GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 Petershill 3
Glenafton, the holders, were given home advantage this season when the draw was made for the Whyte & Mackay West of Scotland Cup Semi-Final and faced fellow Premier Division side Petershill. In recent weeks the Peasie's left Loch Park with all three points in a league encounter after Alex Burns had scored a scorcher of a free-kick for the only goal of the game. Tonight, he played a part in all three of the visitors goals .
The Glens played into the teeth of a blustery wind in the first half and were seldom seen as an attacking force, with their own clearances often causing as much bother as Parry, the Peasie's goalie's kick-outs, that were launched down-wind into the heart of the Glens defence. The 'uphill' battle became that bit more difficult when the visitors opened the scoring in 16 minutes. There seemed no way through the Glens back-four for Burns as he tried break into the box; instead he took the ball wide to the right before hitting an inch perfect diagonal cross to the far back post where McAleenan met it sweetly had struck an unstoppable volley into the back of the net.
The Glens buckled down and although they were not creating many chances neither were the Peasies and perhaps with the wind at their backs in the second half the 1-0 deficit was not unsurmountable. However, with 12 minutes of the half remaining the Glens gifted the visitors a second goal, when Gary Matthews collided with John McCaig allowing Burns a free run at a seemingly harmless through ball; indeed Burns could have ushered to ball into the empty net without further contact, but instead made sure - that his team-mate, the provider of the pass, didn't grab the glory!
Half-time: Glenafton Athletic 0 Petershill 2
Lucky white heather was in full bloom at the beginning of the second-half with Gavin Brown unable to resume due to injury and being replaced by Brian Miller, hismeslf still on the road to recovery from a long term injury; and the blustery wind had eased to a whimper! Credit to the Glens and they got back in the game and although chances for both sides were few and far between, Parry was the busiere goalkeeper and the better chances were falling to the Glens. Parry came to the rescue on the hour mark to deny Darren Johnstone getting on the end of Stevie Agnew cross on the edge of the six-yard box. Minutes later however the Glens back in the game, when Brian Miller was played through by Chic Connolly and went wide to avoid the outcoming Parry and dinked the ball in from an acute angle.
The wind was down but the Glens' tails were up and Parry denied Johnstone again, although illegally on this occasion by taking the ball from the head of the big striker as he had ventured outside the penalty box. The chance not deemed as a goal-scoring opportunity had the keeper receiving yellow and not red. The visitors looked dangerous on the break and the Glens hope of a fight-back was nearly shattered when a cross from the left was met in the six yard box and although the header beat Matthews it bounced off the ground and off the underside of the bar. Time was now running out for the holders and with 5 minutes remaining any chance of taking the match to penalty-kicks was blown away when possession was surrendered too easily in the Glens penalty box with defenders playing short passes to each other Burns grabbed his chance and nicked the ball off with ease and picked his spot and knocked it beyond Matthews, to secure the Peasie's place in the final against Kilbirnie Ladeside.
This was a disappointing end to an excellent run in the cup, which included fine wins over the Meadow and Arthurlie and everyone at the club share in the disappointment of being only one game away from defending the trophy.
Glenafton Athletic: Matthews; Kennedy, Kane, McCaig, Quinn; Connolly, Howie, Weightman, Agnew; Brown (Miller), Johnstone
Darren Johnstone - on the ball
Brian Miller pulls on back from the Glens