Maryhill 1 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0
The Glens went behind in the opening 2 minutes when Maryhill forced a series of throw-ins down the left flank. From the final throw the ball was played to the corner of a crowded penalty box and with the Glens unable to clear, the ball was finally squared to the far side of the box where the unmarked Dingwall slotted the ball beyond Garry Matthews.
The visitors quickly recovered from this early set back and despite the poor condition of the playing surface served up some silky soccer. The pick of the moves began with Zander Allan receiving the ball on the junction of the half-way line and left-hand touch-line and passing it with pace into the middle of the park to the advancing Brian Chiesa, who dummied the ball allowing the impressive Craig Bingham to pick the ball up on the opposite wing, and ghost past Martin Baker and cross the ball deep to the far post where both Allan and Scott Houston just failed to connect. Later Allan played a delightful one-two with Stevie Agnew down the left flank and then received the ball back again from Aggie but before he could his shot at goal the Maryhill defence had regrouped and snuffed out the attack.
Aggie was giving his marker Kevin Murray a torrid time and the 'Hill player was fortunate not to go into the book after scything down Aggie, and even more fortunate when the ref failed to spot him tugging the front of Aggie's shirt, as he was about to break into the box. The ref, who clearly fell into the'centre-of-attention' category, also failed to keep his warning to book Dingwall if he commited any more fouls, following a deliberate hand-ball during a 'Hill attack. After a tangle with Steven McGregor he clearly lashed out at the Glens defender wiith his elbow right in the front of the official, and then later in the closing minutes of the game caught Willie Howie full in the face with a flailing arm.
Despite this side of Dingwall's game he was at the heart of most of 'Hill's attacks with his quick thinking and quick breaks and the home fans must have been encouraged with the first viewing of his new partnership (if only temporary) with ex-Pollok forward Marty McLaughlan. Having survived long periods of Glens pressure together they nearly carved out a second goal in the dying minutes of the second half, but the ummarked McLauchlan's header was well-saved by Garry Matthews. Half Time Maryhill 1 Glenafton 0
The Glens started the second-half brightly with a good run by Brian Chiesa but his speculative shot from 25 yards was well of the mark. Zander Allan came closer with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box which flashed over the bar. However, the game quickly deteriorated in terms of flowing football as the midfield became more and more congested. The preferred option for both sides for large periods of the half was route-one football. On a number of occasions Garry Matthews was first to reach Scott Black's goal kicks, running from his line to punt them back up the park. The ploy almost back-fired when he sliced his kick straight to a 'Hill midfielder who was unlucky to see his ambtious long range shot at the empty Glens net shave past the post. The woodwork also came to the Glens rescue when a Joe Andrew lob bounced off the bar and and although it fell awkwardly for Dingwall, the striker did brilliantly to get to the rebound but he hammered his shot just over the bar.
The Glens best chances were now eminating from set-pieces the best of which saw a Willie Howie header beat goalkeeper Black but go over the bar,and then John McCaig had no luck in front of goal and missed from a few yards out. As the game drew to a close Craig Bingham broke free on the right and had left O'Neill for dead, but the former Bellshill man blatantly pulled at Bingo's shirt as he headed goalwards. The referee adjudged the offence had taken place on the edge of the box and O'Neill was happy to get away with only a yellow card. Aggie drilled the free-kick into the Hill box and the brave Black did well to save and hold the ball secure from the advacning Glens players.
On the first half showing the Glens will rightly feel aggrieved to have taked nothing from this game, other than signs of encouragement that the team is progressing in the right direction
Glenafton: Matthews; Paterson, McGregor, McCaig, Stewart; Bingham, Howie, Chiesa (Miller), Agnew; Allan (Murphy) , Houston. Subs: McAninch, Mitchell, Kennedy
Maryhill: Black; Hughes, G. McCulloch,Wardle, Baker; S. McCulloch, Murray, Andrews, Williams; Dingwall, McLaughlan Subs:Gallagher, O'Neill, Wilson, Jones, Invincibile
Stevie Agnew with 'Hill's Kevin Murray and Brian Dingwall with Glens John McCaig looking on
Zander Allan and Scott Houston in the 'Hill box
Steven McGregor meets up with ex-Pollok Marty McLaughlan again
Liam Paterson pushing forward
The Miller and The Baker