Arthurlie 2 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1
Scorer : Triallist
Richie Newall's half-volley is saved well by Kris Robertson. (Rain stopped any more photos)
Dick Donnelly here at a dreich and dreary Dens Park - not quite, but it just felt that way as the rain lashed down and the gloom descended as both teams took to the pitch. Nor were there any "We want 'Lie Down" protest banners on display to brighten up proceedings, as banners were banned by order of the SJFA.
If the Glens fans harboured any thoughts that the 'Lie would lie down in this fixture, which was meaningless to them in terms of improving of their already secured runners-up spot, these disappeared as quickly as the fading light. After 10 minutes of both teams taking turn about of breaking up the park, Lie opened the scoring. A powerful run down the right wing, saw Ryan take the ball to the goal-line and play a sublime one-two with Downs, who back-heeled the ball back into Ryan's path, who in turn rolled the ball into the path of the advancing Smith to crash the ball past Gary Matthews.
The Glens recovered well from this early set back and the game fell into a pattern of proverbial end-to-end play. The Glens pushed forward with some silky passing particularly through Stevie Agnew and Craig Callahan. It was Aggie, with a shot from outside the box which forced the first save of the match from Lie's impressive young goalkeeper, Kris Robertson. Soon after, Roberston quickly charged off his line to stop a great run into the box from Callahan and then completed a hat-trick of fine saves when he dived low and at full stretch to stop a Richie Newall spectacular half-volley from sneaking in at the near post. Not once throughout the first half did he drop a cross.
Having said that, it was Matthews at the other end that was performing goalkpeeping heroics and keeping the score at 1-0 with a couple of point blank saves, one of Dudek proportion from a Downs strike from the six yard-line. Hobbs with his lightning pace and his ability to switch from one wing to another was creating all sorts of problems bfor the Glens, without however creating any real chances. An entertaining first half ended Arthurlie 1 Glens 0.
The second half went nowhere fast with both sides failing to deliver the quality of play on show on the first forty-five. The turning point came under controversial circumstances as Stevie Agnew thrust forward into the Arthurlie half and appeared to be crudely bundled to the ground. Play-on waved the referee and a long searching ball found Rhodden on the left, who unleashed a hard low drive across a crowded box and into the far corner, to give Arthurlie a far from merited 2-0 lead, with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Brian Miller's introduction gave the Glens new hope. A wickedly taken free kick from 25 yards dipped late and almost caught Robertson unawares. An equally well taken corner kick found Dave Stewart at the back corner of the penalty box, and his powerful looping header beat Robertson but the ball was scrambled off the goal-line and eventually cleared to safety. Minutes later a carbon copy of the Miller corner-kick and Stewart header saw Robertson punch clear but only as far as the Glens triallist who headed the ball high out of sight into the darkening skies, only for it to fall back to earth beyond the bewildered Robertson and into the net. With 10 minutes to go the Glens sensed an equaliser and laid siege to the 'Lie goal only to be let down by the final ball into the box. To add insult to injury the Glens nearly conceded a third goal at the death when McGarvey broke free from the half-way line and found the unmarked Rhodden in acres of space, but instead of thrashing the ball home he conjured up a fresh air shot that would flatter a high handicapper at Fereneze.
Final Score Arthurlie 2 Glenafton 1
The Glens now need a point at Renfrew on Monday night to ensure their Premier League survival.
Come Awa' the Afton