Monday 29th December 2014 - Friendly match
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Glencairn's goal scorers :- (left to right) Jamie Gilmartin (2), Denis McLaughlin (3), Ross McNeil (2), Keiran Donaghy and Sean McGuire.
The Glens rounded off 2014 with a feast of goals in a friendly match against amateur side Arthurlie United in sub zero temperatures at Cowan Park in Barrhead.
Both of Glencairn's signed goalkeepers were unavailable for the match, so under 21 stopper Ryan McKechnie was called up to fill the place between the sticks. There were starting places up front for Denis McLaughlin and Jamie Gilmartin as The Glens started in a 3-1-4-2 formation, with Willie Galloway sweeping behind defensive markers Graeme Brown and Marc Russell.
After an enthusiastic start by their amateur hosts, Glencairn soon got to grips with their new formation on the slippy 3G pitch, making things a little slippy in the early stages until the movement of the players burned off the light coating of frost which had formed prior to the kick off. Glencairn took the lead in the 12th minute when persistence by Del Esplin on the edge of the penalty area forced the ball through to Jamie Gilmartin who drilled the ball low past the goalkeeper at his near post.
Eight minutes later the lead was doubled when Sean McGuire's corner from the left was met by the towering head of Jamie Gilmartin, and the ball rebounded into the net off the post and a defender standing on the goal line to make it 2-0. United pulled a goal back a couple of minutes later when McWilliam fired past McKechnie from 8 yards, although there was a clear offside in the build-up which was missed by the referee.
Glencairn shrugged off that disappointment and regained their two-goal lead on the half hour mark. In similar fashion to United's opener, Jonny Boal looked yards offside as the referee allowed him to race clear on the left, and his square ball was fired decisively into the net by Denis McLaughlin, his first goal since his comeback after 18 months out with injury.
The pressure continued, and it was 4-1 in the 38th minute as Ross Ballantyne's cross from the right was met on the half volley by Denis McLaughlin, whose shot had enough power to beat the goalkeeper despite him getting a good hand to the effort.
Just as everybody was waiting for the half time whistle, McGuire burst clear into the penalty area and was pulled back by a defender, an easy decision for the referee to award a penalty kick. Denis McLaughlin was nominated by the management team to take the spot kick, and he fired low to the 'keeper's left to complete his hat-trick.
Half time : 1-5
There were five changes for Glencairn at half time, with Glencairn reverting to a 4-4-2 formation for the restart.
The changes didn't blunt The Glens' threat in any way, as they took only two minutes into the second half to increase the lead further. Top goal scorer Ross McNeil took possession on the edge of the penalty area and skipped past a defender before firing the ball through the goalkeeper to make it 6-1.
The amateur side refused to let their heads go down, to their credit, and pulled another goal back in the 54th minute with a clinical striker by Sturrock into the top left hand hand corner of the net from 20 yards with McKechnie helpless.
Glencairn's response was to score another two goals in two minutes just after the hour mark. Keiran Donaghy made it 7-2 as he raced clear on the left and curled a precise finish into the bottom corner of the net, and it was 8-2 a minute later as Ross McNeil was released clean through on goal, and he rarely passes up that sort of opporunity and this was no exception.
The goals kept flowing, and a minute later it was 8-3 with a sensational strike from 35 yards by Naismith, the ball flashing over McKechnie and dropping into the net off the underside of the crossbar. Six minutes later it wa 8-4 as a bizarre series of deflections saw a free kick pin-ball its way into the net off the head of a Glencairn defender.
The Glens rounded off the scoring with nine minutes remaining as Sean McGuire, the best player on the park this evening, chipped a precise shot into the top corner of the net, beating the goalkeeper and two defenders on the goal line.
Team :- McKechnie, Galloway (Dunnachie), Brown, Dalzell, Russell (Donaghy), McGuire, Ballantyne, Esplin, McLaughlin (McNeil), Gilmartin (Kilmartin), Boal.
Man of the match - (chosen by Stuart Esplin) Sean McGuire.