GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 Arthurlie 3
Memories of Glenafton's hat-trick of Scottish Junior Cup victories over Arthurlie are fading fast as the Barrhead side have now firmly gained the upper-hand in recent contests between these two teams. Indeed today they secured a hat-trick of Super League triumphs over the Glens and their second win of the season at Loch Park, following the West of Scotland Cup win back in September.
Arthurlie started the match the brighter of two teams with their brand of fast counter-attacking football which twice saw their front-men through one-on-one with Glens goalie Gary Matthews. The giant goalie, still waiting for that long-awaited hernia operation, narrowing the angle sufficiently well to force the forward to hit the first attempt wide, and then saving at the feet of another to foil the second attempt.
Stuart '100% ' Boyd
The game then settled into a pattern of end-to-end play which occassionaly allowed the midfield players to join in, but more often involved the proverbial 'big punts' up the park fom both goalies. The Glens did have their chances with a Craig Bingham cross from the right forcing Kris Robertson to scurry to his far post to guide the ball behind; Stevie Mallan outjumped the 'Lie defence in a crowded box to head the ball into the path of Stuart Boyd who was unlucky to see his shot blocked by a posse of defenders; a Dale Beattie 20 yard screamer which soared just over the bar.
Nevertheless, Arthurlie always looked the most likely to break the deadlock but when they did it was at the expense of Glens' misfortune rather than Arthurlie guile. A harmless looking back-pass to Gary Matthews took an almighty bobble just before the boot was to be applied and rather than landing in the River Nith the ball fell kindly to the 'Lie winger, who stroked the ball across goal beyond the stranded Matthews and into the path of the incoming Martin McGarvey, whose shot struck off the back of Keith Hogg and into the Glens net. Arthurlie scented the Glens fear and went for the kill. There was to be no misfortune associated with McGarvey's second goal . Trademark Arthurlie, scintillating play on the left wing and again the ball was rolled, at pace this time, into the stride of McGarvey who smacked it beyond Matthews with accuracy and confidence in equal measure.
Stevie Mallan about to be foiled by Kris Roberston
The Glens were looking a well-beaten side but were handed a lifeline to get back into the game just before the break. Mallan never gave up the ghost in chasing after a ball that had been played aimlessly into the front corner of the 'Lie box, Robertson too chased from his goal-line but clattered Mallan across both shins and the referee had little option to award a penalty. It was to no avail and the Glens penalty curse (in regulation play) struck again as Mallan struck the penalty against the legs of Roberston. The half finished soon after with the score at Glens 0 Arthurlie 2
The second half saw Arthurlie dominate in all areas of the pitch and the Glens were rarely seen as a cohesive attacking force. Indeed their best effort of the half came late in the game soon after Arthurlie extended their lead to 3-0 . The Glens conceded a free kick close to the shy-line deep in their own half. The ball was floated perfectly to the back post and Lie's Robert Downs rose head and shoulders above everyone to head the ball home.
Soon after, Gary Robertson came on to replace Stuart Boyd who again had given his all, running the length and breadth of the heavy pitch . Robertson eluded the 'Lie defence and danced his way into the box before releasing the ball for Mallan, his effort was blocked but the ball fell kindly to Dale Beattie. His thunderbolt looked to have beaten the impressive Kris Robertson but the 'Lie defence came to his rescue and blocked the shot and the ball rebounded to relative safety.
In the closing minutes a mix-up in the Glens defence saw Matthews brilliantly parrying a goal -bound shot and he could only watch as the rebound was blasted over the bar, and Arthurlie had to settle for a thoroughly well deserved 3-0 victory.
'When do we get a game'?