Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Rutherglen Glencairn 0 Ardrossan Winton Rovers 1

Wednesday 11th May 2016 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Ardrossan Winton Rovers 2

Paddy Cullen pulls a save out of goalkeeper Dylan Caddis with a curled free kick.

Glencairn still have work to do to secure their Super League status after a disjointed display ended in defeat to relegation rivals Ardrossan Winton Rovers at The Celsius Stadium. The visitors took the lead inside the opening minute of the game but, despite having over ninety minutes to equalise, The Glens couldn't find their way to goal on a frustrating night for the black and white support.

Andy Neil was restored to the defence beside David Dunnachie, and under 21 defender Anthony Dempsey retained his place at left back, allowing Ryan Docherty to replace the suspended Alan Muir in central midfield. Sean McGuire returned to the starting line-up in the centre of the pitch, and Mark Duffy also started after winning his appeal against his ridiculous red card against Clydebank the previous midweek.

The match couldn't possibly have started in worse fashion for the home side, as Ardrossan took the lead after only 40 seconds, catching the Glencairn defence not yet switched on. The ball came from right to left across the edge of the penalty area, and was then fed back in to left back Dean Richardson, who had space and time to turn and fire past helpless home goalkeeper JC Hutchison.

The shock start to the game seemed to blow Glencairn's pre-match confidence out the window, and there was an edginess to the play all over the park. A wind-assisted long ball from the goalkeeper was misjudged in the air by Neil, allowing Paul Stewart in with a chance to lob Hutchison in the 7th minute, but he over-hit his shot and it dropped over the bar.

Glencairn continued to give possession away cheaply, and Bobby Colligan pounced on an error in the 20th minute to fire narrowly wide. Up to this point the home side had not posed any threat whatsoever to Winton goalkeeper Dylan Caddis.

It took until the 27th minute for The Glens to create a meaningful threat to the Ardrossan goal, Mark Batchelor releasing Del McNab on the right, and his cross coming towards Tony Fraser until Conor Browning slid in to save what looked like a certain equaliser. The resulting corner broke at the back post for Docherty, and his effort was blocked out to Mark Duffy who fired over the crossbar from 10 yards out.

Hutchison had to punch clear from under his crossbar in the 29th minute as a dangerous cross from the Winton right hand side threatened to drop straight into the net. Rovers midfielder Simon Marriott had previously been spoken to by the referee for several fouls earlier in the match, and he received his final warning with a yellow card in the 34th minute for another foul.

Ardrossan seemed sharper and more committed all over the pitch, with The Glens players still seemingly in shock from conceding so early, which clearly wasn't in the script, and passes were going astray all over the pitch. There was a blow for the visitors as half time approached, as goal scorer Richardson was helped off the field with a nasty foot injury, and he was replaced by John Bradford.

The Glens upped the pace a little just before the interval, and went close when Duffy's overhead kick attempt flew over the bar, and then Fraser sliced a shot across the face of goal after a quick corner had caught the previously strong Winton defence off guard for once. The final effort of the first half saw McNab fire the ball onto the railway line after being picked out by a clever disguised pass from Fraser.

Half time : 0-1

Ardrossan Winton Rovers 1 Sean McGuire battles hard for first half possession.

There were no further personnel changes at the interval, but Ardrossan's players emerged from their changing room with the same determined body language as had been evident in the first 45 minutes.

Glencairn were first to threaten, though, and Batchelor won a battle of strength to get in behind the defence, but tried to set up Duffy for a shot instead of going himself, and the pass was just a little behind the striker. A few seconds later McGuire fired over the crossbar from 20 yards.

The visitors' task of holding onto their slim lead was made doubly difficult in the 58 minute as they were reduced to ten men. Marriott hadn't heeded the final warning of his earlier yellow card, and the referee's patience finally snapped as Marriott's clumsy challenge brought down McGuire, and he was sent to the dressing room with a second yellow card and a red.

Willie Harvey sensed an opportunity to capitalise with the extra man, and left back Dempsey was replaced by striker Paddy Cullen in the 63rd minute as Glencairn reshaped to 3-5-2.

Cullen was involved almost immediately as he was crudely chopped to the ground on the edge of the penalty area by defender Ian Seymour, earning the Winton man a yellow card. Cullen took the free kick himself, curling it round the wall (pictured at top) and pulling a save out of goalkeeper Ryan Caddis, and the stopper also got up to block the rebound effort by Batchelor.

Glencairn were now finally working the Winton goalkeeper, and McGuire forced Caddis into a save at his near post after working his way along the bye line in the 71st minute. Ardrossan attacks were now understandably few and far between, but Ben Carson tried his luck from distance after getting a fortunate break of the ball, but sliced his effort high and wide.

Colin Kemley replaced Batchelor with fifteen minutes remaining, McNab moving into the centre. There were penalty appeals from Glencairn when McNab went down under a challenge as he tried to latch onto Cullen's cross, but the referee wasn't interested.

Graham Boyd replaced Stewart for Ardrossan with 11 minutes left on the clock. McNab was released on the left in the 83rd minute but sliced his cross over the bar, which summed up the evening for the home team. Hutchison had to show his concentration in the 84th minute when a long throw from the left was head flicked on by Bradford, the Glens no.1 reacting well to palm the ball round the post for a corner.

Cullen had another chance to test the goalkeeper from a free kick in a similar position as his earlier effort, but this time he fired tamely over the crossbar. As the clock ticked into stoppage time, Caddis made an important punch clear to force Fraser's cross out for another Glencairn corner. The next cross came in and Docherty met it in the air, but his effort was deflected wide, with the referee wrongly awarding a goal kick to take all of the pressure off the Winton defence.

Three minutes of stoppage time were added, but in truth The Glens could have played till midnight and not scored, it was just "one of those nights". The result leaves Glencairn in eighth place in the league table, but still probably requiring a few more points from their remaining three games to stay in Super League Division One for another season.

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Brown, Dempsey (Cullen), Neil, Dunnachie, McGuire, McNab, Batchelor (Kemley), Duffy, Docherty, Fraser. (Subs not used - Salah, Trialist, Thomson (gk).)

Ardrossan Winton Rovers :- Dylan Caddis, Miller, Richardson (Bradford), Seymour, Holden, Marriott, Browning, Carson, Ryan Caddis, Stewart (Boyd), Colligan. (Sub not used - Reid.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Dean Muir) Ryan Docherty.

Ryan Docherty Ryan Docherty

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