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Wednesday, August 16th 2006

8:02 PM

Rockware Ayrshire League Cup Section 4 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC vs. Cumnock

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 Cumnock Juniors 4

 

Holders Glenafton were knocked out of the Rockware Ayrshire League Cup, losing out 4-0 to Cumnock Juniors at Loch Park. The home side required a win to ensure their progression to the knock-out stage of the competition and it very much looked on the cards until Cumnock raced to a 3-0 lead in a ruthless 7 minute spell early in the second-half.  Cumnock completed the scoring in the dying minutes to gain some revenge for last season’s cup final defeat. The Glens team was all but unrecognisable from the team that played Cumnock off the park that evening with front pairing of Darren Johnstone and Scott Houston the only survivors; and this was Bella’s first competitive match of the season.

 

Despite a second consecutive 4-0 defeat at home there were a lot more positives to take from this match.  Certainly the Glens had to endure some early pressure from Cumnock and their tactics of getting wide on both flanks through former Lugar pair Andy Boyle and Paul Cameron and firing cross balls into the new signing Michael Hughes. Boyle on the right wing was the preferred option up against Mark Quinn who enjoyed mixed success in preventing the winger’s progress, winning a number of tackles or at the worst conceding a corner. John McCaig won the majority of the aerial battles against his former team-mate and central defensive partner Steven McGregor. On the one occasion that Boyle showed Quinn a clean-pair of heels he did everything right and squared the ball perfectly into the path of Hughes but from 10 yards out he construed to “Van Vossen” (or Simon Black) the ball over the bar, although the surprising award of a corner-kick suggested a deflection off the advancing Darren Martin in the Glens goal. There was little wrong with the big forward’s technique when he rose above everyone at the near post to head a perfect cross from the left, but his effort once again preferred the top side of the bar. A long ferocious throw-in from the left flank then created panic in the Glens defence but Martin managed to scoop the ball which bounced tantalisingly across the goal-line, but again Quinn ushered the ball to safety.

 

The Glens reward up until this time had been to force a number of their own corner kicks, none of which created the same level of panic in Potter’s goal. As the half progressed Cumnock seemed unable to find alternative options and the Glens began to grow in confidence and take the game to the ‘Nock in their search for the win they required. It was young David Martin that came closest with a surging run from right midfield finished with a shot that flashed past Potter’s post. Scott Houston also beat McGregor to a long through ball but Potter was alert and gathered the ball at the edge of the box.

Half-time Glenafton Athletic 0 Cumnock Juniors 0

 

The half started brightly from the home-side and their attractive passing brand of football was beginning to see them carve out the majority of chances. Peter Jordan and Martin were combining well on the right and Quinn and Scott McQuade on the left; both pairs making full use of Chic Connolly and trialist Cassidy in the midfield. Connolly was now dictating the tempo of the game and Houston and Johnstone were beginning to find space behind the pedestrian-like McGowan and McGregor. With the ball being played along the ground, the ex-Glens man was now forced into committing a serious of fouls; which he paid for later (but too late for the Glens) with a yellow card. With 10 minutes of the half gone Houston forced a decent save from Potter; then 2 minutes later the goalkeeper  blocked an effort from Cassidy. A minute later the Glens almost made the breakthrough. A cross from the right saw Connolly on the far side of the six yard box and rise above the static McGowan to head the ball across the goal to Houston, but the ball took a horrible bounce of his knee taking the pace of the ball and allowing Potter to smother it safely. Cumnock were now rattled and when Johnstone eluded another McGregor lunge and left him as a horizontal spectator Potter had no option but to leave his line to confront the big striker, who then lobbed the ball over the goalie’s outstretched arms but agonisingly also over the bar. The opening goal was surely not far off! And so it was, but at the other end!

 

Forgoing the flanks, Cumnock drove straight through middle and with a neat touch Hughes laid the ball into the path of Dempster who picked his spot and stroked the ball beyond the advancing Martin. This was a cruel blow for the Glens, who now needed to conjure up 2 goals to continue their defence of the cup, in the remaining 30minutes of the game. Credit to the young side they came back fighting and the ‘old head’ Houston soon had Potter scurrying across his goal-line again but the ball went wide of the far post. Cumnock broke immediately and this time their progress down the right flank at pace delivered success, ending with a well paced pass into the box and Hughes picked his spot with deadly accuracy giving Martin no chance. This time the Glens hadn’t time to rally and the ‘Nock forced a corner on the right and Hughes at the near post bulleted a header past Martin. 3 goals in 7 minutes and the game was now over as a contest.

 

Great credit must go to this young Glens side, who forwent the option of "damaged limitations" and with Connolly conducting they continued to stroke the ball about and push forward in search of some reward. The hard-working and luckless duo of Houston and Johnstone made way for the fresh legs of Scott Caldwell and Zander Allan, the latter still recovering from injury. However, in pushing forward they were always prone to concede again and with a few minutes left another blistering run teed up former Glens hero Stuart Boyd, who made amends for an earlier fresh air shot and slammed the ball goalward only for Martin to save and Dempster knock in the rebound. Young Martin then prevented what looked like a certain 5th when he tipped a looping long range shot over the bar, in the failing light. Cumnock will now join Auchinleck from Section 4 in the knock-out stages of the cup.

 

Final Score : Glenafton Athletic 0 Cumnock Juniors 4

 

 

Glenafton Athletic: Martin; Jordan, McCaig, Mathie, Quinn; Martin, Cassidy, Connolly, McQuade; Houston (Caldwell), Johnstone (Allan)   

 

Cumnock - Potter, McQuade, McInally, Farrell, McGregor, McGowan, Boyle, Dempster, Hughes, Henderson, Cameron.        Subs - Gilroy, Campbell, Quinn, Gibson, Boyd.

 

 

Chic Connolly and Darren Johnstone

 

 

John McCaig heads clear again with Peter Jordan in support

 

Chic Connolly heads down to Scott Houston

 

 

Darren Johnstone and triallist Cassidy try to get the breakthrough

 

Darren Johnstone leaves McGregor on the deck and lobs Potter and Potter's Bar!

 

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