Livingston 0 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 7
Scorers : Blair 2, Johnstone 2, Agnew, Millar, Bingham
The Glens travelled to Station Park, Deans to play Livingston United in the first competitive match between the two sides. Tony Murphy, mid-week signing from Maybole Juniors, made his debut, replacing flu-victim captain Willie Howie. Top goalscorer Scott Houston was still out through injury and Brian Miller partnered Darren Johnstone up front.
With less than 10 minutes gone the Glens were forced to make further changes. Robbie Mitchell came off worse in 50-50 tackle and was replaced by Craig Callachan. Minutes later after executing a brilliant 1-2 with Brian Miller down the right wing, Callachan fell awkwardly following a challenge from the Livi defender, badly twisting his knee in the process and he was stretchered off and later taken to hospital. Craig Bingham came on and the Glens game plan had to start afresh.
These unforced changes certainly appeared to effect the Glens rhythm and the football fayre in the first half was far from the highest quality. Darren Johnstone was unfortunate to be penalised in the Livingston box when he was about to lay the ball into the path of the incoming Brian Blair. The keeper then pulled off a wonder save from a thunderous half-volley by Johnstone. Livingston's best effort came after they defended a Glens free-kick into their box, and broke quickly up the right wing, but Gary Matthews comfortablly escorted the cross-cum-shot to safety. Deep into the time added on for Callachan's injury, the Glens won a free kick on the right. Stevie Agnew drilled his kick low and hard, by-passing the wall, and the Livi keeper failed to hold the ball and spilled it at the feet of the alert Brian Blair, who poked the ball home to break the deadlock. Half-Time Livingston 0 Glenafton 1
The second-half started brightly with both sides carving out a number of chances. A great move down the left by Livi saw the ball crossed into the near post, and Livi forward lay it on a plate for his team-mate with a pefectly weighted header, but with the goal gaping he sliced the ball wildly wide. Murphy was having a fine debut and was clearly relishing the occasion, no better exemplified than a solo piece of head-tennis, when he waltzed past a Livi player like a performing seal. Eight minutes into the half and it was another tackle won by Murphy that released Bingham on the right who then played the ball down the touchline for Johnstone to chase, in his typical never-say-die style. The big man whipped the ball into the box and Stevie Agnew was on hand to head the ball beyond the Livi goalie. Credit to Livi, their heads didn't go down and Matthews came to the Glens rescue on more than one occasion, the most memorable of which was a finger-tip save to turn the ball behind for a corner. With just over 15 minutes gone the Glens stretched their lead to 3-0. Craig Bingham launched a long high ball to the back post, the Livi keeper struggled manfully to steer it to safety, but again the ball fell to Blair and again he showed no sympathy for the goalie and knocked the ball into the empty net.
Livingston may well reflect on the opening 15 minutes of the second-half, undoubtedly their best spell of the game and wonder what might have been. The game as contest was now effectively over, and the spirit of the home team dissapated in dramatic fashion. Murphy was dominating midfield and the Glens refused to drop a gear and were soon exposing further frailties in the home defence. Six minutes later Brian Miller got his just desserts for the winning appetite he had shown throughout the match, when he waltzed past the home defence to slot home the fourth. Darren Johnstone too was rewarded for his never-say-die attitude, grabbing a brace of goals in the 78th and 81st minute. The first came courtesy of Brian Blair, who won the ball and then poked it beyond the Livi central defenders into the path of Johnstone, who in turn depatched beyond the reach of the Livi goalie. The second came after young Ross Murray (who had come on for the rested Agnew) intrecepted a woefully short pass-back, skinned the Livi goalie and rolled the ball to big Darren to tap it home. Wth the game well and truly lost some of the Livi players then lost the plot. They were reduced to ten-men after the defender fouled Miller and bizarrely he taunted the referee to show him a second for dissent, and the official duly obliged. In the dying seconds, a truly majestic diagonal pass by Dave Stewart from the left back position released Craig Bingham on the right wing in acres of space. As his team-mates poured into the box, Bingo had other ideas and he slammed home the goal of the game.
Final Score: Livingston United 0 Glenafton Athletic 7
GLENAFTON : Matthews; Paterson, McAninch, Joyce, Stewart; Mitchell (Callachan) (Bingham), Blair, Murphy, Agnew; Miller, Johsntone.
Glens fans living it up in Livi
Brian Blair makes it 1-0 and leaves the Livi goalie for dead!
Bria Miller celebrates as Stevie Agnew makes it 2-0 (and Siney snaps away)
Craig Bingham (No. 16) looks on as his cross is dropped by the Livi goalie and Brian Blair (No. waits to pounce to make it 3-0
Brian Miller makes it 4-0 and Roddy raises the brolly in celebration!
Siney snapping DJ's first goal !
Left: Stevie Agnew Right: Brian Blair and Darren Johnstone
Left : Tony Murphy Right : Gary Matthews - in the ball
Roughie - back between the sticks !