GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 Maryhill 0
Both teams were desperate for much needed league points in their battle to retain their 'ever-present' Premier League status. A draw would suit neither side and yet with five minutes of the match remaining this appeared to be most likely outcome of what had been a hard-fought and evenly match contest, until Gavin Brown headed home a Stevie Agnew free-kick, to clinch a precious victory for the Glens.
The game throughout was very much of the end-to-end variety albeit without a host of goal-scoring opportunities being created as both sides struggled to put the finishing touches to the forays into each others penalty areas; the bumpy surface not aiding either team's cause.
Maryhill shaded the first-half in terms of possession and the quality of the chances in front of goal. The visitors best effort of the half came under controversial circumstances. Brian Smith made a powerful run from the left flank into the Glens box only for his run to be halted by a John McCaig tackle, illegally so thought the rank and file of the 'Hill players and supporters. However the referee waved played on and as the Glens counted their blessings the ball broke to Paddy Gallagher on the right side of the but his thunderbolt shot was palmed onto the bar by Gary Matthews, and bounced safely over for a corner-kick. The Glens had the keeper to thank soon after when a long ball through the middle saw Stephen McGowan one-on-one on the keeper but the striker shot early and the ball was comfortably saved.
The Glens struggled to create any openings of real note until the half hour mark. Maryhill goalkeeper Kevin Montogomery had kept his former team-mates at bay; being quick off his line to beat the Glens front men of Gavin Brown and Nicky Weightman and showing a safe pair of hands as he clutched any high balls into the box. However, with 15 minutes of the half remaining a great cross forn the right by the hard-working Brown picked out Stevie Agnew in the box and his header left Montogomery stranded but whizzed narrowly past the post.
Half-time: Glenafton Athletic 0 Maryhill 0
It was the Glens that enjoyed the bulk of possession in the second-half as Willie Howie began to dominate in the middle of the park and bring Stevie Agnew more into the game who in turn would cobmine well with industrious Gavin Brown, his never-say-die attitiude a feature of the half. Having said that Maryhill will reflect on missed golden opportunities to open the scoring. Panic in the Glens six yard box saw Matthews bringing of a double save when a goal seemed certain. Then fine play down the right wing saw the McGowan get to the bye-line and skin the Glens defender, however as two of his team-mates screamed for the cut-back for a simple tap-in, he chose to go alone and was foiled by Matthews.
It was no surprise that Brown was involved in the Glens' best chances. Another tireless run down the left-wing in pursuit of a ball played down the touchline by Agnew, saw him leave the 'Hill defender for dead as he cut inside. However he seemed to be caught in two minds and the expected shot at goal ended up as an under-hit square ball to Darren Johnstone box, allowing the 'Hill defender to clear in the nick of time. Out on the right side this time he collected a long high ball on his chest, shielding it brilliantly from the 'Hill central defender and then slammed a powerful goalwards which was saved well by Montogomery. Gavin was finally rewarded with 5 minutes of normal time remaining. The Glens won a free-kick on the left and the ball was floated into the box by Agnew and Brown, surrounded by Hill defenders, looped a perfect header over the advancing Montgomery.
The Glens held out for the remaining five minutes and seven more that had been added after Dale Beattie was stretchered off the park after an accidental clash of heads. Although an ambulance was called Dale was up and about later on to join his team-mates in a celebratory cup-of-tea in the Campbell Hall.
FULL TIME GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 Maryhill 0
Glenafton Athletic: Matthews, Martin, McCaig, Stewart, Quinn, Connolly (Jordan ), Beattie (Cassidy , Howie, Agnew; Weightman (Johnstone ), Brown
MARYHILL-: Montgomery, Benton, McGowan, O'Neil, McKeown, Crossey, Gallagher ( Wilson 82 ), Smith, Russell ( Johnston 64 ), Stoddart, Ferguson.
SUBS ( not used )-: Robertson, Carroll, Soave. (Thanks to www.maryhillfc.com
Willie Howie in control
Stevie Agnew on the run with Davie Stewart standing guard
Nicky Weightman breaks forward
Former Glens goakeeper Kevin Montgomery in action
Stevie Agnew header goes just wide
Gavin Brown's net-bound header
John McCaig and Peter Jordan celebrate with Gavin