under pressure from Rowe, hooking a dipping shot over the bar. Unfortunately, Taylor Allan took a bad knock in the build-up play and was replaced Chris Kelly? (No.17).

Played got bogged down for a period with few chances on offer from either side albeit Glens enjoyed the bulk of possession.

The tempo picked up in the closing ten minutes of the half.  The Glens played the ball out of defence from Rowe on the right infield to Pettigrew and then onto McMullin wide on the left. From here he drilled a low ball upfield to C. McKenzie on the outskirts of the box and with Rhys Miller tight on his back he side-footed the ball high into the air to McKernon, on the overlap, who met it on the drop sending it to the corner of the six-yard box where S.McKenzie, under pressure from Love, hooked his shot just wide of target.

Another good run from McAvoy saw him win a free-kick on the outskirts of the ‘D’ only for Davidson to beat the wall but sending the ball flying over the bar.

At the other end McKee’s run down the right to the bye-line saw Currie cleanly clutch his cross under the bar. Glens continued to press and earned their 7th corner of the half which was rolled back to O’Kane to float the ball into the box which was headed clear.

HT Bonnyton 0 Glenafton 1

Glens controlled much of the play in the opening period of the second half and made an early change with Dylan O’Kane making way for Ryan Nisbet who was quickly into action clipping the ball from tight on the right wing to the near corner of the six-yard box for S. McKenzie to stoop and set a glancing header just wide of the post. Another cross, this time to the back post for McKee was intercepted by O’Donnell and headed out for a corner. McKee played it short to McKernon and with no way through the stubborn Thistle defence he switched played to the far right for Nisbet to ping another cross into the box only for McMullin’s looping header drift wide of target.

Some brief respite for Bonnyton with a long throw into the Glens’ box only for Paton to win the ball and set McKee on a lightning counter-attack down the left before picking out S. McKenzie in the box where a neat one-two with Blyth was intercepted and cleared.

Sam Mckee on the move

Glens continued to patiently press but without unlocking a well drilled hard working defence. Indeed, midway through the half the home side began to get back into the game as an attacking force, albeit without testing Markey in the Glens goal.   Pettigrew headed clear a Thistle corner while at the other end Nisbet fired a shot over the bar.

On 71 minutes the Glens brought on Hugh Kerr for Cameron McKenzie.

Bonnyton broke up the left through Kelly?(No. 17) and his shot from inside the box was deflected wide for a corner that came to nothing. Soon after Duffy clipped a great ball into the left hand side of the box for Campbell to gather and flick the ball to Patterson who chested it down only to scoop his shot over the bar.

Glens countered through McKernon picking out McKee wide on the left who cut inside before firing a shot from 22 yards that Currie finger-tipped over the bar. Nisbet’s corner from the right was slightly overhit but the ball was recycled, as they say, and made its way back to Nisbet on the right who then whipped a dangerous ball into the six yard box but just beyond the outstretched leg of S.McKenzie and straight into the keeper’s hands.

Jamie McKernon with Craig Pettigrew looking on

With 10 minutes to go Michael McMullin, who had suffered a bad knock earlier was forced to come off with a ‘dead-leg’ and was replaced by Adam Caldwell, while the home side also made a substitution.

The Paton – McKee partnership combined well up the left before feeding the ball inside to McKernon to fire a low shot from 22 yards that flew inches wide of the post.  Kelly’s (No. 17) shot from inside the box at the other end suffered the same fate.

Glenafton enjoyed the bulk of the possession as the game drew a close without any further chances of note.

FT Bonnyton 0 Glenafton 1

Glenafton will host Lugar Boswell Thistle in the 2nd round.

1. David Markey 5. Ollie Rowe 4. Craig Pettigrew (capt.) 3. Michael McMullin (18. Adam Caldwell);  6. Jamie McKernon 7. Sam McKee 8. Paul Paton 14. David Blyth 6. Jamie McKernon 11. Dylan O’Kane (17. Ryan Nisbet) ; 9. Sean McKenzie 10. Cameron McKenzie (15. Hugh Kerr)
1. Evan Currie 2. Paul O’Donnell 3. Jordan Duffy 4. Rhys Miller 5. Chris Love 6. Stewart Davidson 7. Taylor Allan 8. Rory Campbell 9. Craig Patterson 10. Callum McDonald 11. Kyle McAvoy. Subs Chris Kelly  Ben Wilson  Thomas Dempsie  Chris Gardiner Michael Brown.
Match Photos
Bonnyton Thistle v Glenafton Athletic
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