Auchinleck Talbot 1 vs. GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1
A bright but blustery day at Beechwood with the smell of revenge being blown about the ground, eminating from the 4-2 Talbot tanking handed out by the Glens in the League Cup Section game at the beginning of the season. Whilst the Glens prepare to line up against Cumnock in the Final of that trophy on Wednesday night, the Bot fans can catch up on some Corrie! Knocked out of the West of Scotland last week, the Talbot were hoping to bounce back and close the gap on league leaders Renfrew; whilst a victory for the Glens would see them leap-frog their hosts into second place.
Ultimately both teams had to settle for a point after a hard fought match in conditions which ensured that hard graft was going to be the order of the day. Both managers can surely be satisfied by the effort and commitment on display but equally concerned that at times this got out of hand and flared up into some unsavoury incidents. Granted the whistle-happy referee may have been watching too much Dylan on the box this week, inspiring him to offer his own version of ''blowing in the wind", but at times the players left him with no option to stop the game and disrupt what little fluency there was on show.
In the opening 20 minutes the game was going back and forth with serve as one side mounted a counter-attack on the failed attack of the other. Talbot came close from a couple of corner kicks whilst Darren Johnstone was unlucky not to open his account for the Glens after a good lay-off from striking partner Scott Houston. It was on the back of a Talbot attack on the 25th minute when the ball broke to Craig Callachan deep on the Glens left and he released Stevie Agnew, who danced his way into the Talbot box, and slotted it home from six yards beyond the advancing McIntosh. The Glens sensed increasing anxiety in the Talbot defence and a second goal didn't seem far off. Willie Howie was winning the midfield battles and Craig Bingham (for me the Glens MoM)was making the most of any ball coming his way, releasing Miller on the right or Agnew on the left. But the second didn't come. Indeed the Glens had Gary Matthews to thank for ensuring that they finished the half in front, when he dived at full stretch to turn a shot, which had come through ruck of players, just round the post.
Half-time: Auchinleck Talbot 0 Glenafton Athletic 1
The Talbot, now with the wind at their back, enjoyed much possession in the early periods of the second half and seemed certain to be rewarded when ex- Glens player-manager Stevie Mallan had only Matthews to beat, but disappointingly for him and the impatient home fans he blew it! However with 15 minutes remaining the home jeers turned to cheers when, after good play down the right wing , the ball was played into the box from the bye-line and Mallan slammed the ball home from 5 yards. Minutes later the Talbot nearly took the lead with a flashing header from just inside the box, but it beat Matthews and the post.
The Glens had half-a chance to sneak it at the end but Johnstone was foiled by the Bot defence. In the closing minutes, Davie Stewart received his second yellow card, to add to a farce of a card he was given in the first-half. The only surprise was that Talbot's goalie didn't run the length of the field to furnish the card for the referee! Final Score Auchinlceck Talbot 1 Glenafton Athletic 1
GLENAFTON : Matthews; McAninch, McCaig, Stewart, Callachan; Miller(Blair), Howie, Bingham, Agnew (Paterson); Houston (Deeney) , Johnstone.
Stevie Agnew opens the scoring
Celebrations with the Glens fans showing their appreciation
Aggie doing what Aggie does !
Talbot goalie (AKA assistant referee) stops a certain second