|Saturday 24 Sep 2022 KO 2:30pm||Forgue Road, Rothienorman|
|Clydebuilt Home Improvements |
Scottish Junior Cup
|Rothie Rovers 1 (0)||O.G.|
|Glenafton Athletic 5 (2)||O’Kane, McKenzie 2, Paton, McKernon|
Glenafton Athletic travelled to Rothienorman in the heart of Aberdeenshire to face Rothie Rovers based at the village’s public park off Forgue Road. Rovers were formed in 1983 and played in the Aberdeenshire Amateur Football Association. In Season 2020/21 they joined the Scottish Junior Football Association and the following season they were crowned North Region Junior Football Association 2nd Division Champions to gain promotion to the NRJFA Championship. They have had a great start to the season winning 4 of their 5 league games and sit 5th in the 16 team league which includes Glen’s former Junior cup opponents – Banks O’Dee, Cruden Bay, Islavale, Newmachar United and Sunnybank. In their Scottish Junior Cup 1st round tie Rothie beat Armadale Thistle 4-2 here at Forgue Road– something the Glens couldn’t do, having lost 2-1 at Armadale in the only meeting between the two sides in the Scottish back in Season 1965-66!
Both sides ran out onto to the immaculately kept pitch, which very much resembled the luscious neighbouring bowling green, in the bright sunshine accompanied with a nippy breeze.
Prior to kick-off Rothie Rovers kindly agreed to Glenafton’s request to hold a minute’s silence in memory of life-long Glenafton supporters Andrew Wylie & Willie Kelly and former Glenafton Boys club player Jack Grozier.
Although Rovers kicked off, it was visitors Glenafton that were first to threaten with Sean McKenzie winning a corner-kick in the opening minute that Jamie McKernon floated into the six-yard box where captain Craig Pettigrew won the ball in the air only for his claims of a push in the back to be waved away by the referee. Glens continued to press and Dylan O’Kane had a close range shot blocked by a line of defenders before McKenzie won another corner and Michael McMullin headed Leon Murphy’s kick wide of the post.
On 10 minutes McKernon, from the outskirts of the box, curled a high ball into the goalmouth where keeper Lewis Milne leapt high to clutch the ball cleanly under pressure from McKenzie. After mopping up a Rovers attack the visitors countered with a quick break which concluded with Murphy switching play from wide on the left to Paul Paton on the right who hooked the ball high into the goalmouth for the incoming McKenzie only for Milne to intervene and punch it clear at the near post.
Rovers responded through Lewis Hendry’s free kick from wide on the left, launched to the back post where keeper David Markey leapt to pluck the ball out of the air as Murray Cormack closed in.
A huge dark cloud began to drift over Forgue Park as Calvin Kemp whipped a dangerous ball from the right flank to the far post where Murphy sneaked in behind Scott Chalmers to try and guide the ball home from the corner of the six-yard box only for the keeper to fall to his knees and stop the ball with both hands at the base of the post while Chalmers was content to boot the loose ball behind as O’Kane threatened. McKernon’s kick was met at the far side of the box by Ollie Rowe who powered a header goalward that keeper Milne stopped with a strong hand and Ryan Walker hoofed it clear to set up a counter attack that fizzled out.
However, on 16 minutes back came the Rovers and enjoyed their best spell of possession in the contest thus far. Chalmers nicked the ball from Murphy on the right, just inside the Rovers half and then took McKernon out of play as he clipped the ball inside to Cormack who drove forward through the middle and giving Pettigrew the slip before drilling a low angled shot from 22 yards that drifted just wide of the post as Markey was scurrying across his line. Another Rovers break was foiled by Rowe as he stripped Stewart of the ball as he tried to control it in the “D”.
The inevitable rain duly arrived as the home side continued to press. Hendry whipped another free kick from wide on the left into a packed box that was deflected wide for a corner which was hooked out the box by McKernon at the near post and Keith Walker’s attempt to gather the ball was impeded by O’Kane’s challenge. The Glens’ wall lined up on the 18-yard line ready to block Stewart’s free kick but instead he played a low diagonal ball to the unmarked Hendry on the right-hand edge of the box where he zipped a low ball into the crowded box and fortunately for the visitors Rowe was in the right place to launch it clear for a throw just inside the Glens’ half. From here Rovers won another corner that was eventually cleared by a determined defence and won back by Rovers only for Markey to snatch the ball as Hendry challenged.
After surviving some seven minutes of intense pressure Glenafton broke the deadlock on 23 minutes against the run of play, it’s fair to say. Down the left McKernon returned a short throw to Murphy who whipped a glorious ball to pick out Adam Caldwell’s run into the far side of the box who then took a touch before slipping a short pass to Paton who in turn back-heeled the ball with his right foot before Kyle Walker’s slide tackle whipped the left leg from him. However, as Caldwell claimed for a penalty Dylan O’Kane pounced on the loose ball and kept his cool to fire a low shot, as both Wood and Chalmers tried to block the ball with outstretched legs, which whizzed past the keeper on the line for the young striker’s first goal for Glenafton. Glens 1-0 up.
The rain abated and Glens with a new found spring in their step continued to push forward and the young Rothie keeper did well to race from his line to intercept a great ball into the box for McKenzie. Soon after the big striker chased down another ball into the box only for the impressive full back Craig Smith to time his tackle to perfection and clear the ball upfield. The one-way traffic continued as McKernon broke forward before cutting inside to hammer a shot from 22 yards that was deflected wide for a corner which was headed clear to the edge of the box where Murphy nipped in front of Stewart and to cleverly control the ball before cracking a shot that rattled of the cross bar. Rowe gathered the loose ball and rolled it back out to the inrushing Kemp who then clipped a high ball over the keeper’s head for McMullin at the back post only for the ball to crash off the post and rebound off the keeper’s chest and fortunately bounce along the bye-line rather than into the net.
Rovers weathered the storm and got themselves back into the game as an attacking force as play began to fall into a pattern of back and forth. Markey got down to save Stewart’s low shot from 22 yards and soon after leapt high at his post to hold the ball tight as Ethan Grant hoped topounce on any spillage.
At the other end McKernon’s corner kick to the back post was won in the air by a great leap from McMullin where claims that he was impeded by Stuart Gray were waved away. Soon after, another McKernon corner was clawed away from under the bar by keeper Milne.
Two minutes before the break the Glens doubled their lead. Rowe on the right, just inside the Glens half, launched a high ball into the box which took a bounce before Sean McKenzie killed it on his chest and then twisted and turned to shake off Wood before flicking the ball up and then as Ryan Walker closed in, lashed a shot from 7 yards out that the keeper could only deflect into the roof of the net.
HT Rothie 0 Glens 2
Glenafton made a change at the break with Leon Murphy making way for David Blyth.
A lively start from both teams began with a Rothie free-kick whipped into the box and Grant flashing a header over the bar. At the other end Milne clutched a McKenzie header from a Paton free-kick and soon after clawed McKernon’s corner away from under the bar.
The visitors countered with Chalmers and Stewart combining down the right before the latter fired a low ball to the back post for the incoming Keith Walker only for McMullin to slide in and send the ball high over the bar. The corner was played short to Chalmers only for his shot to hit a defender and Keith Walker blasted the rebound wide of target.
Back came Glens through Caldwell laying the ball off to Blyth to burst to the right-hand side of the box before whipping a vicious ball across the face of the goal and hair’s breadth from the head of the inrushing McKenzie.
Play continued at a relentless pace and on 55 minutes the home side had a strong claim for a penalty kick. A high cross was played into the box and although McMullin and Hendry leapt together both missed the ball and as they chased to retrieve it, the former grabbed a handful of the latter’s shirt, but despite a host of Rovers arms raised in appeal, play continued and Chalmers chip to the back post for Keith Stewart was cleanly gathered by Markey.
Five minutes later Hendry and McMullin tussled for the ball again on the touchline directly in front of the dug-outs. The Rothie man slid in to rob the Glens man of the ball with both players ending up on lying on the ground and the referee clearly spotted something as they tried to separate, resulting in McMullin being shown a red card.
60 minutes played, Glens 2-0 up and a man down. brought a new complexion to the game.
Another incident near the dug-out saw Kemp take a sore one on the back of his heels and despite treatment had to come off, with James Martin taking his place.
The home side’s tails were up as they pegged the visitors back deep in their own half and also introduced fresh legs with Chris Wood making way for Bryce Dawson. Glens broke down another attack and countered with Blyth’s run through the middle only for Chalmers to win the ball back which was eventually played to Cormack wide on the left. From here he squared the ball into the box for Stewart only for Pettigrew to get the slightest of touches to divert the ball into the path of Smith who scoop it over the bar from close range. 70 minutes gone and a golden chance spurned to halve the deficit against 10 men.
To rub salt in the wound, two minutes later the Glens extended their lead.
Markey launched a back pass upfield that bounced on the outskirts of the Rothie box where McKenzie chased it down and held off a couple of defenders before rolling it back to O’Kane who quickly picked out Martin on the right hand side box from where he curled a high ball to the far side of the six yard box for McKenzie and Paul Paton, but the latter quickly sussed that Keith Walker was going to win the header and took a few steps back anticipating where the ball would drop before lashing an unstoppable shot into the net for his first goal for Glenafton. The visitors 3-0 up on 72 minutes as patches of blue sky reappeared.
Two minutes later and the Glens added a fourth. Rowe cut out a cross into the box and the ball was gathered by Blyth one the edge of the centre circle in the Glens half from where he clipped a perfectly weighted ball down the left wing for Sean McKenzie to beat the offside trap and show Dawson a clean pair of heels as he burst into the box. From here he turned the stubborn defender before the sharp-eyed sharp-shooter drilled a low shot past the back-tracking Gray on the six-yard line and keeper Milne.
Glens continued to press and Blyth switched play to O’Kane wide on the left who then cut inside before curling a shot from 25 yards that Milne cleanly clutched. Rovers responded with a quick break down the right that ended with Cormack lashing a shot from a tight angle that bulged the side-netting.
On 79 minutes Rothie made a double substitution with Keith Walker and Ethan Grant making way for Sam McAlley and Shaun Faskin.
Smith picked up the ball inside the Glens half and although his attempt to pick out Stewart’s run into the box deflected off Paton the ball still bounced into the box forcing Markey to rush from his line to punch it clear from the head of Stewart only for Cormack to collect the ball and with a peach of a pass found Hendry in the box who cracked a low shot that Markey did well to block with an outstretched leg.
With five minutes to go Rovers made another double substitution with Matthew Tewnion and Andi Bremner coming on for Lewis Hendry and Ryan Walker while Glenafton brought on Ryan Nisbet for Dylan O’Kane.
On 88 minutes Rovers openeded their account. Stewart gathered the ball in the centre circle and curled a ball down the right wing for Cormack to chase and cut into the box before progressing to the edge of the six-yard box from where he lashed the ball beyond Markey at his near post and across the face of goal where it deflected off the unfortunate Rowe and into the net.
Credit to the home side they refused to settle for a consolation goal and pushed for another. Bremner clipped a forward pass into the box for Stewart to chase down only for Caldwell to make a timely tackle with the outside of his boot that sent the ball into the hands of Markey and Stewart tumbling to the ground while the referee rightly waved away claims for a penalty.
To rub the salt into the wound (again) Markey launched the ball upfield where McKenzie held up the ball before being tripped by Dawson. A number of Rothie players lined up on the 18 yard line without forming a wall and up stepped Jamie McKernon to laser the free-kick into the top corner of the net with literally the last kick of the game. Glens 5-1 on 91 minutes and full-time.
FT Rothie 1 Glenafton 5
The hospitality shown before, during and after the match by Rothie Rovers was warmly received by Glenafton and their supporters. Rothie also produced what was their first programme for a competitive match and makes a precious addition to the collection.
|1. David Markey 22. Ollie Rowe 4. Craig Pettigrew (capt.) 3. Michael McMullin 2. Adam Caldwell 8. Paul Paton 6. Jamie McKernon 10. Calvin Kemp (17. James Martin) 11. Leon Murphy (14. David Blyth); 16. Sean McKenzie 18. Dylan O’Kane (15. Ryan Nisbet). Subs Not Used: 7. Sam McKee 9. Hugh Kerr 12. Jordan Ross.|
|1. Lewis Milne 2. Scott Chalmers 3. Craig Smith 4. Keith Walker (capt.) (14. Sam McAlley) 5. Chris Wood (16. Bryce Dawson) 6. Stuart Gray 7. Murray Cormack 8. Lewis Hendry (12. Andi Bremner) 9. Jake Stewart 10. Ethan Grant (15. Shaun Faskin) 21. Ryan Walker (18. Matthew Tewnion): Subs Not Used: 17. Shaun Reid, 22. Fraser Reid|
|More Match Photos|
|Rothie Rovers v Glenafton Athletic|
|Apologies for the poor quality – someone got the camera settings wrong 😦|