Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

Subtitle

East Kilbride Thistle 2 Rutherglen Glencairn 3

Monday 17th August 2015 - Euroscot Central Sectional League Cup Group 4

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

East Kilbride Thistle 1

Man of the Match Paddy Cullen in first half action.

Glencairn got their first win of the season and won the annual Hamish Allan Centenary Cup with this victory over East Kilbride Thistle at The Showpark in the Euroscot Engineering Central League Cup group. The result keeps The Glens in contention for qualifying from the group after the disappointment of defeat in the opening match.

Willie Harvey made seven changes to the starting line-up as he continues to use these group matches to sharpen up the squad ahead of the start of the league season in a couple of weeks.

The Glens were on the front foot from the start, and they forced an early corner kick when Tony Fraser's cross was punched behind by Thistle no.1 Chris Treacy. From the resulting corner Paddy Cullen had a chance on the volley but he didn't make a clean connection and the ball was cleared.

Treacy made a good block to a cross by McLaughlin and took a heavy but accidental knock from Mark McCarry in the process, which knocked the wind out of the goalkeeper. After a period of treatment, Treacy was ready to carry on, but Glencairn wasted no time in testing him again.

Tony Fraser's throw-in from the left found Denis McLaughlin, who spun away from his marker before firing in a low fizzing shot from 25 yards which flew past Treacy before he could get down to it, and The Glens had an early 1-0 lead.

Denis McLaughlin Denis McLaughlin

Treacy had another prolonged spell of treatment shortly after the goal, but recovered to play on to the relief of the Thistle bench, as they had no substitute goalkeeper named on the bench.

East Kilbride's first two attempts on goal came around the fifteen minute mark, first Alan McFadden and then Paul Tierney firing shots on the turn which Glencairn no.1 Robert Kerr saved without any concern.

Glencairn re-established their authority on the match again, though, and Treacy showed that he had fully recovered when he beat away a shot by Sean McGuire, and the same player fired a shot wide moments later. Treacy also saved from Cullen after more good work by McLaughlin to set up his strike partner.

Thistle were forced into an early substitution with Mackie replacing Smith, and Gallacher moving to left back. It didn't seem to have an adverse effect on them, though, as they forced an equaliser in the 34th minute. Craig Miles swung over a corner from the left and, as several bodies jumped to challenge, the ball seemed to take a slight touch off striker Barry Rodger as it dropped behind Kerr and into the net.

The home side had their tails up now, and they went close again when McFadden fed off a knock down by Rodger and fired just wide of the post with Kerr at full stretch.

Just as Thistle thought they were getting on top in the game, however, The Glens went back in front in the 40th minute. McGuire's pass found McLaughlin in space, and he slipped a perfect pass into the path of Paddy Cullen who drilled a decisive finish past Treacy to make it 2-1.

Paddy Cullen Paddy Cullen

Cullen had a great chance to double his tally only a minute later as he was released through on goal, but he wasn't aware of how much time he had and hit the shot early, Treacy saving in front of goal.

There was a real let-off for Glencairn in the 43rd minute as Mackie's shot spun up off the leg of defender Adam Shaw and dipped over Kerr, the ball rebounding from the post to safety and frustrating the home players and support.

Glencairn took full advantage of this good fortune by increasing their lead only a minute later. Once again Cullen found himself through on goal, but Treacy made a good block. The loose ball fell into the path of Sean McGuire, however, and he produced a delightful chipped finish back over the retreating defenders and goalkeeper to make it 3-1.

Sean McGuire Sean McGuire 

The action wasn't over for the first half, though, as the referee controversially pointed to the penalty spot for Thistle in the 3rd minute of added time. It appeared to the Glencairn supporters that defender Shaw had won the ball fairly from striker Stewart as he ran through on goal, and there was debate about whether the challenge was inside or outside the penalty box, but the referee had made up his mind and the decision stood. Craig Miles stepped up to fire low into the corner of the net past Kerr, and Thistle were suddenly back in the match.

Half time :- 2-3

East Kilbride Thistle 3
Tony Fraser starts a Glencairn attack in the first half.

Both sides were unchanged for the start of the second half, and Glencairn started on the front foot again, Cullen setting up Alan Muir who drilled a shot just over the bar from 20 yards out. A quick throw-in by McLaughlin in the 52nd minute released Cullen again, and he squared for McCarry who had time and space to pick his spot, but Treacy made an excellent block again.

McCarry was withdrawn on the hour mark and replaced in midfield by Mark Batchelor, with Alan Muir moving to the left midfield role. Glencairn continued to be wasteful in front of goal, though, with Sean McGuire dribbling round the goalkeeper but unable to stab the ball over the line from close range.

Despite the control Glencairn had on the game, there was always the chance of East Kilbride equalising as the game had not been killed off. A free kick from the left picked out the head of Miles at the back post and he headed over from close range. Play swung back to the other end again, and Cullen's cross from the left picked out McGuire who couldn't squeeze his shot in at the far post.

Thistle made their second change, with striker Rodger replaced by O'Kane. Cullen fired a free kick well over the bar in the 70th minute, and Glencairn replaced McLaughlin up front with Chris Zok a minute later. Zok was involved immediately, linking with Cullen to set up Batchelor who seemed set to score, but sliced his shot well wide.

Having given a controversial penalty against Glencairn earlier, the referee bemused the travelling support again in the 72nd minute when he waved away appeals for a Glencairn spot kick. Zok was clearly bundled from behind causing him to lose control as he ran clear into the penalty area but, as Zok didn't throw himself to the ground despite the clear foul, the referee waved play on.

Barclay replaced Gallacher in Thistle's final change with 14 minutes remaining. East Kilbride hadn't really threatened an equaliser other than from set pieces, and in the 77th minute they almost grabbed it when a corner from the left picked out the head of Kelsall, but he headed against the top of the crossbar and over.

The chances kept coming for Glencairn, though, with Alan Muir drilling a free kick inches over the bar in the 78th minute, and then Dean Muir sliced a shot over the bar after a lovely cushioned header by Cullen.

Glencairn's fans were getting nervous, knowing that Thistle had equalised late in their previous game to draw 3-3, and feared a repeat could be on the cards after all the missed chances at the other end. Cullen pulled a shot wide in the 84th minute after good link play by Batchelor.

Trialist midfielder Paul O'Connor replaced Alan Muir in the 88th minute as Glencairn looked to run down the clock, and The Glens saw the match out comfortably in the closing stages to take the bonus silverware back down the road to New Southcroft Park.

East Kilbride Thistle 2

Hamish Allan presents Glencairn with the Centenary Cup. Long term Glencairn football club member Hamish donated the trophy in 1996 to mark the club's centenary, and it is traditionally played for each season in the first match between The Glens and East Kilbride Thistle.

East Kilbride Thistle - Treacy, Tierney, Johnstone, Kelsall, Smith (Mackie), Gallacher (Barclay), Miles, Hannah, Rodger (O'Kane), McFadden, Stewart. (Sub not used - Prete.)

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Kerr, Shaw, Fraser, Doyle, Neil, Dean Muir, McGuire, Alan Muir (O'Connor), McLaughlin (Zok), Cullen, McCarry (Batchelor). (Subs not used - Dunnachie, Hutchison (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Colin McNab) Paddy Cullen.

Paddy Cullen Paddy Cullen

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