Cumnock Juniors 2 Glenafton Athletic 1
With both teams already through to the knock-out stages of the competition tonight's fixture could easily have been classed as a 'meaningless game', that well-worn footballing oxymoron applied by those who often forget the basic concept of any match - to beat your opponents!
Certainly from the early encounters it was clear that Cumnock had no intention of relinquishing their top slot in the section and thereby securing home advantage in the quarter-final draw, producing some fine fast flowing football. They were rewarded with a goal just before the 10 minute mark. A corner from the right was easily won at the back-post box and headed into the danger area for the lurking ' 'Nock striker to lash the ball goalward, only to see Gary Matthews make a superb point blank save. The danger was far from over however and the ball was battered about the box before falling kindly for the Cumnock No. 9 to hit home with the aid of a deflection.
The Glens did venture forth on occasion chiefly through the endeavours of Stevie Agnew on the left wing. However, their only memorable chance of the first half came from a Willie Howie shot from the edge of the box, which whistled past Potter's left hand-post. But it was Cumnock that were creating the better chances by far and after good work on the left the ball was played perfectly into the path of the 'Nock No. 11, who with the goal at his mercy, squandered his chance with a wicked slice. Just before the interval Gary Matthews pulled off another good save to keep the score within the Glens reach. Half-Time Cumnock 1 Glenafton 0
Cumnock continued to attack in waves and numerous chances were squandered, albeit a number of which were speculative shots from outside the box. The Glens appeared to take some confidence from Cumnock's generosity and Craig Bingham and Marc Cleeland were seeing more of the ball, whilst Aggie was always a threat. Indeed he was cruelly denied an equaliser when he jinxed his way into the Cumnock box, teased Potter off his line and left him stranded, but his shot from an acute angle struck the inside of the post and came back into play, only to be frantically cleared by the 'Nock No.4. Cumnock then had Potter to thank for clawing a Cleeland effort to safety.
But normal service soon resumed and Cumnock were attacking at will but their shooting boots had gone AWOL and they were more likely to hit a barn door in Barshare than the back of Matthews' net. But a second goal did come courtesy of a penalty kick after Rikki Robb had brought down the 'Nock defender.
The Glens responded by bringing on Brian Miller for his first match of the season. With the attacking options enhanced the Glens had the better of the closing fifteen minutes. Their efforts were justly rewarded with 7 minutes to go when a free kick taken from close to the corner flag was headed on by Paul Deeney and John McCaig poked the ball beyond the advancing Potter. It was the home fans that were screaming for the final whistle as this 'meaningless game' drew to a close and Cumnock finished worthy winners.
Glenafton: Matthews; Callachan, McCaig, Robb (Miller), Stewart, Tuchewicz, Blair, Howie (Bingham), Cleeland; Murray (Deeney), Agnew
Gary's a blur as Nock make it 2-0 from the spot