Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club


Glasgow Perthshire 4 Rutherglen Glencairn 2

Saturday 18th October 2014 - New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup Round One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Glasgow Perthshire 2

Mark Bishop goes close with a first half header.

The Glens tumbled out of the West of Scotland Cup at the first round stage as a shambolic second half performance by referee Mr Chris Gentles led to the home side coming from behind to take their place in round two.

Glencairn were still without top goal scorer Jamie Gilmartin through injury, but there was the very welcome sight of Denis McLaughlin taking his place in the starting line-up for the first time since badly injuring his knee 18 months ago. There were also starting places for Gavin Ross, Jamie MacLeod, Willie Galloway and David Dunnachie as manager Willie Harvey shuffled his pack to keep the whole squad fresh and match fit.

'Shire were first to show and Mark Tait's clever flick set up an opportunity for Derek McNab in the 4th minute, but Dunnachie got over to make a crucial block on John Hempstead in the middle. Glencairn's first proper sight of goal came in the 7th minute as Ross Ballantyne's cross from the right was headed wide by Mark Bishop, with Dunnachie caught underneath him probably putting him off (pictured at top).

Ross saw his 9th minute shot saved by home goalkeeper Justin Smith, and Bishop volleyed over from the resulting corner. A delightful back heel by Tait at the other end set up John Hempstead for a shot, which Glens no. JC Hutchison managed to do enough to deflect wide, a great save.

McLaughlin stung the palms of Smith with a left foot rising shot from 25 yards, before Hutchison saved from McNab's weak header a few minutes later. Del Esplin was bossing the midfield at this stage, and a brilliant pass wide gave Ross the chance to cut infield and shoot, the effort flashing narrowly wide from 20 yards.

The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute, as Hutchison's long kick came over the top of the home defence. As Ross rose to challenge, Smith could only punch clear as far as Del Esplin, who calmly lobbed the ball back over the goalkeeper and into the empty net.

Glasgow Perthshire 1 

Del Esplin takes the congratulations of his team mates after opening the scoring.

Glencairn were well on top at this point, and Andy Neil's cross from the left found the head of Bishop again, and his header beat Smith but was hooked away from just in front of goal by Mark Butler. A few seconds later Smith blocked at the feet of Ross and did well to get up to also block the rebound effort by McLaughlin.

Perthshire came close to equalising in the 35th minute as Findlay McKenzie's free kick swung across the face of goal, just out of the reach of Hempstead and McNab who were sliding in.

The Glens doubled their lead in the 38th minute as Jordan Dalzell's free kick picked out the free head of Mark Bishop, and this time the big defender made no mistake as he placed his header low into the corner of the net, beating Smith at his near post.

Mark Bishop Mark Bishop

It seemed to most spectators that Glencairn were now going to win the game comfortably, but how wrong they were to be. Perthshire were right back in the match in the 42nd minute when the referee blew for a penalty kick, ruling that Neil had shoved his opponent in the box and showing a yellow card. Mark Begg stepped up to send Hutchison the wrong way and revive the match as a contest.

Half time : 1-2

There were no personnel changes at the interval, but a match which had been relatively free of major talking points was about to explode into a second half of refereeing bewilderment.

'Shire had clearly upped the tempo of their game as they shot down the slight slope at Keppoch Park, with Begg and Hempstead both firing early second half efforts off target. The 55th minute saw a moment which left most of the fans in the ground either laughing in delight or furious. A lovely reverse pass set up Derek McNab, whose shot smacked off the underside of the bar, bounced down and back out of goal. The referee decided to award a goal, however from his position on the pitch there is no possible way that he could have been certain that the full ball crossed the line. Home supporters near the goal later admitted that the ball had bounced outwards and didn't even touch the line, never mind cross it for a goal.

However, the equaliser was given, and suddenly the momentum was with the hosts. Both sides made immediate substitutions, 'Shire bringing on Derek Cahoon to replace Begg, and Glencairn replacing the injured Ballantyne with Keiran Donaghy.

There were huge shouts for a penalty for Glencairn on the hour mark when the ball struck a home defender's arm in the penalty area, but the whistler simply wasn't interested. Two minutes later Jamie MacLeod worked his way to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Ross, whose effort was deflected wide.

'Shire went close again when the referee allowed Tait to run clear on the left despite looking to be yards offside, but he sliced his shot high and wide. The mid point of the second half saw Thomas Kilmartin replace Ross up front for Glencairn.

If the referee hadn't already upset the visiting support and pleased the home support enough, he exacerbated both emotions ten-fold in the 69th minute when he awarded another penalty kick to Perthshire and flashed a second yellow card and a red card to Andy Neil, when McNab seemed to fall over as an after-thought after MacLeod had taken the ball off him. Ross Cameron took the spot kick this time, and fired Perthshire ahead in front of two sets of disbelieving supporters with contrasting emotions.

The referee showed some blatant inconsistency when, in the 77th minute, he showed a yellow card to Tait for a foul on Dalzell, and then failed to show a second yellow to the same player only two minutes later for an almost identical foul on Esplin. Glencairn made their final change with Steven McClung replacing MacLeod as Glencairn went to a 3-3-3 formation to try to rescue their place in the cup. It left the defence somewhat exposed, however it was a gamble that had to be taken.

Tait fired over the bar from 8 yards as Perthshire threatened to capitalise on Glencairn's shortage in numbers. Glencairn were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 87th minute when Esplin was fouled. McLaughlin drilled the set piece just over the bar.

The referee was to have one final say on the match in the final minute as he awarded Perthshire a fourth goal despite being clearly offside. Tait worked his way through the defence and had only Hutchison to beat, but rolled the ball to the side and slightly forward to John Hempstead who was clearly offside, and he rolled the ball into the net with the referee awarding the goal.

And so Glencairn's wait to win the only cup they've never won goes on, but the circumstances of today's defeat left manager Willie Harvey too angry to make an official comment.

Glasgow Perthshire :- Smith, McKenzie, Butler, Mansare, Hynes, McPhee, McNab, Cameron, Hempstead, Begg (Cahoon), Tait. (Subs not used - Michael, Atkin, Glen, Baker (gk).)

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Galloway, Neil, Bishop, Dunnachie, Dalzell, Ballantyne (Donaghy), Esplin, McLaughlin, Ross (Kilmartin), MacLeod (McClung). (Subs not used - Low, Thomson.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Jamie Gilmartin) Del Esplin.

Del Esplin Del Esplin


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