Arthurlie 4 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2
Scorers: Miller, Johnstone
"Lynch the Prophet"
No not a passage from the Old Testament but an acknowledgement of Arthurlie's boss Frank Lynch's reading of today's game as recounted in that other Barrhead best-seller, the Arthurlie matchday programme.
'Glenafton have a reputation as a good footballing side, will it be good to play them after the spoiling tactics of Pollok and Maybole?' was the opening question posed to Frank Lynch . Speaking frankly he replied 'I have seen Glenafton three times this season and they are a good side. Gerry Collins has got himself an experienced group of boys that like to get the ball down and pass it and we like to play the same way. I hope it is a good football match. This week we hope we can play football but first and foremost we need to earn the right to do so. We know that if we stand off Glenafton they will give us a lesson so we will have to impose ourselves on the game'
With less than 3 minutes gone, Arthulrie had parted the Reds defence on two occasions. The first saw Gary Matthews make a great save from Hobbs and the incoming Waddel thrashed the rebound against the post, and on this occasion the ball bounce to safety. A minute later the unaided Waddel outpaced the Glens central defenders and ran on to a long through ball and this time slammed the ball beyond the outstretched Matthews. Arthurlie's pace was creating all sorts of problems for the Glens defence. So too was indecision in the visitors' ranks coupled with some individual unforced errors, which all too often gave the 'Lie forwards a second bite at the cherry. Hobbs in particular was getting to the bye line time and again and the final ball into the box was creating untold panic, indeed one of his shot-cum-crosses later in the half skiffed along the Glens cross-bar. Gary Matthews kept the score line at 1-0 when he tipped a low driven fierce shot, he could only have seen at the last moment, round the post. Minutes later he had no chance when a sweetly struck free kick left him rooted to the spot, but the post came to the Glens' rescue. It seemed that a second goal was not far off for the home side, but as the half progressed Lie's frustration became the Glens' strength.
In 20 minutes, the Glens lost Craig Callachan through injury and brought on on Robbie Mitchell for his first game since his return to the Glens, and the prodigal son quickly stamped his authority on the match. He initiated several moves down the right flank, working well with Brian Miller and Craig Bingham, to open up the Lie defence. Bingham came close twice; then a Darren Johnstone header looked to be goal-bound but slipped past the far post, Kris Robertson in the 'Lie goal then dived bravely at the feet of Paul Deeney, sadly the Glens striker was injured in the process and was replaced by Scott Houston, back from injury. Robertson then equalled Matthews heroics with a great save from a Stevie Agnew free-kick. Arthurlie continued to threaten with their lightening quick breaks but that second goal that was not far off failed to materliase, well not at the end that it was expected. In the dying seconds of the half, Johnstone was released on the left flank, he left McShane for dead and his cross to the back post was expertly drilled home by the lurking Brian Miller. Half-time Arthurlie 1 Glenafton 1
If Arthurlie were in danger of paying the price of Lynch's fears of 'standing off the Glens', then his fears were all but dispelled in the opening 5 minutes of the second half, but not before the Glens had created the first opening of the half, when Aggie's shot went just wide. But it was Arthurlie that took lead with a goal of the highest quality, and one typical of this side when it chooses to play football. Another speedy break down the right flank, this time by Zander Ryan, who played the ball to Hobbs who then executed the one-two with an exquisite back-heel, for Ryan to slam the ball into the roof of the Glens net from a few yards out. In contrast Arthurlie's third goal was low in quality and high in farce. Another break down the right saw the Glens needlessly concede a corner. The ball was whipped into a crowded six yard box and as defenders and attackers in turn failed to take advantage it was left to the gangling McShane to bundle the ball over the line at the back post. Surely there was no way back for the Glens , although time was on their side. Indeed as time moved on, so did the Glens who found a new gear whilst Arthurlie dropped down one. High balls into the Arthurlie box saw Houston and Johnstone creating panic in the home defence and with 20 minutes remaining this tactic paid off. Mitchell won the ball on the right side deep in the Lie half and slipped the ball to Bingham, who curved the perfect cross for Johnstone to rise head, shoulders and chest above the 'Lie defence and loop his header over the advancing Robertson.
The Glens were now growing in confidence and a Lazarus comeback was on the cards with Willie Howie taking control in the middle of the park and Houston and Johnstone continuing to cause concern in the the faces of those that frequent the Dunterlie dug-out. As the Glens pushed forward the spaces at the back always left them vulnerable to the deadly quick counter-attacking game of Arthurlie, but the risk was surely one they had to take. Robertson did well to safely clutch another high ball from the head of Houston and he was also on hand to usher a long range Howie shot to safety. However, the equaliser proved to be elusive and indeed Arthurlie killed off the game with a fourth and decisive goal in the closing 5 minutes. Rhodden was first to react to reach a long ball delivered with more hope than design into the outskirts of the Glens' box, and rounded Matthews before stroking the ball into the empty net. Final Score : Arthurlie 4 GLENAFTON 2
Glenafton: Matthews; Callachan (Mitchell), Paterson, Joyce, Stewart; Miller (Blair), Bingham, Howie, Agnew; Deeney (Houston), Johnstone.
Brian Miller scores to make it 1-1
NOT the Charlie Hobbs Fan Club look-on.
Scott Houston in a Dunterlie sandwich
Spot the Ball