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Saturday, November 25th 2006

5:00 PM

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC vs. Lanark United:Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round Replay


This Scottish Junior Cup 2nd round replay finally got the go ahead at the third attempt at a windswept Loch Park. The Glens gave a place in the starting line up to Gavin Friels, on loan from Ayr United, and he was joined up front with recent signings Nicky Weightman and Gavin Brown. With just over 10 minutes of the match gone it was these three that combined to give the Glens an early lead.  Brown was released down the left wing and his perseverance saw him eventually get the better of the dogged Lanark defender and send a high ball across the goal mouth to the back post for Weightman to neatly head back into the packed penalty box, where the ball finally fell for Friels, who hit a trademark overhead kick into the back of the net from 5 yards out.


Lanark responded well to this early set back and with the strong wind at their back began to take control of the game and the Glens had Gary Matthews to thank on a number of occasions for preserving their lead, most notably another point blank save similar to the one he made in the first game at Moor Park. However, ten minutes from the break Lanark’s endeavours were rewarded. An attempted clearance up the park by the Glens defence was held up in the wind and only reached the centre circle, where it was gathered easily by the Lanark midfield and fed instantly to ex Glens favourite Mark Keegans, who found himself with plenty of space on the right flank. He sent a thunderous cross to the far side of the Glens penalty box where the unmarked Cuthill collected the ball and had time to pick his spot and lash and unstoppable shot beyond Matthews.


As Lanark had done, the Glens too reacted positively to the loss of a goal. There had been little in the way of fluent football on show in these blustery conditions but a new found sense of urgency saw the Glens get forward in numbers and several goal mouth scrambles ensued, one initiated by a hapless flap by the McGuigan in the Lanrak goal after the ball bounced off a divot on the six yard line. The keeper made amends by escorting a Gavin Brown effort just past the post to give the Glens one of several corners they claimed in the closing ten minutes of the half. Despite this sustained pressure it was Lanark that had the last word of the half.  Into injury time and another powerful Lanark run through the Glens midfield ended just outside the box with the visitors winning a free-kick, but although the resultant effort eluded the wall and keeper it skimmed off the top of the cross bar. Half-time Glenafton 1 Lanark 1


With the wind at their backs the Glens made a promising start to the half and a Willie Howie effort was blocked from reaching McGuigan. Lanark quickly dispelled any thoughts that they would struggle against the wind and soon began to win more than their share of midfield possession from which they would unleash another attack, but without creating any clear cut chances.  The Glens were still fairly disjointed as a unit coming forward but were creating most of the goal-mouth opportunities. On the hour mark The Glens they were denied a penalty after Lanark’s No. 4 handled the ball in the box, whilst McGuigan was lying helpless on his goal-line; suffice to say neither the referee nor the stand-side linesman saw the incident.  Half-way through the half young Nicky Weightman was unfortunate to see his flashing header beat McGuigan but flash wide of the post.


In the 65th minute the visitors took the lead. Having won a free-kick deep in the Glens half the ball was lofted high into the Glens box only to be partially cleared and after some hesitancy in the home defence, the Lanark seized on the ball and squared it to Struthers to stroke the ball home beyond the stranded Matthews. The Glens fought back but were making heavy weather of breaking down the Lanark defence and the occasional corner-kick was their only reward; and the bulk of these were poorly executed. With 20 minutes to go the Glens were denied another penalty kick. A Chic Connolly free-kick from the right wing was played into the box and deliberately handled by the Lanark defender and the fame stopped for a split second but Lanark took advantage of their good fortune and played the ball to safety. This time the linesman had seen the offence and gestured to Connolly that the defender had been protecting his face – more like the goalie’s face. Nicky Weightman came off and was replaced by Dale Beattie and Darren Johnstone later replaced Davy Kennedy as the Glens tried to salvage the draw and take the match to penalties. Beattie, so often a match winner, spurned a great opportunity from close range with a well direct shot which lacked the pace to beat McGuigan and minutes he was unfortunate not to connect with another ball that fell to him in the box. As the Glens pushed forward in vain for the equaliser Lanark too were unlucky not to secure a third and killer goal but their last effort of the match went agonisingly beyond the post. The Yowes held on and will go on to meet Blantyre Vics in the 3rd Round, and good luck to Mark Keegans and co.


Full-time Glenafton 1 Lanark 2

Glenafton Athletic: Matthews; Kennedy (Johsntone), McCaig, Stewart, Quinn; Connolly, Howie, Agnew; Weightman (Beattie) , Friels, Brown. 

Gavin Friels scores on his debut to make it 1-0 for the Glens

Willie Howie and Nicky Weightman

Gavin Brown challenges Mark Keegans


     Hand-ball shouts Aggie!

Davy Kennedy wins the ball


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