Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Ardrossan Winton Rovers 3 Rutherglen Glencairn 0

Saturday 19th December 2015 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division 1

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Ardrossan Winton Rovers 2

Sean McGuire in midfield action.

Glencairn's schedule for 2015 came to a disappointing end with a 3-0 defeat away to Ardrossan Winton Rovers, a result which sucked the team back down into the four-team relegation zone. It was a match which could have swung either way, but ultimately hinged on a 2-minute spell around the hour mark which made the match an impossible task for the travelling Glens side.

There were three changes to the starting line-up from the win at Bellshill in the previous league match four week ago. Graeme Brown was unavailable due to work commitments, so David Dunnachie came into the defence. Adam Nisanci returned on the right of midfield in place of Adam Shaw, while Mark Tait replaced the injured Paddy Cullen in attack.

With a strong wind blowing down the pitch, both teams took some time to settle into the match and adapt to the conditions, with many passes being over or under hit. Rovers striker Graham Boyd tried an unnecessary spectacular finish in the 7th minute but sliced his volley wildly off target when he had time to take a touch and pick his spot.

Glencairn's first near thing came in the 16th minute, when Denis McLaughlin's curling free kick was tipped over the bar by Ardrossan's experienced goalkeeper Michael Wardrope. The corner wasn't effectively cleared and Sean McGuire's shot from 20 yards was deflected narrowly wide.

It was a good spell for The Glens at this stage, and Alan Muir pulled another save out of Wardrope with a low shot in the 22nd minute. A minute later at the other end Glens' no.1 JC Hutchison denied Ben Carson, not knowing that the offside flag had already gone up.

Ardrossan should have taken the lead in the 24th minute when John Bradford sprung the offside trap, but he pulled his shot wide of the far post with only Hutchison to beat. The referee over-reacted unnecessarily when he showed a yellow card to both Alan Muir of Glens and Ryan Caddis of Rovers for what was no more than a mild bit of verbals between the two.

Glencairn continued to create chances but, with the wind at their backs, too often the final ball was inaccurate, including several set piece efforts which ended up flying past their targets. A corner from the left for Rovers in the 34th minute almost caught out Hutchison as his punch wasn't effective, but Nisanci put just enough pressure on Darren Miller at the back post to force the header off target.

The Glens should have been ahead in the 42nd minute when they were almost gifted the lead. Hard work by Tait in chasing down defenders resulted in a rushed kick out by Wardrope which fell straight to McLaughlin, but the striker missed the target from 16 yards when he really should have picked his spot in the net.

Nisanci was next to go close with a firm wind-assisted drive which flew inches wide of the post, and then on the brink of the half time whistle McLaughlin chose to take a few extra touches instead of shooting, and his eventual clipped cross hit the top of the crossbar and dropped over.

The half time whistle arrived with the scoreline blank, and many suggesting that Glencairn's missed chances could come back to haunt them as they now turned to shoot into the wind.

Half time : 0-0

Ardrossan Winton Rovers 1

Sean McGuire drives Glencairn forward in the first half.

Ardrossan predictably started the second half on the front foot, and a long thrown from the left found its way through to Bradford, but Tony Fraser got a vital block in to turn the ball over his own crossbar.

Fraser limped off a couple of minutes later with a calf strain, and he was replaced by under 21 captain Ryan Bennett who took his place wide on the left of midfield. The momentum was with the home side at this point, but Glencairn were absorbing the pressure well with Paul Doyle particularly prominent as he swept behind defensive markers Dunnachie and Andy Neil.

Rovers brought on Robbie Cochrane to replace Bradford, and Ian Reid was pushed into a more forward role. Glencairn had absorbed the early second half pressure and were beginning to cause some problems of their own again, Bennett skipping past Simon Marriott and cutting the ball back for Tait, who initially mis-kicked but then got another chance and pulled a save out of Wardrope with an angled snap shot from 8 yards.

Just as things were beginning to look optimistic for the travelling support, the match collapsed  for Glencairn in a disastrous two minute spell just before the hour mark. A Glens attack ended with a tangle of players midway inside the Rovers' half and, as he tried to get free from his opponent's attentions, Andy Neil flicked out his boot off the ball, but in the full view of the assistant referee. The referee didn't hesitate in producing a red card, and The Glens were suddenly on the back foot again.

Willie Harvey rushed to prepare a defensive substitution to shore up the hole at the back, but before Adam Shaw could be introduced, Ardrossan took full advantage only two minutes later as Jared Willett's cross from the left was headed into the net by Ian Reid, from exactly the position that Neil would have been covering. The change was made immediately after the goal, Shaw replacing Alan Muir, but the horse had already bolted from the open stable door.

With a goal and a man advantage, and the wind at their backs, Rovers could now relax and hit Glencairn on the break, which is exactly what they did. Ryan Caddis should have doubled the lead as he sprung the offside trap in the 64th minute, but fired wide as Hutchison raced out to narrow the angle.

Miller almost scored with a free kick from his own half which got caught in a gust of wind, but Hutchison reacted well to back track and tip the ball over the bar at full stretch. The lead was doubled in the 72nd minute, as the ball took an awkward bounce over Dean Muir and Shaw's clearance rebounded from McGuire into the path of Graham Boyd, who reacted sharply to fire calmly past Hutchison from 10 yards.

The match was effectively over as a contest at that point, but Glencairn kept trying as they brought on under 21 striker Jason McArthur for his 1st team debut, with Tait withdrawn. It was a hard shift for Glencairn now, though, and Reid went close with another back post header in the 79th minute but narrowly missed the target.

A brilliant last-gasp challenge by Doyle denied what looked like a certain goal for Cochrane in the 81st minute, but Ardrossan made it 3-0 with four minutes remaining as Ryan Caddis raced onto a ball over the top and slipped the ball under Hutchison as he raced out to try to block.

Rovers made a change with a couple of minutes to go as Andy Walker replaced opening goal scorer Reid, and Caddis went close again seconds later with a curled free kick which seemed to have Hutchison beaten but slipped inches wide of the post.

The match ended in controversial fashion with a good old-fashioned pushing and shoving session. The incident was sparked by a poor late tackle by McLaughlin which prompted Boyd to try to boot the ball into his face. Both players squared up and suddenly players were running from everywhere to have their say or pull players away. This time the referee didn't over-react, though, and only yellow cards for McLaughlin and Ben Carson of Ardrossan was the outcome.

The referee blew for full time immediately after the re-start, bringing an end to a disappointing afternoon for Glencairn which had looked so promising only about half an hour earlier.

Ardrossan Winton Rovers :- Michael Wardrope, Marriott, Miller, Reid (Walker), Holden, Carson, Turner, Willett, Boyd, Bradford (Cochrane), Ryan Caddis. (Subs not used - Burnie, Rickie Wardrope, Dylan Caddis (gk).)

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Dunnachie, Neil, Doyle, Dean Muir, McGuire, Nisanci, Alan Muir (Shaw), McLaughlin, Tait (McArthur), Fraser (Bennett). (Subs not used - Batchelor, Kerr (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Peter Ferguson) Paul Doyle.

Paul Doyle Paul Doyle

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