GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 10 Muirkirk 0
Scorers: Allan (5), Johnstone (2), McQuade, Howie, Jordan
The Glens started the defence of the Rockware Ayrshire League Cup in sensational if not spectacular fashion by hitting a struggling Muirkirk side for ten. Traffic hold-ups prevented captain Willie Howie and new signings Chic Connolly and Mark Quinn making the starting 11; whilst Stevie Agnew, Scott Houston, Graham Mathie, Davie Stewart and Dale Beattie were unavailable for selection.
With Gary Matthews recuperating from surgery, trialist Darren Martin took his place between the sticks for the Glens. His namesake David Martin, out of contract at St. Mirren ,played as trialist at right back whist Davy Kennedy stood in at left-back; with Liam Paterson and John McCaig forming the central defensive partnership - as they had in the Cup Final victory over Cumnock last season. New signings Peter Jordan and Scott McQuade joined injured Brian Miller and Darren Johnstone in an attacking midfield. Zander Allan was joined up front by local lad Scott Caldwell .
The Glens got off to a great start when new signing Scott McQuade made good progress down the left wing, cut back and curled a cross into a crowded goalmouth, but there were no takers either in blue or red and the ball continued on its merry way before sneaking in between goalkeeper Chisholm and the far post. Before the quarter hour mark the game was effectively over as a contest as Darren Johnstone and Zander Allan both added to the tally as the Glens cut through the Muirkirk defence with relative ease, as the strikers and others queued up for the final touch of any ball into the box.
Credit to Muirkirk they did manage to batten down the hatches for a spell and indeed they created chances of their own with some well worked counter-attacks but they found goalie Martin in great form as he clutched a number of cross balls cleanly out of the still air with an assured and safe pair of hands.
However, the Glens were still well in control and in the closing minute of the half Jordan released Johnstone who beat the Muirkirk off-side trap and set off with only Chisholm to beat and mercilessly slotted home his second and the Glens fourth goal of the game.
Half-time: Glenafton Athletic 4 Muirkirk 0
With only a few minutes of the second half gone the Glens beat the off-side trap again, with the Muirkirk defence rigid a few yards inside their own half. The live wire Caldwell headed for goal like a hare along the Boig Road, but as he burst into the box, the Muirkirk goalie left his line and brought his prey down as cleanly as any lurcher could. No red card but the lurcher was back on his goal-line and with his tail between his legs as Zander Allan dinked the penalty home.
By this time Connolly had replaced the tiring Miller and Quinn had come on for Kennedy. The Glens midfield were simply over-running the dejected yet gutsy Muirkirk side, exemplified by goalkeeper Chisholm whose words of encouragement were constant throughout the visitors' trauma. Connolly, Jordan and McQuade were combining well and driving forward at every opportunity. Introducing Willie Howie to that midfield mix, replacing Darren Johnstone, was like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut that was already in pieces.
During another foray into Muirkirk's box, Connolly was brought down and seconds later Zander completed his hat-trick from the resultant spot-kick. to make it 6-0 with 25 minutes remaining. Three minutes later Howie's perseverance paid off as he squeezed the ball home from a few yards out. The hard-working 'Pedro' Jordan was then rewarded 4 minutes later, when he picked the ball up on the right flank then cut into the box leaving the Muirkirk defender in his wake, and calmly stroked the ball home beyond the advancing Chisholm.
Sadly things went from 'worse to worser' for Muirkirk when through lack of available substitutes they were unable to replace an injured full back, it was now 8-0 and 11 vs. 10 in the Glens favour.
With 7 minutes remaining the Glens scored again, through the best move of the game. David Martin collected the ball in the middle of the park deep inside the Muirkirk half and played a perfect ball to Jordan on the right; his first time cross from the edge of the box eluded both Connolly and Caldwell, but the alert McQuade played the ball quickly back into the box for Allan to head goalward which Chisholm did well to parry, but Zander pounced to strike the rebound home. In the last minute of the game he capped off a 5 star performance by sneaking another one as a team-mates lined up for the pass that never came.
Although the Glens will certainly face stiffer challenges in the season ahead a pleasing feature of the game, over and the above the professional way they went about to secure a victory, was that all new signings and the two Martin triallists acquitted themselves extremely well.
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC : Martin, Martin, Paterson, McCaig, Kennedy (Quinn); Miller (Connolly) , Jordan, Johnstone (Howie), McQuade; Allan, Caldwell .
Murikirk: Chisholn; Morris, Chisholm, Drummond, Moran;McCourt, Murphy, Cunningham, McCluskey; Tallon, Reid. Sub: Chisholm
Referee: Kevin Graham
Scott Caldwell and Scott McQuade
John McCaig heads clear
Liam Paterson, Scott Caldwell and Chic Connolly
Zander Allan makes it 6-0 from the spot.
Willie Howie make sit 7-0
What happens next?
Zander makes it 9-0
Zander completes the scoring