Wednesday 16th August 2017
Central Sectional League Cup Group 4 / William Skinner Memorial Trophy
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Ryan McArdle goes close with a header from Tony Fraser's free kick.
The Glens said farewell to the Central Sectional League Cup for another season as they went down to a 2-1 home defeat to local rivals Cambuslang Rangers in an absorbing final group match. The result saw 'Lang end the group with a 100% record, but it was a much improved performance from Glencairn compared to the previous three matches in the group, and they can count themselves unfortunate not to take at least a point from the game. In the end, though, it was the brilliance of one individual Cambuslang player who made the difference between the teams.
Glencairn manager Willie Harvey made six changes to the team from the weekend match against East Kilbride Thistle, continuing his policy of rotating the playing squad through this competition ahead of the start of the league campaign this coming weekend. Jack Baker returned in goals and Jamie Hamilton returned in midfield after illness. There was a start for Sandro Savarese against his old team, while Thomas "Deco" Kilmartin lined up for the visitors also against his old club.
'Lang were first to try their luck as John Henderson's lob attempt in the 2nd minute dropped just over the crossbar with Baker watching it carefully. Glencairn responded a minute later as Tony Fraser's corner from the right bounced off the chest of Del McNab in front of goal, and defender Kris Gebbie hooked the ball out of play before Savarese could pounce on the loose ball.
The Glens went close in the 10th minute as Savarese was released on the right edge of the penalty area (pictured below), but his angled shot was parried away by 'Lang goalkeeper Ian Stewart, and his rebound effort was blocked for a corner by the sliding challenge of Chris Miekle. A few moments later Hamilton's left-footed effort from 20 yards rose narrowly over the junction of crossbar and post as Glencairn continued to threaten.
The assistant referee on the dugouts side pulled up with an injury and, after a prolonged stoppage for treatement, he was unable to continue. This meant that the other assistant referee had to switch sides to the dugout area, and a Glencairn club official took over on the other side. The new official was substituted a few minutes later by the Vice President pulling rank, clearly feeling that the original replacement wasn't contributing enough to the game.
Gebbie fired Cambuslang's first effort on target after 25 minutes, a bit of a low trundler which Baker saved comfortably. Glencairn responded with with Sean McGuire's rising effort going just too high a minute later, and on the half hour mark Ryan McArdle's angled effort flew narrowly wide of the far post from 18 yards.
The clever runs from deep into open areas of midfielder Dale Simeon are always a feature of 'Lang's play, and he found space on the left in the 31st minute before whipping the ball across the face of goal, the cross having too much pace for the onrushing strikers. A few minutes later Simeon threatened again as a cross from the right seemed to be coming onto his head, only for Fraser to get a crucial touch to glance the ball clear from in front of goal.
McArdle went close for Glencairn with a back post header from Fraser's free kick in the 36th minute (pictured at top), before Hamilton was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Kilmartin. The referee added four minutes of stoppage time for the earlier linesman injury delay, and Jordan Morton fired in an angled shot which flew wide of the far post just before the half time whistle.
Half time : 0-0
Sandro Savarese races in on goal in Glencairn's best chance of the first half.
That was to be Morton's final contribution to the match as he was replaced at half time by Hal Bohme, while The Glens were unchanged.
The visitors were fast out of the traps in the second half, however, and they got their reward inside the opening minute of the second half as they caught Glencairn cold. Henderson's low skidding shot skipped up slightly in front of the diving Baker who did brilliantly to palm the ball up onto the underside of the crossbar, but first to react on the rebound was Dale Simeon who drilled the ball back across Baker to put 'Lang 1-0 ahead.
Glencairn were almost level again in the 50th minute as Fraser's free kick fell kindly into the path of McNab, who fired against the outside of the post from 16 yards. The Glens were pressurising strongly now, and McNab linked well with McKay in the 54th minute, the striker skipping past defender Chris Smith before drilling the ball across the face of goal.
The Glens' first substitution arrived in the 58th minute as Savarese was replaced up front by Gary Smith. The substitute was straight into the action as Glencairn were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, and the big striker's shot was blocked by a hand in the air above the defensive wall, the referee immediately whistling for a penalty kick. Jay McKay grabbed the ball and confidently sent Stewart the wrong way to bring the scores level again at 1-1.
Play continued to swing towards the changing room end goal which Cambuslang were defending, and two minutes after the equaliser a quite delightful passing move ended with Hamilton through on goal only for Stewart to come to his side's rescue again.
The game was really open now and it was there to be won by both sides. The Glens fans were cheering in playful sarcasm as Kilmartin produced the miss of the century after being set up by more brilliant work by Simeon. Kilmartin somehow managed to fire over the crossbar and onto the railway line from inside the six yard box right in front of goal. Deco claimed after the match that he had actually chosen to miss so he would cost his old club the cost of a new ball.
Both sides continued to shuffle their packs to try and get the edge, with Ryan Bennett replacing the tiring Hamilton for Glencairn and Callum McRobbie replacing Kilmartin who simply could not stay on the pitch any longer after that miss.
Smith tried his luck with a dipping effort in the 66th minute which dropped just over before his strike partner was changed, Graham Boyd offering a different option as McKay was withdrawn. The danger of Simeon at the other end was never far away, though, and McRobbie set him up for a stabbed shot in the 67th minute which flew narrowly over Baker's crossbar.
With the game so finely balanced, it seemed that 'Lang midfielder Jamie Hay had shot his team in the foot in the 70th minute when he was shown a red card. Hay dived into a dangerous challenge on McGuire right on the halfway line, and when McGuire expressed his displeasure at the tackle there was a minor skirmish. The referee, who had initially run over with a yellow card in his hand, changed his mind after dissent from Hay and produced a straight red card for the 'Lang player.
It seemed now that, if either team were going to win, it was likely to be Glencairn. Smith had the ball in the net only a minute later as he stabbed the ball past Stewart from Boyd's flick, but the offside whistle denied the strike.
Craig Hastings replaced Henderson in Cambuslang's final change in the 74th minute. A period of sustained possession by Glencairn on the edge of the penalty area was met well by the visitors' strong defence, and it ended with Bennett pulling his shot wide from 18 yards.
The Glens' fans eyes were rolling in disbelief in the 77th minute when Bennett's cross from the left was met by a brilliant glancing header by Smith which looked like a goal all the way until it hit the underside of the crossbar and rebounded out from goal. At that point it seemed that it was just not going to happen for The Glens.
Sure enough, the sucker punch arrived in the 82nd minute with a touch of genius from the best player on the pitch on the night. A throw-in from the right found Dale Simeon, who spun away from his marker Andy Neil before drilling an unsaveable shot past Baker and into the net off the inside of the far post.
The instruction from the Glencairn bench came to change to 3-4-3, but with McNab suffering badly from cramp and unable to continue it was 10 v 10 again, and 'Lang had a lead to hold onto.
Smith tried his luck again in the 90th minute with a dipping shot, but he was once again denied by the crossbar, and no Glencairn player was close enough to capitalise on the rebound.
The referee added two minutes of stoppage time, but there were to be no more goals and 'Lang held on to retain the William Skinner Memorial Trophy which was presented to captain Kris Gebbie by Glencairn General Secretary Alex Forbes, in memory of the club's former president.
Rutherglen Glencairn :- Baker, McGregor, Neil, Donaldson, Fraser, McGuire, McNab, Hamilton (Bennett), Savarese (Smith), McArdle, McKay (Boyd). (Subs not used - Ndlovu, Hall.)
Cambuslang Rangers :- Stewart, Gebbie, Halsman, Smith, Miekle, Hay, Henderson (Hastings), Simeon, Gormley, Kilmartin (McRobbie), Morton (Bohme). (Subs not used - Lawson, Boyle.)
Man of the match - (chosen by Ian Guthrie) Jay McKay.