Whitletts 2 Glenafton 2

Wednesday 27th August,  Dam Park, Ayr

Ardagh Glass Sectional Cup Quarter-Final

WHITLETTS VICTORIA  2 (1)

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (0)

  • Glenafton win 2-0 on penalties

Drama at Dam Park as Brian holds back the Vics

Glenafton travelled to face Whitletts in the Ardagh Cup Quarter-final and could name only two substitutes as the injury list continue to take its toll. Bodies may be thin in the ground but the same couldn’t be said about chances as the New Cumnock side started off strongly. In the opening minutes shots from both Pat Walker and Craig McEwan tested Keith Ross, the keeper spilling the latter which resulted in back to back corners kicks for the visitors.

Vics responded with a corner kick of their own on 6 minutes that found former Glenafton striker Jim Wilson at the back post and his powerful volley was pushed behind the post by Brian McGarrity, the keeper then rising to cleanly clutch the resultant corner.

Thoughts of an end-to-end game quickly evaporated as Glenafton took control of the match. Jamie McGeoghegan picked out Walker in the box and his first time shot from 8 yards was well held by the keeper. On 11 minutes Walker turned provider after turning three defenders in the box and rolling the ball back from Cameron Marlow only for his measured shot to skim of the top of the bar.

Cammy's (far left) shot skims the bar

Cammy’s (far left) shot skims the bar

Five minutes later Strachan’s pace down the left took him to the bye-line and Ross showed a clean pair of hands as Michael Wardrope waited to pounce. A rare break saw the home side  break up the park but McGarrity’s bravery saw him beat Tony Balfour to the ball.

Glens responded with Strachan and Walker combining to pick out Wardrope and in a flash the young midfielder leathered the ball from the right corner of the 18 yard box, Ross happy to see it whiz past the post.

Michael Wardrope with Cameron Marlow in support

Michael Wardrope with Cameron Marlow in support

Just before the half hour mark Jamie McKernon clipped the ball into the box where Walker got the jump on the Vics defence and skipped by the outrushing Ross only for the back-tracking Lee Holland to make a goal-saving tackle on the six yard line with the empty net beckoning. The chance was still alive and young Klark Thomson knocked the ball to the back post for Strachan but Martin Lawrie kept his composure to clear the ball over his own bar.

The corner-kick was cleared and Balfour bombed down the left wing before crossing for Michael O’Connor but his shot was comfortably gathered by McGarrity. Buoyed by the chance Whitetts then won a free-kick at the edge of the box and Tony Balfour belted the ball low and hard beyond the Glens’ wall and into the corner of the net, to put the home side ahead on 32 minutes.

Tony Balfour beats the Glens wall

Tony Balfour beats the Glens wall

Shell shocked Glens bounced back and three minutes later Strachan’s cross from the right found Walker but his header from the six yard line to crashed off the bar. The visitors continued to press and although they created a host of chances from open play and corner-kicks alike the keeper was seldom tested and the Vics went in at the break a goal to the good. HT Whitletts 1 Glens 0

Goalscorer Balfour lasted only a few minutes of the new half and Glens also made changes with Darren McGill replacing Thomson and Alain Kinney, in his first appearance of the season, came on for Cameron Marlow. In between times, in a game which was now more evenly balanced in terms of possession, Whitletts came close to extending their lead only for Daniel Orsi to head the ball clear from under the bar following a wickedly taken corner-kick.

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Pat Walker celebrates the equaliser

Glens continued to win corners too and number ten had come and gone by the time the visitors drew level on 72 minutes. A neat flick on by Kinney was gathered by Pat Walker and with a defender either side of him he kept his cool and from 20 yards out guided the ball beyond the out-rushing Ross into the corner of the net.

Three minutes later McGill’s cross from the right was met by Kinney, airborne at the edge of the six yard, but his header looped over the bar. Another McGill cross was intercepted in the Vics’ box and in an instant the home side broke up the right flank courtesy of the fresh legs of substitute Shaun Allan, just on the park,  who set up Michael O’Connor to fire home in some style and put the home side ahead again with ten minutes to go.

Adam Strachan gives Jim Wilson the slip

Adam Strachan gives Jim Wilson the slip

Glenafton dug deep, pressed tirelessly for the equaliser and looked to have engineered a great escape with a minute to go when Walker wriggled his way into the box to lay off the ball to McGeoghegan who drilled the ball from the corner of the six yard box only for the advancing Ross to make a fantastic block.

Alain Kinney (far right) lashes home a late equaliser

Alain Kinney (far right) lashes home a late equaliser

A minute into added time and claims for a penalty fell on deaf ears after Walker’s strike was stopped by a defender’s hands. Still the visitors kept going and on 93 minutes Wardrope played a clever ball to Strachan who stole to the bye-line, taking two defenders with him, before cutting back an inch perfect pass to the incoming Alain Kinney to lash a left foot shot from 12 yards out through a clutch of players and beyond the clutches of Ross into the net for a richly deserved equaliser, with what was all but the last kick off the ball. FT Whitletts 2 Glenafton 2

Shoot-out star Brian McGarrity saves another

Shoot-out star Brian McGarrity saves another

However, the drama was far from over and in an incredible penalty shoot-out Glens keeper Brian McGarrity saved four penalties in a row. Adam Strachan and Jamie McKernon fired home their spot-kicks either side of Craig McEwan’s effort thundering off the cross-bar to secure a 2-0 shoot-out victory over the Vics.

Whitletts Victoria: Ross ; Longair, Lawrie, Buchanan, Holland, Love ,Hanvey (Ewart), Kerr (Allan), O’Connor, Wilson , Balfour (Wallace) Subs (not used) Nisbet, Patterson

Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; Orsi, McGeoghegan, McChesney, McEwan; Thomson (McGill), McKernon, Wardrope , Strachan; Walker & Marlow (Kinney)

More photos here

Glenafton will travel to play the winners of Kilbirnie Ladeside v Irvine Meadow in the semi-final next Wednesday 3rd September.

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Scottish Junior Cup 1st Round Draw

Glenafton Athletic  received a bye in the draw for the 1st round of the Scottish Junior Cup made at Pollok this evening.

  • The ties will be played on Saturday 27th September

Scottish JunioCup1stround

 

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Lugar 0 Glenafton 6

Ardagh Glass Ayrshire Sectional League Cup

Section 4: Match 5

Saturday 23rd August,  Rosebank Park, Lugar

LUGAR BOSWELL THISTLE  0 (0)

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (6)

Ryan Campbell

Ryan Campbell

Glens travelled to Lugar with a depleted squad following call-offs from Alan Cairns, Findlay Frye and Adam Strachan while Aaron Connolly, although also on injury list, was suspended. Partnering  Pat Walker up from was trialist Ryan Campbell from Glenafton U19s, while two more of his U19s team-mates were on the bench.

With both sides of 7 points , the winner would go through to the knock-out stage, while a draw would see the Glens go through unless Cumnock could beat Muirkirk and by some margin in their match at Townhead.

Of course in the corresponding fixture last season Lugar enjoyed a remarkable 7-1 victory over the Glens but although the winning margin was again by six goals it was the New Cumnock side that emerged the victors.

Squad: Cameron Marlow

Cameron Marlow

It was Pat Walker, on his return to his old stomping ground, that put the Glens ahead before Cameron Marlow doubled the visitors lead before the break.

After the re-start Ryan Campbell rattled in a brace to put Glenafton in control . A late double from Cameron Marlow to complete his hat-trick made it 6-0 and sent the Glens through to a quarter-final meeting with Whitletts at Ayr.

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Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; Orsi, McChesney, McGeoghegan, McEwan (trialist); Thomson, McKernon (trialist), Wardrope, Marlow; Walker & Campbell

Other Scores: Cumnock 16 Muirkirk 0, Kello 1 Auchinleck 4

ArdaghTable

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Glenafton 1 Auchinleck 2

Ardagh Glass Ayrshire Sectional League Cup

Section 4: Match 4

Wednesday 20th August,  Loch Park, New Cumnock

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC  1 (0)

AUCHINLECK TALBOT 2 (1)

After each side had created a half chance in the opening encounters the Glens came close to opening the scoring on 10 minutes after Pat Walker slipped the ball into the box for Aaron Connolly to twist and turn and leave a string of defenders as spectators before firing for goal from close range only for keeper Andy Leishman thrust out a strong right arm to push the ball wide of the post.

Andy Leishman saves from Jamie McKernon

Andy Leishman saves from Jamie McKernon

The resultant corner kick was won in the air by defender by Mark Campbell and the ball eventually cleared to the outskirts of the box to be met by Jamie McKernon to unleash a thunderbolt from 25 yards but again Leishmann performed heroics and launched himself to push the ball over the bar for another corner.

Just as the home side started to stamp their authority on the match the visitors caught them cold and got their noses in front on 17 minutes. David Gormley deep in the Glens half gathered a short throw tight on the right hand side and despite being seemingly trapped on a pocket of three white shirts managed to whip a ball towards the back post where Graham Wilson got the jump on Ryan McChesney to glance a header beyond Brian McGarrity and into the net.

The Glens recovered quickly and were soon taking control off the game. McKernon was calling the shots in the middle of the park while Adam Strachan’s pace was forcing defenders to back-off as the home side pressed for the equaliser.

Aaron Connolly on the move

Aaron Connolly on the move

Countless corner-kicks were won which seldom varied in outcome with an uncharacteristically uncertain Talbot defence struggling to clear their lines; but clear them they did as the Glens struggled to seriously test Leishman again. Indeed, a minute before the break the visitors almost punished their hosts again as a Keir Milliken cross from left hand side picked out William Boyd in the six yard box only for Walker’s presence to do enough to force the midfielder to head high over the bar.  H/T Glens 0 Talbot 1

Within five minutes of the re-start the home side carved out a great chance. Daniel Orsi gathered the ball on the right and took out two defenders to feed Cameron Marlow’s clever run into the box where he gave Campbell the slip before angling the ball beyond the reach of the advancing Leishman but also inches wide of the post.

Adam Strachan with Aaron Connolly in suport

Adam Strachan with Aaron Connolly in suport

Two minutes later and Orsi down the right flank slipped the ball past defender Gordon Pope for Craig McEwan to burst into the space and whip a glorious ball across the face of the goal but again Leishman leapt high between Connolly and Walker to grab the ball cleanly and quickly initiate a Talbot attack . Deep and wide on the left Gormley fended off McChesney to lay the ball off to Craig McCracken to crack a sweetly struck drive and despite the best efforts of McGarrity the net bulged as the Talbot doubled their lead on 51 minutes.

Four minutes later a shell-shocked Afton came close to conceding a third as Dwayne Hyslop engineered space in the box, however McGarrity stood his ground forcing the midfield into a low angled shot that skimmed wide of the post. The Glens gave the visitors a taste of their own medicine. McKernon had the home side straight back up the park where Connolly blocked an attempted clearance by Campbell before forcing his way into the box only to be clipped from behind by Boyd to earn the Glens a spot-kick which on 55 minutes was blasted home by Adam Strachan .

Re-energised, the Glens took the game by the scruff of the neck with ‘quarter-back’ McKernon dictating play while the pace of Strachan and the forceful running of Orsi down the right flank pegged the visitors deep in their own half. Glenafton corner-kicks were again in abundance and on the hour mark after Leishman, under pressure from Jamie McGeoghegan, dropped the ball for the first time hopes were high of a reward from this source at last, only for Ally Park to get a timely block on Walker’s shot at goal.

Daniel Orsi drives past Gordon Pope

Daniel Orsi drives past Gordon Pope

The home side freshened up things with Darren McGill coming on for Marlow and Walker making way from Michael Wardrope soon after. In between times Orsi’s power took him to the dead-ball line and although his cross eluded Leishman there were no takers at the back post. Park also cut out a telling cross from Strachan at the expense of a corner-kick, which was mopped up by a determined defence.

Craig McEwan on the overlap

Craig McEwan on the overlap

Strachan released the overlapping McEwan down the right to fire in another peach of a cross for the awaiting Orsi and Connolly it was the orange clad leaping Leishman that came out on top as clutched the ball cleanly in the failing light.

In the closing minutes Connolly pulled up with a hamstring injury as he hunted down another through ball with Findlay Frye taking his place. The Glens continued to press but couldn’t break down the Talbot defence and it was the Auchinleck side that secured the points to maintain their 100% record in the section. F/T Glens 1 Auchinleck 2

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Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McGeoghegan, McChesney, Cairns; Orsi, Marlow (McGill), McKernon, Strachan; Connolly (Frye), Walker (Wardrope)

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Auchinleck Talbot: Leishman, Park, Lyle, Campbell, Pope; Hyslop, Boyd, McCracken, Milliken; Gormley, Wilson Subs:Spence, Armour, White

more photos here

Other Section scores : Kello 3 Cumnock 4; Muirkirk 0 Lugar 4

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Sammy Conn

Sammy Conn

Sammy Conn (1961 – 2014)

Glenafton Athletic were saddened to learn of the passing of former assistant manager Sammy Conn on Sunday last, following a lengthy illness with Motor Neurone Disease.

Sammy played for Polkemmet Juniors before stepping up to the seniors with Falkirk in 1980, in what would be his first spell at the Bairns. He later had two spells with Albion Rovers, a season at Clydebank and five seasons with Airdrieonians before taking up the position of player manager at Cowdenbeath.

Sammy then enjoyed a coaching role with Ayr United where club secretary John Stewart had the pleasure of working with him.

Sammy then teamed with Darren Henderson and John Garroch as part of the successful management team at Dalry Thistle. In June 2011 Darren was appointed manager at Glenafton Athletic, with John and Sammy as his assistants. A  month later Sammy made a return to Airdrie as the Glens faced his beloved Diamonds in a pre-season friendly match, an experience he thoroughly enjoyed.

Greatly respected throughout the game and an inspiration to a host of footballers Sammy will be greatly missed by the footballing community. The thoughts of Glenafton Athletic are with Sammy’s family and friends at this sad time.

John Stewart, Club Secretary

SammyConn_JimmyBoyle

  • More information on the support and care given by Ayrshire Hospice can be found here.
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Kello 0 Glenafton 1

Ardagh Glass Ayrshire Sectional League Cup

Section 4: Match 3

Saturday 16th August,  Nithside Park, Kirkconnel

KELLO ROVERS  0 (0)

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (0)

Squad: Daniel Orsi

Daniel Orsi

New loan-signing Michael Wardrope made his debut for the Glens and partnered Aaron Connolly up front. In what proved to be a pulsating encounter Connolly earned a straight red card to reduce the visitors to 10 men, while the home side ended the game with one fewer.

Former Glenafton U19 goalkeeper Ryan Dunsmuir, who moved to the Rovers in the summer, made a string of super saves and only a goal from substitute Daniel Orsi separated the sides at the end of eventful 90 minutes.

Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McChesney, McGeoghegan, Cairns; McGill, Frye, McKernon, Marlow; Connolly & Wardrops Subs used: Orsi, Walker and Strachan

Other Scores:  Cumnock 1 Lugar 1; Muirkirk 0 Auchinleck 6 (Monday 18 Aug)

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Glenafton 9 Muirkirk 0

Ardagh Glass Ayrshire Sectional League Cup

Section 4: Match 2

Wednesday 13th August, Loch Park, New Cumnock

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC  9 (4)

MUIRKIRK JUNIORS 0 (0)

Squad:  Darren McGillMidfielder Darren McGill (left) stole the show firing in four goals as the Glens saw off Muirkirk.

Findlay Frye chipped in with another from midfield while Aaron Connolly, last season’s top goal scorer, bagged a brace.

Strike partner Pat Walker opened his Glenafton account and second half substitute Jamie McKernon completed the scoring.

Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McGeoghegan, McChesney, Cairns; McGill, Frye, Thomson (McKernon), Orsi (Marlow)  Connolly & Walker

Other Scores: Auchinleck 2 Cumnock 0; Lugar 3 Kello 1

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