GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 Bellshill Athletic 0
Scorer : Johnstone
The Glens completed a hat-trick of 1-0 league wins at Loch Park with a weel deserved victory over Bellshill Athletic. Unilke the previous two games, the winning goal came in the opening ten minutes, rather than the closing ten and this was a much more assured performance from the Glens. No changes to the starting eleven from the week before but the difference in playing conditions couldn't have been more stark with glorious sunshine and a hardly a wisp of wind to be felt on fine February footballing day.
The goal came in 8 minutes after a Darren Johnstone collected the ball in a busy Bellshill box and turned his man and placed his shot beyond the reach of keeper Neil Inglis. The Bellshill's goalie was certainly the busier of the two keepers as the Glens pushed forward time and again. A couple of trademark mazy runs by Stevie Agnew, down the left flank and then cutting inside to the penalty area, leaving a line of defenders in his wake, further illuminated sun-kissed Loch Park; even on occasion Jamie McKenzie, Bellshill top player throughout the match.
The Glens central pairing of John McCaig and Dale Beattie were on the same wavelength this week straight from the kick off; McCaig won every header in the air while Beattie's distribution from the back was often the source of another Glens attack. Bellshill did breach the defence on one occasion when a header from the edge to the box broke free to another Bellshill player, but he was foiled by Gary Matthews.
Half-time : Glenafton 1 Bellshill 0
The Glens almost doubled their lead in the early encounters of the second when Johnstone broke free but Inglis capitalised on 'DJ's' hesitancy and the chance was gone. With 15 minutes remaining Johnstone was through one-on-one on the keeper and again the keeper came on top, this time having to work that bit harder to keep his team in the game. In between time the Bellshill's goal had also survived a goal-line scramble wtih Agnew and Gavin Brown ending up in the net, but without the ball.
Indeed the Glens all but dominated the second-half with Willie Howie and Chic Connolly in control in the middle of the park and excellent support play from Peter Jordan and Mark Quinn, ensured that John McMillan, Aggie and the front two of Johnstone and Brown were seeing plenty of the ball.
The only chance of real note that Bellshill had in the second half was a well struck free-kick from 20 yards out, which was expertly curved beyond the wall, but Matthews was well positioned and palmed the ball to safety. However, they did have the consolation of having Scotland and Everton star James McFadden in the ranks of the away support and although Faddie may not have much time for "Reds "sponsored by Carlsberg, he was generous with his time for all the Glenafton well-wishers.
Full time : Glenafton Athletic 1 Bellshill Athletic 0
Glenafton Athletic: Matthews; Jordan, McCaig (Paterson), Beattie, Quinn; McMillan (Cassidy), Connolly (Miller), Howie, Agnew; Johnstone, Brown
Bellshill Athletic: Inglis, McKenzie, Pateron, McGhee, Coultar; S. McDonald, Muir, K McDonald, Watret, Franchetti, Brolley
Darren Johnstone collects the ball in the box and...........
Mark Quinn in control with Faddy on the phone!
John McMillan and Willie Howie
"Glens Ba' " with Chic Connolly
Goalmouth scramble with Steve Agnew and Gavin Brown
Goal hero Darren Johnstone