Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Dunipace 0 Rutherglen Glencairn 1

Wednesday 18th May 2016 - Euroscot Engineering Central League Cup Round Three

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Dunipace 1

Sean McGuire produced another Man of the Match performance.

The Glens edged into the quarter finals of the Central League Cup as they defeated Dunipace at Westfield Park by the only goal of the game. It was a good result for a Glencairn team who only had eleven outfield players available for the match, and with the only substitute having to be used early in the match.

With manager Willie Harvey missing through illness, assistant Joe Pryce and coach Allan Colquhoun didn't have many options in terms of team selection, but they were still able to field a reasonably strong starting team in a 4-4-2 formation. Paddy Cullen partnered Mark Duffy up front, and there was a second starting place of the season for midfielder Colin Kemley, while Tony Fraser filled in at left back. Under 21 defender Anthony Dempsey was the only outfield player on the substitutes' bench alongside back-up goalkeeper Gavin Thomson.

Having lost a goal inside the opening minute in their previous match, The Glens were almost caught out in a similar fashion, with Andy Neil having to make an excellent sliding block to deny home striker Callum Heeps as he pulled the trigger right in front of goal.

It didn't take long for Glencairn to start threatening at the other end, however, and Ryan Docherty set up Cullen for a shot in the 2nd minute which he lifted over the crossbar from 18 yards out. Sean McGuire went even closer in the 4th minute when he got his head to Kemley's corner, but Conlan Comrie cleared off the goal line at the near post.

Glencairn were forced into using their only outfield substitute after only 10 minutes. Right back Graeme Brown pulled up suddenly when running and fell to the ground. After some prolonged treatment, Brown was replaced by Dempsey who slipped into left back, with Tony Fraser moved forward into left midfield and Danny Salah replacing Brown at right back.

It took a few minutes for The Glens to re-adjust, and Dunipace had them pinned in their own penalty area for a spell with a few corners. JC Hutchison had to react well to tip Heeps' shot over the crossbar in the 14th minute. Glencairn looked to have the pace on the home defenders though, and Kemley's flick on almost released Duffy, goalkeeper Stevie Smith just grabbing the ball on the line of the penalty area as Duffy tried to flick it round him.

Fraser went close twice as Glencairn started to assert an authority on the game in midfield, firstly volleying over from McGuire's cross and then firing a low shot inches wide of the target. The Glens were getting closer though, and Kemley's shot on the half volley had the goalkeeper beaten had it been on target, but it slipped narrowly wide of the far post.

The Glens got the goal they deserved in the 36th minute with a beautifully worked goal. Salah's tidy pass found Duffy on the edge of the penalty area, and he held the ball up before laying it into the path of Sean McGuire who placed a precise finish into the corner of the net.

Sean McGuire Sean McGuire

Glencairn thought they had doubled their lead in the 42nd minute when Cullen forced the ball into the net from close range, but the referee whistled for offside against the striker.

Half time : 0-1

Dunipace 2

Colin Kemley battles for first half possession.

There were no further personnel changes at half time, and Glencairn's eleven players were tasked with seeing themselves into the next round, while Dunipace still had the luxury of three possible changes.

Cullen had a great chance to double the lead in the opening minute of the second half as he was released through on goal by Kemley's flick, but Smith made a good block with his legs to keep Dunipace in contention.

Glencairn continued to be wasteful in front of goal as they created chance after chance in the early stages of the second half. Kemley fired over the bar after a good set up pass by Fraser, then Duffy volleyed over the bar from close range after Docherty's cross had come over the defenders in front of him.

There were concerns that perhaps it wasn't going to be Glencairn's night when, in the 53rd minute, Dunipace got a huge stroke of fortune to keep themselves in the match. A sweeping Glencairn attack ended with Kemley bursting into the penalty area and firing past Smith, only to see the ball rebound from the base of the post and straight into the grateful 'keeper's arms.

Cullen scuffed a shot straight at Smith a minute later as the visiting support's concerns started to grow. Having only a one-goal lead is always precarious in a cup tie that would be decided by penalties in the event of a draw, and the black and white fans wanted the tie killed off.

Their fears were almost confirmed in the 55th minute as David Dunnachie was short with a pass back to Hutchison, and Craig Waddell nipped in between. The striker tried to dribble round Hutchison, but the big keeper judged his challenge perfectly to palm the ball away cleanly from Waddell's feet, and Dunnachie breathed a sigh of relief.

Dunipace made a double change after this, with Alan Deans and Mark Sharp replacing injured Craig Hughes and Steven Ferguson respectively.

Sharp pulled a save out of Hutchison with a deflected shot which looped up in front of the Glencairn no.1, and you could have understood if The Glens were showing signs of tiring, but the fitness levels still looked good and the visitors continued to try to kill the game off instead of just shutting up the shop.

Play flowed back to the other end, and Fraser's drilled free kick was back-flicked over the bar by Duffy, before Cullen fired wide after another clever set up pass by Docherty. A couple of minutes later Fraser's pass to Duffy sprung the offside trap and the big striker dribbled round Smith, but his shot was cleared off the line by Gregor Dryden.

Dempsey's delicious cross from the left was just too far in front of Cullen in the middle, and Kemley threw himself at the ball at the back post but could only nod the ball wide of goal. Dunipace made their last change with eight minutes left, Kevin Wilson replacing Daniel Murphy.

Glencairn had been defending strongly with Andy Neil in particularly commanding form, and when Dunipace did get in behind the defence they found Hutchison's concentration to be good, the big stopper decisively punching clear in the 82nd minute.

Cullen had the ball in the net again in the 83rd minute when he fired home a rebound from Duffy's blocked shot, but once again the strike was ruled out for offside.

As the match moved into stoppage time, Hutchison had to keep his eye on the ball to save a low skimming shot from Comrie, as Dunipace upped their efforts to keep their season alive. The referee added on over four minutes of stoppage time, but there were to be no further chances at either end, and The Glens supporters were pleased to see their side's chances of silverware remaining alive into late May or possibly early June.

Dunipace :- Smith, Carson, Howarth, Dryden, Hughes (Deans), Ferguson (Sharp), Murphy (Wilson), Stephenson, Waddell, Heeps, Comrie. (Sub not used - Anderson (gk).)

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

Man of the match - (chosen by Jim Keith) Sean McGuire.

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