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Sunday, August 27th 2006

11:09 AM

Stagecoach Super League Premier Division Cumnock Juniors vs. GLENAFTON ATHLETIC

Cumnock Juniors 2 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0

Both sides had to make changes from the teams that had met at Loch Park on Rockware League Cup duty. For the Glens, Mark Quinn was side-lined by a virus and an injured Peter Jordan was benched. However, it was the appearance of Gary Matthews in the Glens goals, five weeks before his scheduled return from recuperation after surgery that was the real eyebrow-raiser; following a late morning call off by young goalkeeper Darren Martin.

 

It was Potter in the Cumnock goal that had the busier of starts dealing well with early corner kicks won by the Glens; one of which he pulled off a particularly good save from Darren Johnstone. The game then settled into a period of end-to-end play without any team making that final breakthrough into the danger areas and blocked shots from the edge of the box, or corner-kicks won and lost were usual outcomes. Darren Johnstone and ex-Glenafton central defender were having a keen contest and nullified much of each others attacking play; Johnstone back defending when McGregor came up for corner-kicks.

 

It was the after effect of one of these duals that lead to the opening goal, with ten minutes of the half remaining. Johnstone manfully chased a long ball to the Cumnock touchline and played the ball off the big centre-half who did well not to concede the corner and launched the ball up the park; where it was played on high in the air to the corner of the Glens penalty box; Gaughan headed clear but was adjudged, and harshly so, to have fouled in the process. McInally blasted the free-kick hard and low, beating the wall and then Matthews in the Glens goal.

 

With 5 minutes remaining the Glens nearly carved out an equaliser. A corner kick, saw a hesitant ‘Nock defence allow Paul Gaughan to break free of his marker and get a shot on goal but with Potter beaten, McGregor kept a cool head and cleared the ball off the line.

 

A rather uneventful game, up until this point, then exploded in a moment of madness. Cumnock were awarded a foul on the far touchline just in front of the Cumnock dug-out and after some pushing and barging, players from all over the park descended on the crime scene. Dempster of Cumnock was shown red, quickly followed by Connolly of Glenafton. The otherwise outstanding McGregor of Cumnock then blotted his copy book by goading Connolly as he made his way off the park. Although both teams were reduced to ten-men, the Glens had come off the worse, losing their play-maker, whereas Dempster was not having his most productive day. Half-time Cumnock 1 Glenafton 0

With less than 10 minutes of the second-half gone, McGregor was at the centre of the action again. A free kick from ‘Nock’s left-flank saw the big defender sneak in at the back post as effectively as he had sneaked out the back door at Loch Park and hit home an unstoppable header past Gary Matthews. A painful reminder of the talent that the Glens had lost but when Money talks! Ten minutes later the Glens woes were compounded when Graham Mathie was shown a 2nd yellow card, when sliding into a tackle he handled the ball. Thereafter the Glens were seldom seen as an attacking force, long balls hit up the park for the hard-working Johnstone and Caldwell to chase, delivered little other than an occasional corner. The game was now also peppered by a number of poorly timed tackles, chiefly it is to be said from the Glens; although the ‘Nock’s theatrics at times suggested that they had been hit by a distant sniper elevated on the Thurny viaduct. The Glens then lost trialist Gaughan who landed badly after another successful aerial challenge, twisting an ankle in the process.

Cumnock did carve out a number of chances from open play but these were dealt with easily by Matthews or zoomed over the bar and landed on the slabs behind the goals. This was a game where goals would only come from set-pieces and on the day Cumnock proved the more adept and ran out worthy winners. Full time Cumnock 2 Glenafton 0

Glenafton Athletic: Matthews; Martin, Stewart, Gaughan (Paterson), Mathie; Caldwell, Cassidy, Connolly, McQuade(McCaig); Johnstone, Allan (Kennedy)

 

Top Row: Cumnock's Potter in control at corners

Middle Row: Paul Gaughan and Gary Matthews clear for the Glens

Bottom Row: Steven McGregor and Darren Johnstone duals

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