Stevie Mallan : An outstanding game leading the line
Cumnock Juniors 1 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1
Scorer : Robertston
The game started with the news that Stevie Mallan player / co-manager had resigned from his co-manager role the day before. With Stuart Boyd having moved on (some say up) to Ayr United the week before, today's local derby at Townhead Park was certain to test the character of the team, and of the travelling fans alike.
Who needs summer football ?
On a glorious spring day the Glens were first to shine with Townhead's playing surface suited to their free flowing passing game. Craig Callachan, outstanding throughout the match, was the proverbial midfield general winning tackle after tackle and seldom spoiling a pass. He was ably supported by Mark Cleeland in the grit and determination department whilst Stevie Agnew, Craig Bingham and Richie Newall were all at their creative best. Up front Gary Robertson seized his chance to ease the pain of Boyd's departure and had according to many fans his best performance in a Glens shirt, whilst Stevie Mallan appeared to have a new lease of life and an extra yard in his step.
Full house in the box as Bingo puts in another testing corner
This new striking partnership were creating most of the goal mouth chances without ever seriously testing Potter in Cumnock's goal. Mallan came closest with a shot from an acute angle inside the box, which beat Potter and post; whilst the keeper dealt convincingly with a Robertson shot from just outside the box.
The Cumnock attack too had a number of forays forward hoping to test out the Glens goalie Kevin Montgomery in his first local derby, but to do so was proving beyond them with John McCaig playing a protecting role at the centre of defence. However a lapse in concentration would soon pay dear. Former Glenafton player Dave Walker won Cumnock a free kick just inside the Glens half, after having coming off second best on what seemed to be a perfectly fair 50-50 challenge. The ball was punted high into the Glens box and headed clear for a corner kick. This kick too appeared to have been headed clear but it fell kindly for Cumnock's McGowan who had an age to pick his spot and slam the ball home. 18 minutes gone Cumnock 1-0 Glenafton .
Potter clatters into the back of Stevie Mallan , with the ever present Craig Callachan forward in support.
Gary Robertson plants the pk beyond Potter
All credit to the Glens, their heads didn't go down and the passing game was not deserted; with many of the Glens attacks being instigated by Joe Carruth and Kevin McBride from deep in their own half. Robertson and Mallan continued to menace Cumnock's defence and both were frequent visitors to the box at the pavilion end. As the half was drifting away Mallan was quickest to react and burst into the box to await the arrival of a high lofted ball, he found the spot perfectly and as he prepared to head the ball goal-ward, the Cumnock goalie pottered towards him and pushed him away from the flight off the ball. A clear penalty kick, although hotly disputed by the Cumnock defence particularly by McGowan who ultimately was booked for his childish ranting. Robertson - stepped up to the plate - and with great courage dispatched the kick beyond Potter, thereby lifting the Glens recent penalty curse. Half-Time Cumnock 1 Glenafton 1
The Cumnock ranting continued as both teams made their way off at half-time, with Cumnock's gaffer Bobby Dickson bellowing about conspiracies as he climbed the steps to the dressing rooms. These words must have stuck in his throat at the beginning of the second half. Marc Cleeland had set off on a tremendous run from his own half, side-stepping challenges and leaving Cumnock players in his wake. For one of the home side it was too much and he yanked Cleeland's shirt so hard that it stopped him instantly in his tracks, sending him to the deck. The Glens and Cumnock players, assumed standard formations preparing themselves for a Glens free kick. However, the referee, who had failed to keep up with Cleeland's lung bursting run arrived late on the scene, and astonishingly showed Cleeland a second yellow card, followed by a red, a colour which perfectly matched the embarrassed look on the Cumnock's boss's face.
Mallan surges forward with Agnew wide on the left and Robertson losing his marker.
As before the Glen's heads never went down and indeed for the next twenty five minutes they simply played Cumnock off the park. Callachan was at the centre of most things, putting in a double shift to compensate for Cleeland's unbelievable dismissal, allowing the Glens attacking midfielders and forwards to unleash wave after wave of attacks. Potter made amends for his penalty blunder with three magnificent saves and a number of other important ones, if less spectacular.
Inevitably the 10 men tired and Cumnock began to get out of their own half, a relief in itself for their weary defenders. But the Glens managed to defend in numbers and restrict Cumnock's pressure to a series of corner kicks. Some poor finishing and Montgomery's speed of his line ensured that Cumnock would not add to their tally. Indeed the Glens got a second wind and Potter had to be alert to tip a long range speculative effort over the bar, a feat he repeated from the resultant corner-kick.
Final score : Cumnock 1 Glenafton 1
The Glens were cheered off the park by a support appreciative of the quality of the football on display and the efforts of everyone throughout the team. The Cumnock players and officials trundled off, no longer feeling conspired against but realising that for much of the game they had been outclassed .
Gary Robertson - 'best performance in a Glens shirt'
Craig Callachan ' double shift'