GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 VALE OF CLYDE 0
As the majority of other Premier Divisions sides played their Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round ties the Glens and Vale of Clyde faced each other in the only Premier Division League fixture of the day. However, those watching would have been forgiven for thinking that the game was indeed a cup-tie that had to be played to a finish as both sides went all out to win the game. Chances galore at each end which were either foiled by two goalkeepers on top of their game or by some misfortune or some slack finishing. In the end a solitary goal by Craig Feroz, midway through the second-half was enough to secure the three points , the bullish striker now having found the net in four consecutive games.
This was end to end football from the kick-off delivered with the contrasting styles of the home side’s patient build up and the visitors’ lightning quick counter-attacks. With 10 minutes gone Feroz won a corner after his angled shot from 10 yards out was deflected beyond the stranded keeper Scott Wilson, but the goalie came out on top by clutching the resultant cross from the striker’s head. Seconds later the Tin Pail stormed up the park and Chris Fahey did well to block the ensuing shot from the edge of the box. Midway through the half Paul McMullan ghosted in at the back post to get on the end of a Ramsay flick over a packed penalty box, but again Wilson came out on top as he blocked the winger’s effort.
In reply a long throw-in from the right deep into the Glens box was flicked on at the near post by Vale’s centre for Brian Johnstone but Steven McGregor’s presence prevented the former Glens’ striker gaining enough purchase to get any power on his header and Fahey mopped up the danger. A minute later a long free kick deep into the Vale box from Chris Merrilees, caused confusion and keeper Wilson’s hesitancy was almost punished by Gordon Moffat racing in at the back post, but the ball squirmed bye for a goal-kick. Two minutes later Feroz, in the box, gathered a Mark Quinn throw-in and played the ball back out to Willie Howie but his shot from 20 yards just zipped over the bar with Wilson beaten. Vale’s response saw them carve out their best chance of the half with a fine move that saw the wing back break from the left wing deep in his own half before cutting into the centre-circle and playing an exquisite through ball which saw his striker, in an instant, turn and fire a fierce shot from the edge of the box, which Fahey parried with both hands, taking the pace out of the ball to prevent any chance of a second bite at the rebound.
The Glens almost snatched the lead just before the break when a Jamie Doyle free-kick from 25 yards crashed off the bar and the ball just bounced too high for the leaping Chris Zok to nod the rebound into the net. Half-time Glens 0 Vale 0
The visitors were first to threaten after the break . A high ball into the Glens box was flicked on for the incoming Johnston to gather who was marshalled to the far post by Howie. The striker then had his shot at goal blocked by the Glens captain, gathered the rebound and delightfully rolled the ball out to the his fellow forward, who blasted the ball from 16 yards and as Johnston waited to celebrate, Fahey leaped across his goal and at full stretch pushed the ball behind for a corner.
Both teams passed up half-chances to get their noses in front and then the Vale goal lead a charmed life as the Glens laid siege. A long free-kick launched up field by Fahey and after neat play between Zok and Feroz eventually arrived at Doyle in acres of space on the right of the box, his pin-point cross was headed goalward by Howie, but as the keeper came to the gather the centre half booted the ball high in the air. The Glens players were now lined up in the box like weans at a scramble, Dougie Ramsay beat the goalie to the ball and set up Feroz, his effort was headed off the line by the recovering centre-half and then McMullan whipped the loose ball to the back post but neither Feroz nor Doyle could find the net and the loose ball was hoofed to safety.
Another chance slipped away after a blistering run down the left by McMullan who picked out the unmarked Feroz in the box, but the striker failed to get any power on hisi shot and Wilson saved comfortably. Vale responded with an equally lightning fast break, only this time through the middle but Fahey, no slouch himself, darted from his line to take the ball from the feet of the McLaughlin at the edge of the box. Merrilees snapped up the loose ball played it upfield for McMullan who set Feroz free but his attempted lob over the outcoming keeper went inches wide of the post. It just didn’t seem to be the striker’s day, until ........ a Moffat free-kick into the penalty area was headed clear and Ramsay picked up the loose ball and set Merrilees free down the left flank. Pursued by one or two defenders big Chris made his way to the left hand corner flag and launched the ball to the far post where Doyle beat McNamee to head the ball back into the path of Feroz who stroked it home from 6 yards out.
Minutes later another turbo-powered run by McMullan into the box almost doubled the Glens lead but his fierce shot was brilliantly saved by Wilson. Feroz and Doyle then combined well to set up Ramsay but his first time effort shot from 10 yards fell kindly into the hands of the keeper. Any chance of a Vale come-back was diminished when they were reduced to ten men after studs-showing challenge on Jamie Doyle.
The Glens threw on the fresh legs of Simon Eeles and Joe Savage for the hard-working McMullan and Zok and Danny O’Donnell came on for Merrilees who had picked up a knock. The home-side saw out the closing minutes of what had been a pulsating and highly entertaining game, credit to two attacking sides.
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: Fahey; Moffat, Merrilees (O'Donnell), McGregor,Quinn; Doyle, Ramsay, Howie, McMullan (Eeles); Feroz, Zok (Savage)
Match photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/GLENAFTON/GlenaftonVsValeOfClyde#