GLENAFTON ATHELTIC 1 ARTHURLIE 1
A magnificently struck free-kick by Frankie Haggarty from the edge of the penalty-box deep into added time secured a share of the points for the Glens in a game which brought back memories of Arthurlie’s late late show in the corresponding fixture at Dunterlie.
The visitors had the wind of gale force proportion at their backs for most of the first-half and that combined with the ground force of McFadden, Johnston and Winters, all of whom appeared oblivious conditions underfoot were giving the Glens defence a torrid time. To compound matters early bookings for Andy Gow for a mistimed tackle and Chris Merrilees for talking back only added to the pressure on the home rearguard.
The Glens survived a few close calls before the visitors took the lead. A cross from the right targeted for Annand in the box got caught in the wind and bounced off the upper side of the cross bar. A goal mouth scramble saw two, three or maybe even four ‘Lie players passed up the chance to compose themselves and slot the ball home. The breakthrough came in 19 minutes when Alan McFadden got on the end of a corner kick to thrash the ball into the roof of the net from a few yards out.
The Glens midfield was struggling to find the front two of David Gormley and Gavin Brown with any telling passes and the odd occasion they did Evans in the Lie goal was more than their equal in the chase for any 50-50 balls.
Stevie Agnew was having more success down the left flank getting the better of Gallacher with big man yellow-carded for mouthing-off after another foul on Aggie. Soon after and with 33 minutes gone the two tangled again deep in the Glens half and as they tried to disentangle, others joined the fray and blew a seemingly innocuous incident out of proportion, the outcome a second yellow for Gallacher and a first for Ballantyne for his part in the afters. The Glens numerical advantage lasted only for four minutes when Glens top goal-scorer Gormley was red-carded for an off the ball incident with Hughes with ball dead. On another day it may well still have been 11 vs. 11.
The break came with the Glens having only half-chances to reflect on whilst the visitors may justly have thought there play was worthy of more than a 1 goal advantage.
Half-time Glenafton 0 Arthurlie 1
Frankie Haggarty and Simon Eeles replaced Chris Merrilees and Stevie Agnew and the Glens game plan was now one off shoot on sight. The wind perhaps no longer the gale force it was in the first half but still a valuable aid to any long range efforts and they were more than a few throughout the course of the half. Many were high and wide of the mark and those that were on target were dealt with competently by Evans, with one in particular a rocket hand-heater from Haggarty worthy of special mention. In fact Frankie was now the architect of most of the chances the Glens were creating. His strong and determined running saw him get to the bye-line and cross for JP Grant, who had replaced Mark Casey, but the youngster’s header failed to find the net.
Any hopes the home side had of salvaging a point appeared to have evaporated with 10 minutes to go when Steven McGregor was shown a straight red card for some afters with Winters on the half-way line and indeed if not for Gary Matthews denying Williams at the end of the regulation 90 minutes all three points would like me be heading for Barrhead at the end of the match.
And so to the late drama! The Glens pushed forward down the right in one last attempt but Haggarty was fouled on the edge of the box, the lines of which were now churned into cut up surface. Penalty claims were waved away and instead the challenge was now one of lifting the ball out of the glaur and up and over the wall and beyond the safe hands of Evans. Up stepped Frankie to curl the ball into the pokey – a goal worthy of the precious point it secured.
Full time Glenafton Athletic 1 Arthurlie 1
Glenafton Atheltic: Matthews, Merrilees (Haggarty), Gow, McGregor, Quinn; Connolly, Casey (Grant), Doyle, Agnew; Brown, Gormley
Arthurlie: Evans, Gallacher, Sharp, McKeown, Baxter, McFadden (Lygate), Johnston, Hughes, Annand (Williams), Ballantyne, Winter (Aitken)
Andy Gow and Andy McFadden ( Courtesy of John Vass)
Steven McGregor and Eddie Annand (Courtesy of John Vass)
Chic Connolly and Martin Hughes (Courtesy of John Vass)
David Gormley and Craig Baxter
Stevie Agnew and Stephen Gallacher
The Wailing Wall! (Courtesy of John Vass)
James Evans cant' stop the equaliser from ...
... Frankie Haggarty (Courtesy of John Vass)