- Sat 17 AUG 2019 KO 2:00 pm
- McBookie.com West Region Premiership| Match 04
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Glenafton Athletic 2 (0)
- Orsi, Frye
- Rutherglen Glencairn 1 (0)
Glens made a number of changes from the starting eleven that drew at Benburb last Saturday. A starting debut was given to new signing and former Kilmarnock Youth player Edward Campbell (left) while both Alan Cairns and Cameron Marlow returned from injury. Making way were Craig Menzies (injured), Dale Moore (unavailable) and Kyle McAusland.
Glenafton came out on top of the battle of the Glens in a close encounter at Loch Park. The first half played in bright sunshine proved to be one of few chances with the home side enjoying the best of these.
Attacking full back Dan Orsi was in the thick of early action whipping a wicked ball in from the right flank that was well grasped at the back post by keeper Gary Whyte. Soon after Campbell and Mick McCann combined to feed Orsi to drive through the middle and crack a low shot from 20 yards that beat the keeper at full stretch but whizzed inches wide of the post. On 15 minutes Mick McCann collected the ball at the corner of the box and rolled it back for Findlay Frye to fire an effort from 20 yards over the bar. Five minutes later Lee Gallacher released Orsi down the right to whip another cross into the box where McCann outjumped two defenders only for his header to sail over the bar.
There were only glimpses of Glencairn as an attacking force in the early encounters with the endeavours of Dale Simeon catching eye without however creating any clear-cut chances. On 24 minutes Frye broke down a Glencairn attack just inside the home side’s half before slipping the ball to Cammy Marlow to take a touch or two before delivering a defence splitting pass to release Nisbet for a free run into the goalmouth only for the advancing keeper to judge his dive at the nippy striker’s feet to perfection and steal the ball cleanly. A minute later Gallacher gathered the ball deep in the Glencairn half and left a couple of defenders in his wake as he drove to the edge of the box only for his attempt to lob the advancing keeper fall safely into his hands.
The visitors then enjoyed a good 10-minute spell of pressure but time again their attempt to breach the Glens goal were thwarted with Ally Park in his unusual role in the centre of defence having an outstanding game. Jason McKay tried to wriggle his way into the penalty box but Park stubbornly stuck to him denying him the chance to cut inside and forcing McKay to the touchline before surrendering possession. Simeon from the right squared the ball across the edge of the box for Jordan Leyden only for Park’s block to prevent his shot at goal.
Glens countered with a couple of breaks that came to nothing before Simeon once again made good progress down the right and into the box before squaring for McKay but Park was on hand to coolly divert it out for a corner-kick which was headed over the bar by Stephen Kerr. Glencairn continued to press and a Leyden effort drifted wide of target before a free kick from the edge of the box was well defended by the home side. Leyden’s diagonal run ended at the outskirts of the box when the ball was stripped from his by Park’s tackle who repeated the feat by robbing Gavin Mackie of the loose ball in the same determined fashion.
On 38 minutes Glenafton came close to breaking the deadlock. Orsi and Gallacher combined down the right to earn a corner kick which the latter lofted high to the hedge of the six yard box to be met by the head of defender Kris Gebbie only for the ball to crash of the bar and the loose cleared for another corner which was eventually cleared.
At the other end Antony Fraser whipped a free kick into the box which was cleared for a corner-kick which was headed clear by Ryan McChesney.
HT Glens 0 Glencairn 0
In stark contrast the second half kicked off in heavy rain that would come and go through the half. Despite the conditions play now was at greater tempo with plenty of goalmouth action and the half chances came and went for both sides.
The first came in 47 minutes in what was the best move of the match. Alan Cairns and Nisbet combined down the left before the latter cut inside to lay the ball off to Frye on the edge of the “D” who quickly rolled the ball into the box which McCann in an offside position let go for the incoming Nisbet to snap up and clip over the leg of the advancing keeper at the corner of the six yard box only for the ball to roll wide of the back post.
Glencairn countered with a break down the right which ended with full back Gebbie’s over hit cross into the box dipping tantalisingly over the bar. On 53 minutes the visitors passed up a great chance to break the deadlock after Simeon was picked out in acres of space and from 12 yards out, under pressure from Cairns, he skewed his shot wide of target. Further attacks down either flank then petered out to nothing.
At the other end Nisbet laid off to Marlow and his ambitious effort from 30 yards or so flew high and wide of the target. On the hour mark Glens brought on Joe Andrew for Edward Campbell who had given a good account of himself on his debut. Although Nisbet continued to nip away at the visitors’ defence they stood firm with Chrystal leading by example.
Back came Glencairn through a break down the right by Simeon and although the back-tracking Park appeared to have won the ball with a fine tackle the visitors were awarded a free kick. This was played deep into the box and headed clear by Marlow which fell for Gebbie to try his luck from 20 yards but the ball drifted just wide of the post. Glencairn continued to look threatening on the break without testing the keeper.
Midway through the half Glenafton brought on defender Kyle McAusland for Lee Gallacher to fill the right back position and push Orsi forward down the flank and the change quickly paid dividends. On 71 minutes Andrew returned a throw-in from the left to Cairns who then lofted the ball high into the box where although Chrystal beat McCann to the header the ball fell for Dan Orsi to meet it with a brilliant touch and lash it low into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later Glens almost doubled their lead after Marlow’s cross from the left was headed on by Nisbet and the ball bounced off a defender to fall for Andrew but his shot from inside the six- yard box was brilliantly blocked by the keeper.
Glens continued to press and on 76 minutes doubled their lead with Orsi the architect. He intercepted Fraser’s pass in his own half and powered down the right flank to clip the ball into the box where it grazed off the top of Andrew’s head before being headed back towards the penalty spot for the incoming Findlay Frye to crack home a shot from 10 yards.
Credit to Rutherglen they continued to look dangerous on the break and on 80 minutes Simeon burst into the box and was brought down by keeper Craig Burns. Although the young keeper saved substitute Gary Smith’s spot-kick he could do nothing to prevent the former Arthurlie striker from stroking home the rebound.
The bright sunshine of the first half returned for the closing ten minutes and the visitors pushed forward in search of an equaliser with Smith and Simeon both creating decent chances but to no avail as Glens held on to secure their first league victory of the season.
FT Glens 2 Glencairn 1
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Craig Burns 2. Dan Orsi 3. Alan Cairns 4. Ally Park 5. Ryan McChesney 6. Findlay Frye 7. Edward Campbell (12. Joe Andrews) 8. Cameron Marlow 9. Mick McCann 10. Ryan Nisbet 11. Lee Gallacher (16. Kyle McAusland) Subs Not Used: 14. Craig Menzies 15. Craig Potter
Rutherglen Glencairn: 1. Gary Whyte 2. Kris Gebbie (15. Matt Divers) 3. Thomas Miller 4. Kyle Chrystal 5. Stephen Kerr 6. Antony Fraser 7. Jordan Leyden 8. Sean McGuire (12. Gary Smith) 9. Jason McKay 10. Dale Simeon 11. Gavin Mackie (14. Callum McRobbie) Subs not used: 16. Gavin Lachlan 21. Scott McLellan.