'HAPPY ROVERS RETURN'
Kello Rovers 0 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2
Scorers : Mallan, Newall
The last Scottish Cup tie I attended at Nithside Park was as the Rovers' mascot in Season 1966-67. Before kick-off that day, I handed over the home-made lucky horseshoe to big Jim Harkness the Kello goalie but sadly he must have placed it upside down in his goals, for Shettleston went on to win 4-1 in the 2nd Round .
As the first half of today's encounter progressed it seemed that it would take a lucky break to provide the opening goal for either side. For there was very little to separate the teams in terms of effort, quality of play or in the chances created, or in lectures received from an over officious referee. Dale Beattie brought a much needed piece of creativity to the game, when having spotted the Kello goalie of his line, he lobbed the ball goalward from 30 yards out, only to see it come to earth on the wrong side of the cross-bar. Craig Flannigan came closer with a flashing header into the net, unfortunately the side-net, on the wrong side of the post! The tireless Stevie Mallan would soon repeat this feat with a quickly hit shot into the other side-net. The Rovers threatened mainly down both flanks with some speedy runs but the final ball was too often into an empty box in terms of fellow Kello players. However it was from a break through the middle that the Rovers created their best chance of the half, only to be foiled by the alert Gary Matthews who raced out the penalty box to block the shot with his chest. A series of Kello corners finally saw the ball fall kindly for the striker but again Matthews came to rescue and another corner was the only Rovers' reward. Half-time Kello 0 Glenafton 0.
The ball bulges into the net - the side-net !l
The second half delivered the proverbial Scottish Junior cup-tie football. End to end stuff with chances galore at each of these ends, all ignited by an early goal for the Glens. A long high ball deep into the box saw Stevie Mallan win yet another header and loop the ball over the outstretched arms of the Kello goalie, for it to finish in the back of the net, on the right side of bar and posts! The Glens were now breaking forward at will. The game seemed to be over as a contest when Richie Newall, received and controlled the ball, after what looked like football pin-ball in a crowded Kello box, and struck it firmly and low along the ground and beyond the unsighted keeper.
Game over? Not quite for Kello were still very much in the game as an attacking force, although leaving themselves vulnerable at the back. The long line of home support standing behind Gary Matthews goal were treated to a host of goal mouth scrambles. Sadly for them they would also witness two incredible saves from the big man who is still recovering from injury. Great credit must go to Kello. It was the type of game that if they had managed to get one back then it would be have no surprise if the game had gone to a replay. Instead it was car-loads of happy New Cumnockians (and one former Kelloholm-er) that headed for Corsencon and Roddy's 'promised land' beyond
Roddy 'rests his case' Currie (our man in red behind goal) watches Stevie Mallan make it 1-0 to the Glens.
WestSound Report 'Dear Jim, bad news the Glens won'
Stagecoach Super League
Larkhall Thistle 2 Johnstone Burgh 0 (Larkhall go 2nd and Glens drop to 4th).