GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 1
Scorers: Johnstone, Agnew
Despite the miserable monsoon-like conditions both sides made the most of it and served up an entertaining Junior Cup tie. Rob Roy made a bright start and their even brighter yellow tops were soon conjuring up thoughts of a potential banana-skin. The men from Kirkintilloch appeared to have taken an early lead but the stand-side linesman had flagged for offside before the shot hit the back of the net. Debatable off-side decisions (for both sides) would continue to be a feature of the match, but this call was the closest of all. The Glens then threatened with a good run down the left and shot by Stevie Agnew and soon after by a similar run and shot on the right by Brian Millar. Rob Roy were more than holding their own and it wasn't until half way through the half (following the tactical switch of Paul Deeney replacing Robbie Mitchell) that the Glens began to emerge as the dominant force. With more options up front and Willie Howie and Tony Murphy now winning the majority of the challenges in the middle of the park, Rob Roy were being pegged back in their own half. In the 38th minute the deadlock was finally broken when Darren Johnstone rose above two Rabs' defenders to head home an inch perfect Brian Miller cross. Minutes later the Rob Roy goalie denied the striker a second which may have proved too big a gulf for Rob Roy to close. Instead the Glens were given a clear warning that the Super League Division One side were still very much in the cup-tie, when a corner-kick was anxiously scrambled off the Glens goal-line, and the equaliser denied. Half-time Glenafton 1 Kirkintilloch 0
Conditions if anything worsened in the second half but the gloom was soon lifted with surely one of the finest saves that have been seen at Loch Park in many a year. As the ball broke to Tony Murphy lurking on the outskirts of the Kirkintilloch penalty box, he thundered a low flying exocet missile of a shot through a ruck of players into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, or so it seemed, until the Rabs' goalie dived full length and with a strong right hand, guided that missile to safety. A wonderful save. Minutes later Gary Matthews performed his own heroics, a much less spectacular save, but equally crucial as he dived at the feet of two Rob Roy forwards and two Glens defenders to cut-out a a dangerous cross from the right. It was from this same wing that Rob Roy evenutally forced an equaliser. Another decent cross into a busy box and Staurt Gauley poked it beyond Matthews with geat finesse. Kirkintilloch were back in the game .Indeed the Glens lost their composure for a brief period and it seemed more a case that the Glens were second to every ball rather than Rob Roy being first to that ball.
But out of the dark, came light! Gary Matthews launched a free-kick deep into the heart of the Kirkie defence, the ball was headed clear, reaching Gerry Joyce on the half-line. Rather than indulge in a game of head-tennis, the big defender controlled the ball and neatly played it to Stevie Agnew on the left wing; one defender left stranded , then another, one more and Aggie was in the box and in a split second he beat the outcoming Rabs's goalie to the ball and stroked it beyond him into the gaping goal. The Glens goal superiority was later turned into headcount superiority when Rob roy were dealt a double sending-off. Brian Miller was scythed down as he burst into the Kirkie half and as Deeney expressed his displeasure another Rob Roy player grabbed him by the throat and pushed him to the ground. Further words were exchanged and as the dust settle and two Rabs were each given their second yellow cards. Apart from this 'heat-of the-moment' incident the game was played in great spirit by both sides and credit to Rob Roy for maintaining their discipline to the end of the game.
Tony Murphy then carved out a great chance to kill the game off but again he was denied by the Rab's goalie. Minutes later the goalie was up the park as Kirkintilloch went all out for the equaliser from a free kick. The Glens defended the set-piece effectively but couldn't release the ball quickly enough upfield and the Kirkie goalie got back between his own posts unscathed. In the dying seconds the 9 men came close again when a cross from the left was headed goalward but it skimmed off the head of Peter McAninch and went out for a corner-kick. Kirkie's last chance and come and gone.
It may only be a matter of time before the two sides meet again at Loch Park .... in the Premier Division.
Glenafton : Matthews; Paterson, McAninch,Joyce, Stewart(Cleeland); Mitchell (Deeney)(Blair), Murphy, Howie, Agnew; Millar, Johnstone.
Stevie Agnew shoots for goal
Darren Johnstone heads home of the opening goal
Paul Deeney in control
Darren Johnstone - up for the Cup!
"The back of the bus they cannae sing!"