Maryhill 3 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2
Scorers: Agnew (pen), Weightman
The last time these two sides met the Glens came out on top to lift the Whyte & MacKay West of Scotland Cup at the close of last season (although some Glens fans still appear to be in denial that this ever happened!). Less than 10 games into the new league campaign both teams find themselves struggling in the lower reaches of the league and it was little wonder that the game was played in cup-tie fashion.
With less than 6 minutes gone the Glens were forced into an early substitution when midfielder Dave Martin had to be carried off the field and was replaced by Graham Mathie; with Mathie taking up the left back slot and Mark Quinn, moving forward into the attacking midfield role. Up until that point honours had been fairly even in terms of possession and attempts on goal. On the quarter hour mark the Glens nearly made the break through but 'Hill's goalkeeper Stephen Soave made a superb save from a Zander Allan header, pushing his effort on to the bar. A few minutes later another Glens attack down the left flank fell apart on the half-way line and from there the home side broke forward and some fine individual play saw the Glens defence all at sea and the ball slotted home from close range , by Brian Smith on his 'Hill debut, having signed recently from Arthurlie.
The Glens responded strongly and Steven Agnew did well, on a surface that was now becoming increasingly rutted, to beat one defender after another before thundering a shot in from the edge of the box only to be denied by another quality save from Soave. with fifteen minutes of the half remaining the Glens looked to have equalised after a close-range effort by Quinn eluded Soave, but the ball went wide. The keeper then saved well from a Chic Connolly header after excellent support play from the industrious Darren Johnstone.
Although Maryhill's pace up front always posed a threat on the break it wasn't until the closing minutes of the half before they came back in the game in terms of sustained pressure through forcing a series of corner kicks, one of which saw the ball bounce of the top of the cross bar after a delicately executed overhead kick.
Half-time : Maryhill 1 Glenafton 0
The Glens could count themselves unlucky to be behind in the first half and were certainly still very much in contention. However, that outlook changed dramatically in the opening minutes of the second half, when possession was lost once again too easily on the half-way line, this time to 'Hill's McGowan. Pushing forward he picked his moment and from 25 yards out he lashed a thundering left foot shot beyond the outstretched Matthews into theh goalie's top right hand corner - a cracking finish.
Maryhill then threatened to overrun the Glens and a created a number of goal scoring opportunities but they could not add to their tally. Gary Matthews kept the Glens fading hopes alive with an outstanding point blank save from Maryhill's livewire, Kenny McLean.
With fifteen minutes of the half gone the Glens gave a debut to trialist to former Hibernian youth-team player, 19 year old Nicky Weightman and he made an immediate impact, causing a degree panic in the 'Hill's back-four every time he got the ball. His efforts were eventually rewarded five minutes from the close of play . After outwitting two 'Hill defenders in the box, one couldn't resist the temptation to lunge in and bring the young man down. Steven Agnew stepped up and hammered the ball home to make it a fight to the end.
Having unfurled the Glens' sails the wind was almost immediately taking out of them after a square ball by Mathie deep in his own half was intercepted on the bobbly surface and played it into the path of substitute Russel who picked his spot and knocked the ball past Matthews. Again the Glens refused to lie down and Brian Miller making his comeback after a lengthy injury (having come on for Quinn with 15 minutes remaining) persevered on the right flank, evading tackle after tackle before playing a perfectly weighted pass to the feet of the alert Weightman, who raced into the box and slammed the ball home beyond the advancing Soave. Unfortunately time wasn't on the Glens side and Maryhill held out for their victory.
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: Matthews; Cassidy, McCaig, Stewart, Quinn (Miller); Martin (Mathie) , Connolly, Howie, Agnew; Johnstone , Allan (Weightman)
Soave saves from Zander Allan
Zander beaten to the ball
Steven Agnew scores from the spot
Soave denies John McCaig
Trialist Nicki Weightman fights for the ball