Kello Rovers 0 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3
Scorers: Johnstone , Caldwell 2
Liam Paterson returned to the starting line-up at right back with David Martin pushing forward to the right hand side of midfield. Davey Stewart made his first start of the campaign partnering John McCaig in the centre of defence. Dale Beattie too made his first start replacing Willie Howie in the middle of the park. With Zander Allan recovering from the knock against Lugar, Darren Johnstone and Scott Caldwell were the preferred striking duo.
The Glens kicked off playing into the brisk cold north-westerly wind that blew across Nithside Park from goalmouth to goalmouth. It seemed to unsettle both teams in the opening spell of the match and although the footballl was end-to-end, it was fairly scrappy in nature. The visitors were creating most of the chances through Scott McQuade (back on his old stomping ground for the first time) and Martin being released down their respective flanks and feeding Johnstone and Caldwell. There was the occasional shot at goal from open play but it was from corner kicks that the Glens looked most dangerous. In the 12th minute John McCaig got on the end of one floated in from the left, but his effort went just over the bar. Darren Johnstone, another former Kello player also came close but his efforts too missed the target or were dealt with comfortably by New Cumnock man Jim Grozier in the Kello goal.
Kello's best chances too came from set pieces and Martin in the Glens goal did well to hold on to a high dangerous ball with Kello players waiting to snap up any spillage. They then won a free kick on the edge of the box but the attempt at goal went high and wide and the ball would surely have stoated off the old gasometers, if they were still standing.
With 15 minutes of the half remaining the Glens finally made the breakthrough. Good play down the right flank again saw the ball flashed across the goalmouth and defended well but at the expense of a corner on the left. The menacing McCaig caused panic in the Kello box but he was beaten to the ball in the air, however the danger was no over and Darren Johnstone was on hand to calmly side-foot the loose ball into the gaping net from 5 yards out, maintaining his goal-a-game record in this campaign.
The sense of relief seemed to lift the Glens and the football was now much more fluent. However, with 5 minutes of the half remaining the Rovers spurned a great opportunity to draw level. The striker for once got between Paterson and McCaig, and although he struck his volley with great power and beat goalkeeper Martin, the ball looped agonisingly over the bar. A few minutes later at the other end Caldwell blasted a cracking volley shot over the bar from the 6 yards out.
Half-time: Kello Rovers 0 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1
With the wind at their back, albeit less blustery, the Glens dominated the second-half. Chic Connnolly duly aided by Dale Beattie controlled the midfield and Mark Quinn was showing some delightful touches as he ventured forth from left-back, time after time. Johnstone missed a glorious chance to double his and the Glens account when he headed wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. However , the inevitable second goal arrived 15 minutes into the second half courtesy of Scott Caldwell when he got on the end of a Connolly cross and lashed the ball home from 6 yards out .
The Glens were now coasting but again Rovers served notice that they were not out of the game when confusion in the Glens defence saw the striker pick up a loose ball on the edge of the box, but the alert Martin was already off his line and made a great one-handed save from a terrific shot. Kello's confidence then went up another notch when the Glens were reduced to 10 men. Paterson was fouled deep in his own half and having won the free kick , remonstrated with the Kello player and pushed him away, and act of folly that was deemed worthy of a straight red card.
However, Rovers numerical advantage didn't last long when another surging run by Connolly was brought to an end bya late tackle, earning his assailant a second yellow card and it was now ten-a-side, and normal service was resumed, with the Glens in control
Graham Mathie replaced the impressive David Martin, after he had taken a bad knock, and dropped back into right-back spot (vacated by the dismissed Paterson) and then Peter Jordan replaced Darren Johnstone, to maintain the width on the right, leaving Caldwell as the lone striker. The changes paid off with 15 minutes to go when Jordan received the ball on the right from the tireless Connolly (after yet another lung-bursting run) and his first time cross was met perfectly by Caldwell, the Boig Road dynamo, who bundled the ball over the line from a few yards out, to complete the scoring.
Full time: Kello Rovers 0 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: Martin; Paterson, McCaig, Stewart, Quinn; Martin (Mathie), Beattie, Connolly, McQuade; Johnstone (Jordan), Caldwell (Allan).
John McCaig comes close
Darren Martin clutches the ball to safety, with David Martin and Liam Paterson in attendance.
Darren Johnstone opens the scoring.
Chic Connolly, John McCaig, Liam Paterson and Darren Martin
Scott Caldwell closes in on goal
Scott Caldwell and Darren Johnstone
Scott Caldwell makes it 2-0
Scott Caldwell completes the scoring to make it 3-0
Man-of-the-match ' Mark Quinn'