GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 5 DOWNFIELD 0
Scorers: Connolly, Grant, Doyle, Gormley, Casey
There was much to be pleased about as the final whistle blew at Loch Park, over and above the Glens progression to the 5th Round of the Scottish Junior Cup. Five goals from five different players, including one from debutant Mark Casey; the return of Frankie Haggarty from injury and the first showing of striker Derek Anderson.
The visitors from Dundee started promisingly chasing every ball with enthusiasm and vigour in equal measure. It was the Glens that threatened first however when Stevie Agnew flashed a shot across the face of the goal only to see it scrambled to safety. The home breakthrough came in 14 minutes when Jamie Doyle, who would go on to torment the visitors from start to finish, was clumsily brought down 25 yards out. David Gormley's strike beat the wall and JP Grant pounced as goalkeeper Scott Lindsay spilled the ball, but the keeper almost redeemed himself by getting his fingertips to the ball, only to see Chic Connolly force the ball over the line despite the close attention of two defenders.
The set-back didn't daunt the visitors' enthusiasm and six minutes later they came close to drawing level, but the near post header from a fine cross from the left flank went inches wide. However, the Dundee vigour now manifested into a number of badly timed tackles as well as several pre-meditated ones breaking the flow of the game as the Glens pressed forward time after time, with the new boy Casey commanding the middle of the park. Ironically it was from a Downfield free-kick on the half hour mark that the Glens doubled their lead. A long ball launched into the Glens penalty box was headed clear by Steven McGregor and gathered by Doyle who drove forward into the Downfield half wide on the left to release Aggie who then guided the ball into the path of Gormley, before continuing his run into the box, where he gathered the return cut-back from the bye-line and lashed the ball goalward, where Lindsay once again failed to hold the shot and JP Grant tapped the ball home from a yard out.
Again the Glens back-line had to be alert as the visitors had still aspirations to open their account, but the ghost was all but given up as the Glens struck again six minutes later, with Gormley on the right flank playing an inch perfect pass into Jamie Doyle who had darted into the six yard box to strike the ball home with the outside of his right boot from four yards out.
With 3 minutes of the half remaining the ghost left the building as the Glens conjured up a fourth goal with some scintillating passing and movement off the ball that left Downfield, down and out. Casey released Gormely on the centre-circle who in turn passed on the baton to Mark Quinn wide on the left, and with the defenders backing off he pushed forward and played the ball into the feet of Grant in the Downfield box, who hounded by a pair of defenders took the ball to the bye-line and cut it back into the path of Aggie who came off the left touch-line to drive the ball hard and low into the box once more, where Quinn killed the ball only for David Gormley, to resuscitate it and lash it beyond Lindsay from 15 yards out.
In the dying embers of the half Aggie again turned provider and whizzed a ball across the face of the Downfield goal to the inrushing Gormley at the back post, but he can be forgiven for this one imperfection as he failed to guide the ball goalward.
Half-time: Glenafton 4 Downfield 0
Chic Connolly slotted in at the right-back position vacated by Chris Merrilees who had picked up a knock in the first half and was replaced by John McMillan, taking up Chic's place on the right flank. McMillan was forutnate not to be back in the clubhouse after six minutes when having chased and slid to stop the ball going out of play at the corner flag was brutally clobbered by Downfield's lunging left back Wilson with all the finesse of a bull-elephant in a bone-china shop, a shocking tackle in every sense, which inexplicably went unpunished. Five minutes later young David Gormley came off to a rousing reception for his entertaining brand of football and was replaced by Derek Anderson, making his first start for the Glens. In a half that was always going to struggle to live up to the goal-fest of the first, Anderson showed that he was going to be a welcome addition to a strong squad.
On the hour mark Stevie Agnew, who had played provider most of the game, came close to making it it five, but his shot after a lung bursting run down the left soared over the bar. Five minutes later Doyle exploited the space on the left and although his cross was headed to relative safety, Mark Casey picked up the ball on the half-way line and looked up as if planning to return it from whence it came but instead broke forward unchallenged and unleashed a low hard drive from 25 yards which beat Lindsay at his far post. Casey too left the field to rapturous applause in recognition of an outstanding, the applause amplified by the arrival of Frankie Haggarty, in his first game since hobbling off at Townhead in August.
The visitors still did have some enthusiasm for the game but it all but evaporated when a shout for a hand-ball in the Glens box was waved away. Aggie still had bags of enthusiasm and he seemed certain to be rewarded by a goal he richly deserved as he waltzed through a host of Downfield defenders but Lindsay on this occasion came out on top with a fine block.
Full-time: Glenafton Athletic 5 Downfield 0
Glenafton Athetic: Matthews; Merrilees (McMillan), McGregor, Gow, Quinn; Connolly, Doyle, Casey (Haggarty), Agnew; Gormley (Anderson) , Grant: Subs not used - Brown
Downfield: Lindsay; Allan, Wilson, Tovey, Ferrie; Hardy, Carlin, Bremner, Payne; McDonald, Tinley Subs: Valentine, Dammer, Rollo, Fordyce, Ogilvie
Where Chic dares ! 1-0
JP makes it 2-0
JP celebrations (photo courtesy of John Vass)
Jamie Doyle makes it 3-0 (photo courtesy of John Vass)
David Gormley makes it 4-0
David Gormley (photo courtesy of John Vass)
Mark Casey shoots .... (photo courtesy of John Vass)
..... and its 5-0
Big G signals for a cuppa (of Scottish!)