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Wednesday, August 31st 2005

6:21 PM

Rockware League Cup Semi-Final



Scorer: Agnew

Glenafton win 5-4 penalties




Cup holders Beith reached the semi-final as Section 1 Winners (taking 13 points from a possible 15) and by overcoming Hurlford United in a Quarter Final penalty shout-out at Bellsdale.  Add to that, their impressive league start (2 wins from 2 games) then this new look Glens side were well aware of the task ahead.  Six of the starting eleven were all new singings, included the most recent acquisition Liam Paterson from Gretna. But it was Stevie Agnew one of the ‘old-heads’ that threatened to open the scoring for the Glens in the early encounters, not once but twice. The first a mazy run down the left wing, passing Beith players one by one (and some of his own) as if they were a line of inanimate cones on a training pitch, breaking into the box where he shot deflected off the shins of the last defender. The second another mazy run past the same cones that had been repositioned, with the end product this time a ball slid out to the far side of the box but just out of the reach of the incoming Scott Houston.


However, Beith settled and indeed began to play some neat one-touch football and were rewarded with a series of corner kicks, too many of which the Glens were winning the first ball but still made heavy weather of clearing their lines at times. Glens attacks were now typically started courtesy of Gary Matthews kick-outs for Houston and Johnstone to chase; or down the right flank, starting deep with Peter McAninch who had an outstanding match.  As the half drew to a close, Beith came to close to making the breakthrough, but a goal-saving tackle by Craig Bingham at the edge of the Glens box, saw the ball cleared to Johnstone who unleashed Agnew and third time lucky, another  mazy run ended successfully with Aggie stroking the ball home from 10 yards out. Half time Glenafton 1 Beith 0.


The Glens buoyed by the breakthrough began the second half well and began to utilise the midfield players to greater effect.  A neat passage of passing play ended with a Bingham shot just going wide.  But yet again, Beith began to stamp their authority, not least when another Agnew run was brought to an abrupt end. The Glens were finding it difficult to get out their own half for what seemed an age, but the nearest Beith came to scoring was when a the forward with time and space on his time sliced his shot high and wide beyond the goals.  Young Paterson who had fine game picked up an injury and left the field to a well earned round of applause, and Davy Stewart moved to partner Gerry Joyce in the centre of defence, with Alan Tuchewicz coming on to take up the left-back berth. Callachan and Cleeland would later add fresh legs to the fray as the Glens tried to fight their way back into the game.  But not for the first time this season an opposing team won a late equaliser, when the Beith forward pounced on a slack header from the defence and first-timed the ball into the back of the net with great finesse. Here too, as in the aforementioned ‘late-equaliser games’, few could begrudge the Glens’ opponents their goal when considering the game as a whole.  Matters nearly, like the light, nearly deteriorated further for the home side when Beith broke from their own box and the ball brilliantly flicked on a the half-way line, flat footing the Glen midfield, but the final shot beat Matthews and the post. Beith then won a free-kick on the corner of the Glens penalty box but this disappeared into the night-sky. The Glens too had a chance near the death to stop the penalty shoot-out, but Aggie’s ball into the box was well intercepted, preventing the advancing Cleeland from getting his shot away. Full-time. Glenafton 1 Beith 1


The drama of the penalty shoot-out was heightened by the poor light, with many fans having to wait to see the net move before it was certain that the ball had beat the keeper and posts!  Advantage Beith after 3 penalties, when Cleeland blasted his kick over the bar - after McAninch and Callaghan had successfully converted their own kicks. Gary Matthews squared things up with a fine save, and after Johnstone converted his kick. Scott Hosuton had to score to take it to sudden-death, and despite the uncharitable cries of ‘watch the windaes’ from the visiting support big Bella battered the ball home. Matthews then made another fine save to give Glens the advantage an up stepped Willie Howie to slam the winner home. Glens win 5-4 penalties.Glens now meet Cumnock in the final, after they defeated Large Thistle (Section 1 Runners-up) 3-2 at Townhead Park, to give the first all South Ayrshire Final of the competition.



Glenafton: Matthews, McAninch, Paterson, Joyce, Stewart; Miller, Bingham, Howie, Agnew; Houston, Johnstone : subs Tuchewicz, Callachan, Cleeland



Stevie Agnew opens the scoring


Peter McAninch, Craig Bingham celebrate with Aggie


Beith goalie to the rescue


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