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Saturday, March 17th 2007

1:15 PM

Neilston Juniors 6 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 Stagecoach Super League Premier Division

Neilston Juniors 6 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0

The clocks go forward in next week to welcome British Summer Time. However, summer time was the last thing on the minds of those players that took the field or the supporters that crammed into "The Shed" at the Brig O' Lea to shelter from the driving wind and rain.  With less than 15 minutes of the match gone the Glens players and supporters alike were wishing that the clocks could be put back as the home-side rattled in 3 goals without reply in a clinical opening spell.

Indeed the minute hand had not completed three circuits of the clock face when the Farmers Boys penalised slack marking by the Glens.  A free kick from the right was floated into the back post and a free header was knocked back across the goal and further poor marking allowed Gordon Smith to tap the ball in from a couple of yards out.  Neilston extended their lead in the 6th minute after the Glens conceded a free kick a few yards outside the penalty box . No need for assists on this occasion as the kick was hit sweetly by Tam Murdoch beyond the wall and in at Gary Matthews' left-hand post. It should have been 3-0 on the 12th minute and this time from open play when the Neilston forward broke free from the Glens defence and was through one-on-one with Matthews to beat but the goalie narrowed the angle and the shot flashed wide of the post.  Four minutes later, in 14th minute, the Glens conceded another free-kick just outside the box and once again Murdoch beat the wall with a clinical free kick ball, this time to Matthews right hand post.  

It had not been all one-way traffic during the opening 15 minutes but the Glens advances into the the Neilston box had yielded few clear cut chances; a half-hearted penalty appeal when Johnstone was prevented from challenging for a header in the six yard box and a Gavin Brown snapshot from 8 yards out, and a John McMillan free kick being their best chances of note.

A shell-shocked Glens did get back into the game in terms of possession but this was rewarded with nothing more than a series of corner-kicks, which more often than not failed to cause any real panic in the Neilston goal mouth. 

Half-time Neilston Juniors 3 Glenafton Athletic 0

The rain had been relentless during the first half and continued in the same vein throughout the second forty-five and the condition of the pitch deteriorated markably with many a move coming to an end as the ball was stuck between the feet of defenders and attackers alike. Understandably there were a number of few mis-timed tackles from both sides but none of any malice. Once such incident saw Gary Matthews being unintentionally kicked in the head as the Neilston forward slid in for the ball. Not too pleased with this close attention the goalie shared his concerns with the referee and for some bizarre reason, Matthews was booked and Neilston were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the box. However, justice was done and Neilston failed to convert the chance and add to their tally, but sadly this was only to be a temporary reprieve for the beleagured visitors.

Two goals in quick succession, first from Murdoch in the 60th minute and then Smith in the 62nd minute made it 5-0 for Neilston but surely on another day for what had been the meanest defence in the league, would have dealt with harmless looking balls into the box in a much more effective manner.  The lost cause took a further twist when Dale Beattie was shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge that was borne more out of frustration than intent, but the referee had little option but to reduce the Glens to 10 men.  Neilston, through Malcolm, completed the rout with goal number six in the 83rd minute after exploiting gaps in the Glens defence, who to their credit plugged away in chase of a consolation goal.

Glenafton Athletic : Matthews; Jordan(Cassidy), McCaig, Beattie, Quinn; McMillan, Haggarty, Howie (Martin), Agnew; Brown, Johnstone 


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Thursday, March 22nd 2007 @ 8:25 PM

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