Saturday 16th August 2014 - Euroscot Engineering Central Sectional Lge Cup Group 4
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Glencairn captain Ross Ballantyne is presented with the William Skinner Memorial Cup.
Glencairn came from behind to take all the points in the local derby away to Cambuslang Rangers and kept alive their hopes of qualifying from the Central Sectional League Cup group. It's fair to say that The Glens were helped to this win by some self-destruction by their local rivals, but the result meant that the William Skinner Memorial Cup travelled back along the road, as the cup was won by the away team for the fourth season in a row.
The Glens were pleased to see a few players returning to the squad for this match, but were still without eleven recognised first team squad players. It was in defence in particular that Glencairn were stretched, with only one natural defender available and five others ruled out by injury. Up front Glencairn fielded former Cambuslang pairing of Thomas "Deco" Kilmartin and Jamie "Messi" MacLeod, with two other former 'Lang players on the bench in Mark Bishop and Del Hewitt.
Jordan Dalzell made his first competitive start as a first team player after the former under 21 player returned to the club in the summer, and he formed part of a makeshift 3-man defence with David Dunnachie and Ross Ballantyne. There were also starting places for midfielders Sean McGuire, Kris Irvine and Paul Thomson.
Cambuslang were first to threaten when, in the 7th minute, striker Paddy Cullen found space inside the penalty area, but his weak shot was easily dealt with by Glens no.1 JC Hutchison. The Glens responded three minutes later with McGuire turning and firing in a firm shot from 20 yards, but home goalkeeper Jonny Grier saved comfortably on his goal line.
Keiran Donaghy went close in the 15th minute after 'Lang failed to clear and Thomas Kilmartin set up the winger for a shot which dipped a couple of inches over the crossbar. The Glens went even closer three minutes later when Kilmartin's curling and dipping free kick from 25 yards was tipped round the post at full stretch by Grier, a good effort and a save to match.
Glencairn were having a good spell in the game at this point, and Kilmartin beat the offside trap on the right before pulling the ball back to Irvine. The resulting cross was palmed away by Grier but only into the path of McGuire, who couldn't get enough on the ball to lob it into the net.
The home side went close in the 32nd minute when a corner from the right looked to be coming onto the head of Paul Burns, but enough Glens defenders got in the way to put Burns off and the ball rebounded out for a goal kick.
Cambuslang started to have their best spell of the match so far at this point and, when an aerial ball was misjudged by Dunnachie, the ball fell into the path of Steven Dymock, whose fierce volley was well blocked by a brave challenge by Ballantyne. A few minutes later Simon Marriott went close with an angled drive, but Hutchison appeared to have it covered as it flew too high.
Play swung back to the other end and Paul Thomson fed Donaghy on the left, and he skipped past his marker before firing across the face of goal, the ball taking a slight deflection on its way out for a corner with nobody in black and white able to apply the finish.
An excllent sliding tackle by Dalzell denied a great chance to shoot for 'Lang midfielder Willie Easton, and Easton showed his frustration a minute later when he was shown a yellow card for firstly fouling Irvine and then kicking the ball away for the third time in the match.
The deadlock was broken a minute before the interval, and it was the home side who were first to strike. A long ball over the top of the Glencairn defence saw Steven Dymock beat the offside trap, and he drilled the ball decisively under Hutchison to make it 1-0 to Cambuslang.
Dymock was the next man into the referee's notebook for a late challenge on MacLeod in first half stoppage time, followed by a spot of dissent to the referee.
Half time : 1-0
Both sides were unchanged for the start of the second half, but Glencairn went close twice when firstly Donaghy curled a shot just over the bar, and then MacLeod got free and fired across goal just too far in front of Kilmartin.
Cambuslang were first to make changes, a double swap just before the hour mark with Connor Monaghan and Trialist no.16 coming on to replace Simon Marriot and Gavin Griffin. The changes were made with the 'Lang co-managers' tactical thoughts on winning the game, but little were they to know that their plans were about to be thrown into total disarray.
Dymock was penalised for a late tackle on Irvine in the 61st minute, prompting an angry reaction from the Glencairn winger and a bit of pushing and shoving among several players. It calmed down after a few seconds, though, but the referee had seen enough to show a second yellow card to Dymock, and the 'Lang goal scorer had gone from saint to sinner as he was forced to make his way for an early bath. Irvine was also shown yellow for his reaction to the tackle.
Worse was to follow for the home side, though, as they were reduced to nine men only five minutes later. Irvine knocked the ball past Paul Burns, and the defender simply hacked the winger to the ground with a quite dreadful challenge. It was an easy decision for the referee this time, he had no option other than a straight red card for the defender.
Glens were never going to have a better chance to win the derby match than this, and they set about searching for an equaliser straight away, Donaghy's shot being blocked by Green and then McGuire firing over from 12 yards.
The instructions from the Glencairn dugout were to keep patient, keep passing and to keep a wide formation, to tire out the nine men and pull them out of the defensive structure they had now set up to try to defend their lead. The tactics worked when The Glens equalised in the 69th minute with a well-worked goal. Donaghy's cross from the left was headed back across goal by Irvine, and Jamie MacLeod stooped low to nod the ball over the line from six yards out, the first headed goal of the wee man's career.
Irvine had taken some punishment in the game and, with him being involved in both red card incidents, the home dugout and players were airing their sense of injustice at the referee. The winger was sensibly withdrawn by Glencairn manager Willie Harvey and was replaced by Del Hewitt, with McGuire moved to the right wing to keep the formation spread as wide as possible. Cambuslang made their final change with 16 minutes to go, Peter Kelsall replacing Trialist no.10.
The decisive moment of the match arrived in the 80th minute. Jordan Dalzell lifted a terrific crossfield pass towards Kilmartin, and Green came rushing out of his goal to the left edge of the penalty box. Kilmartin got to the ball first and took the inevitable challenge from Grier, knocking him to the ground, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Glens captain Ross Ballantyne took the responsibility, and fired into the corner of the net, despite Grier getting a hand to it.
Ross Ballantyne fires in the winning goal from the penalty spot.
Glencairn were never in danger of losing the lead after this, as the instruction came from the dugout to keep the ball and keep the nine men moving and chasing. Paul Thomson cleverly controlled the play from the centre of the park, switching the ball from right to left and back again and mopping up any loose balls which came out of the hard-worked home defence.
It was almost three for Glencairn in the 89th minute when McGuire's cross from the right was met by a bullet header by Hewitt, but the ball flew just over the crossbar from 10 yards out. The Glens ran down the clock by making their final change, with John Hollis replacing the injured Dunnachie as the game drew to a close.
Willie Harvey was pleased with the outcome of the afternoon, and he commented, "We kept our shape well and our discipline, which was pleasing, and we got our reward. Considering we only had one defender available and the shape of the team was unusual for us, I felt we did well. I'm pleased we've got our first win of the season."
Cambuslang Rangers :- Grier, Trialist, Griffin (Trialist), Gaffney, Burns, O'Malley, Marriott (Monaghan), Easton, Cullen, Trialist (Kelsall), Dymock. (Subs not used - Trialist, Smith (gk).)
Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Dalzell, Ballantyne, Thomson, Dunnachie (Hollis), McGuire, Irvine (Hewitt), Esplin, MacLeod, Kilmartin, Donaghy. (Subs not used - Green, Bishop, Torrance.)
Man of the match - (chosen by Alan Thomson) Jordan Dalzell.