Dalbeattie Star 3 Glenafton 1

Friendly

Saturday 3rd  August,  Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

DALBEATTIE STAR 3 (1)

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)

With Craig McEwan, Craig Potter, Richie McKillen, Danny Mitchell and Paul McKenzie all unavailable for selection and new signing Stevie Miller injured Glenafton travelled to Dalbeattie with a threadbare squad which included Ryan McChesney , returning from holiday, and three trialists that had featured in pre-season matches.

There were two familiar faces in Dalbeattie Star’s starting eleven with former Glens players Jack Steele, who joined in the close-season, and Lewis Sloan.

john Craig and Lewis Sloan with Jack Steel covered by Glen Mitchell

john Craig and Lewis Sloan with Jack Steel covered by Glen Mitchell

On a glorious day it was the silky Sloan that carved out the first chance in 5 minutes but his angled drive from the edge of the box just failed to hit the target. The game quickly settled into a period of keenly contested end-to-end play albeit short in real chances. Midway through the half the visitors took the upper hand and on 25 minutes keeper Euan Drysdale managed to take the heat of a Gareth Armstrong’s header and a defender was on hand to clear the ball of the line.

Bo's header stopped by keeper Euan Drysdale

Bo’s header stopped by keeper Euan Drysdale

Glens continued to press and Armstrong’s attempt to knock in the resultant corner kick at the near post was blocked at the expense of another corner.  This too caused havoc in the Star box and ended with Trialist 1’s shot being blocked by two raised hands of a defender and a penalty awarded to the visitors.  However Drysdale stood his ground and did well to stop Armstrong’s spot kick and keep the match all square.

Drysdale saves the spot-kick

Drysdale saves the spot-kick

Undaunted, the Glens made the breakthrough on 32 minutes when Findlay Frye flying down the right flank skinned  two defenders before picking out Ross Robertson in the box, who expertly turned another defender in the box before drilling the ball with pin-point precision beyond Drysdale and into the corner of the net.

Ross Robertson picks his spot for the opening goal

Ross Robertson picks his spot for the opening goal

Four minutes later and the Star drew level when Lewis Sloan capitalised on some slack defending in the box and slotted the ball past the advancing Brian McGarrity.

Lewis Sloan (11) slots home the equaliser

Lewis Sloan (11) slots home the equaliser

With their tails the hosts pushed forward and a last ditch tackle deep in the box by Craig Menzies brought a mazy run by Sloan to an end.Back came Glenafton and all but the last kick of the half Drysdale pulled off a fine save from a close range Robertson effort.  H/T Dalbeattie 1 Glenafton 1

Glenafton U19 keeper Ryan Dunsmuir replaced Brian McGarrity, who had limped off a the break,  and on 52 minutes he rose above attack and defence to clutch the ball cleanly as the hosts looked to gain the initiative. At the other end his counterpart responded by firmly holding a Robertson’s free-kick and then warding off an aerial attack from Armstrong.

Just after the hour mark Dunsmuir pulled off the save of the match with an outstretched preventing a certain goal but on 70 minutes there was little he could do when Danny Dunglison drove through the middle of the park before unleashing a thunderbolt that started off as straight as a die before swerving viciously into the corner of the net.

Gareth Armstrong made way for Glenafton U19 striker Ryan Campbell but it was the fresh legs of the hosts that were taking their toll on the visitors as they stretched the game from flank to flank.

Lewis Sloan bags his brace

Lewis Sloan bags his brace

However Star’s third and final goal came with a ball through the middle that was gathered by Lewis Sloan and his pace saw him shake of the Glens defence and calmly slot the ball home to finish off a fine performance. F/T Dalbeattie 3 Glenafton 1

Glenafton: McGarrity (Dunsmuir); Menzies, McChesney, G.Mitchell, Trialist; Trialist, Craig, Frye, Trialist; Armstrong (Campbell), Robertson.

More phot0s here

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Dalry Thistle 0 Glenafton 4

Friendly

Wednesday 31st July,  Ardeer Stadium, Stevenston

ARDEER THISTLE  0 (0)

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 4 (4)

Gareth 'Bo' Armstrong

Gareth ‘Bo’ Armstrong

Gareth Armstrong put the Glens ahead on 18 minutes and double their lead ten minutes before the break.

The Glens longest serving player in the current squad and the top goalscorer in each the last four seasons completed his hat-trick within two minutes of the re-start.

Five minutes from time midfielder Danny Mitchell completed the scoring.

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Loch Park looking the part.

strathclydesportsturfmanagementStrathclyde Sportsturf Management have transformed the Loch Park playing surface with superb renovation work over the close season. Here are some photos courtesy of SSM

  • Verti-drained
Photo courtesy of SSM

Photo courtesy of SSM

Sanding

  • 60 tonnes of washed dune sand applied by SSM and supplied by Hugh King & Co. from their Hullerhill sand quarry at Kilwinning. The company supplies all of Scottish Open venues with sand and made the news this summer when Muirfield switched from their own local supply to Hugh King & Co for their bunker sand.
Photo Courtesy of SSM

Photo Courtesy of SSM

Seeding

  • Seeded using the disc seeder in three directions
Photo courtesy of SSM

Photo courtesy of SSM

Loch Park looking good – thank you SSM.

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Auf Wiedersehen Gus !

Gus Cochrane is heading for Germany to further his studies at University. The classy midfielder with the heart of a lion first joined the Glens on a loan deal from Stranraer in February 2012 and won a Super League First Division Championship winners medal.  He returned to the Glens in October last year and scored crucial goals in victories over Largs Thistle and Arthurlie in the West of Scotland Cup on way to picking up another winners medal. Gus made 40 appearances for Glenafton and scored six goals. All at Glenafton Athletic would like to thank Gus and wish him every success in his studies.

Take a bow , Gus.

Take a bow , Gus.

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Jack’s a star!

Due to work commitments midfielder Jack Steele has left the club and joined Dalbeattie Star, one of his fomer clubs. Jack joined the Glens in March and made 10 appearances and scored one goal, the memorable winning goal in the league victory over Cumnock at Loch Park.  He leaves Loch Park with a West of Scotland Cup winners medal and the good wishes of all at Glenafton Athletic.

Jack pots the winner

Jack pots the winner against Cumnock

Thank you, Jack.

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Stevie Miller joins the Loch Park band

Glenafton_player_StevieMillerGlenafton are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder/forward Stevie Miller.

He joined the youth set up at Raith Rovers in 2001/02 from Barrhead B.C. and was then on the books of Livingston United before moving to Ayr United.   Stevie returned to Barrhead in 2004/05 to play for local side Arthurlie and then had spells at Johnstone Burgh and Saltcoats Victoria.

In 2006/2007 he joined Kilbirnie Ladeside and played under Tommy Bryce during which time the club progressed from the Ayrshire District League to the Premier Division. Last season he moved to Pollok.

Welcome to Loch Park, Stevie.

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Glenafton 0 Troon 2

Joe Meldrum Trophy

Sat 27 July,  Greenwood Academy, Dreghorn

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC  0 (0)

TROON 2 (0)

Tommy Bryce, started his second spell as Glenafton manager facing another of his former clubs Troon in the annual pre-season Joe Meldrum Trophy. With the Loch Park pitch undergoing renovation the match was switched to Greenwood Academy, Dreghorn.

All three of the Glens summer signings – keeper Brian McGarrity and midfielders Findlay Frye and John Craig were in the starting eleven and so too former Kilbirnie and Pollok player Stevie Miller, who played as a trialist and was signed up after the match. The Troon squad included Cameron McKinnell, Dougie Ramsay , Tony Murphy and Dale Moore, all with Afton connections.

In an extremely competitive match both sides gave their all in the sweltering July heat which at times it seemed was in danger of melting the plastic pitch!

Gareth Armstrong  on the ball

Gareth Armstrong on the ball

Chances however were thin on ground with the Glens having the best of these early on. First through a Glen Mitchell header from a corner kick and then a drive from the edge of the box by brother Danny; both of which were saved well by keeper Marty Fraser. On 25 minutes Gareth Armstrong picked out Stevie Miller deep in the box, who did well to see off the close attention of McKinnell before trying to guide the ball home only for the keeper to come out on top again. It was to be the last real action for Miller who soon after picked up a bad knock and was replaced by another trialist.

Stevie Miller goes close

Stevie Miller goes close

Troon finished the half strongly and Brian McGarrity had to be alert to get down low to save a near post header and then dive at full stretch to push a drive round the post for a corner. The Portland Parkers piled on the pressure from a number of set pieces without however seriously testing the keeper again. H/T Glens 0 Troon 0

Both sides made changes and for the Glens,  Ryan Dunsmuir replaced Brian McGarrity in goals, Ross Robertson came on for Gareth Armstrong and trialists replaced Craig McEwan and John Craig.

With the half-time oranges consumed the Troon Tangerines began brightly and within three minutes took the lead after winning possession through Calum Hardie deep in the right wing the ball was played across the face of the goal where former Glenafton youth player Dale Moore took an excellent touch before drilling the ball in at the far post from six yards out.

Dale 'Gunner' Moore fires homes the opener

Dale ‘Gunner’ Moore fires homes the opener

Glenafton carved out a couple of half chances to no avail as soon after Tony Murphy, another former Afton lad, and Moore combined well down the left before cutting the ball back for trialist Jordan Muir,on the edge of the six yard box to slot the ball beyond the reach of Dunsmuir and double Troon’s lead.

Jordan Muir doubles Troon's lead

Jordan Muir doubles Troon’s lead

Troon continued to push for a third while the Glens best efforts in the closing minutes came from Paul McKenzie with a couple of shots from outside the box but just off target.

congratulations Troon

congratulations Troon

Glenafton: Brian McGarrity (Dunsmuir); Craig Potter, Craig Menzies, Glen Mitchell, Craig McEwan (Trialist); Findlay Frye, Paul McKenzie, Danny Mitchell, John Craig (Trialist- Andy Bell); Stevie Miller, Gareth Armstrong (Ross Robertson).

Troon:  1 – Marty Fraser, 2 – trialist, 3 – trialist, 4 – Neil McGowan, 5 – Cammy Mckinnell, 6 – Dougie Ramsay, 7- Neil Sanderson, 8- Tony Murphy, 9- Stevie Wilson, 10- Darren Baird, 11- Dale Moore.  Subs Darren Johnson (gk) Dean Keenan,  Neil Slooves (trialist)  Jordan Muir (trialist),  Calum Hardie , Roddy Paterson.

More photos here

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New faces at Loch Park

Glenafton are delighted to announce the signings of midfielders John Craig and Findlay Frye.

John Craig

John Craig

John joined Beith Juniors from amateur football in the summer of 2000 and established himself as club stalwart. He was rewarded with a 10 year testimonial at the start of the 2009/10 season and fittingly the Mighty went on to win the Premier Division title.  John moved to Hurlford during last season and played his part in the Blair Park club winning the  the Super 1st Division title under manager Derek McCulloch.

Findlay Frye

Findlay Frye

Finlay was one of a quartet of players that moved from Ardrossan Winton Rovers to Kirkintilloch Rob Roy at the start of last season. He joined Meadow in November and scored  a crucial league goal in the victory over Pollok at Newlandsfield.

Welcome to Loch Park, John and Findlay.

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Bryce to see you !

Glenafton Athletic are delighted to announce that Tommy Bryce has been appointed as manager. Joining Tommy at Loch Park is goal-keeping coach Mark ‘Cherk’ Howie.

Welcome to Loch Park, Tommy and Mark.

Tommy Bryce

Tommy Bryce

Johnstone born Tommy stepped up from Irvine Meadow to the seniors with Kilmarnock. He made his Killie debut on St. Valentine’s Day 1981 in a Scottish Cup game against Clydebank and the following week made his Premier Division debut in a draw at Partick Thistle. In season 1982/83 he moved onto Stranraer and then joined  Queen of the South (three spells), Clydebank (two spells), Ayr United, Partick Thistle (as player /manager) and Arbroath before returning to the Stair Park side some 18 years later.

It was from Stranraer that Tommy was signed by Glenafton manager John McStay and in June 2001 he moved to Loch Park as player/ coach. He made his debut in a 3-2 win over Cumnock Juniors at Townhead in the Kerr & Smith Sectional Cup season opener and played in the last league game of the season when the Glens defeated Auchinleck at Loch Park to be crowned the ‘Last Champions of Ayrshire’, as the newly formed West Region beckoned.

Last Champions of Ayrshire

‘The Last Champions of Ayrshire’ with Tommy leading the singing

Tommy took over the reins at Loch Park the following season and the Glens finished 3rd in the Premier Division, three points behind champions Pollok and second placed Neilston. Despite the disappointment of ‘so near but yet so far’, Tommy made club history in that season of 2002/03 , leading Glenafton to their first ever success in the West of Scotland Cup, after defeating Bellshill Athletic 4-2 in the final at Meadow Park. The East Ayrshire Cup was also claimed after a penalty shoot-out win over Hurlford United at Townhead Park.

West of Scotland Cup Winners 2002/03

West of Scotland Cup Winners 2002/03

In season 2003/04 the Glens finished in fifth place in the league and at the start of the following season Tommy and Glenafton parted company and Gordon Dalziel appointed as manager.

Kilbirnie_tommybryceTommy moved to Troon as player /manager before taking over the hot-seat at Kilbirnie Ladeside, the Valefield side having dropped into the Ayrshire District League at the end of season 2006/07. The club made a speedy return to the Super League 1st Division as unbeaten champions of the Ayrshire District League and the season after that he repeated his feat at Glenafton, by leading Kilbirnie to their first ever West of Scotland Cup success with a stunning 5-1 victory over Premier Division champions elect Pollok, and on their own turf to boot! Further success followed with Ladeside’s return to the Premier Division as runners-up to champions Largs Thistle, while ironically Glenafton lost their ever-present Premier status, under Gordon Dalziel in his second spell with the club, after losing out in the play-off.  Kilbirnie enjoyed 6th and 8th place finishes in their first two seasons back in the  Premier Division but found themselves stranded in bottom place the following season and Tommy ended his successful stewardship of the club in March 2012, with Ladeside relegated two months later.

We would like to wish Tommy all the best in his return to Loch Park.

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JD heads for Hurlford

Celebrating Gus's winner

JD’s last game for the Glens at Loch Park

John Dempster has signed for newly promoted Hurlford United.  The experienced striker joined Glenafton in December 2011 and made 50 appearances and scored 12 goals on way to winning Super 1st Division Champion and West of Scotland Cup winners medals.

The club would like to thank John for his contribution to the club’s success over the last two seasons.

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