Saturday 3rd July 2021 - Pre-season friendly match
A young Glencairn line-up slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to fellow WoSFL Premier Division side Hurlford United in the latest pre-season friendly match.
With six first team squad members unavailable for selection, manager Willie Harvey called on several members of the talented Under 21 squad. No fewer that 50% of the matchday players were either current u21 squad members or have recently graduated from the u21s, with striker Jack McIlveen making his first ever appearance for the first team.
Their cause wasn't helped either by a red card for midfielder Drew Wingate only seconds before the half time whistle, but the young team stuck in well and were unfortunate not to take a draw from the game.
The opening half hour was a very even contest with very little in the way of goalmouth incidents, but things were sparked when goalkeeper Scott McLellan was forced to dive to his right to palm away a dipping angled shot from 20 yards. Glencairn responded as Tommy Lone latched onto a clever move on the edge of the penalty area and pulled a fine save out of Hurlford's newly-signed goalkeeper Craig Burns.
The home side rattled the upright close to half time, before the defining moment of the match only seconds before the half time whistle. Drew Wingate miscontrolled the ball and then tried to make a recovery tackle, leading with his studs towards the ball. Whether he made any contact with the United player is questionable, but the referee deemed his challenge to be serious foul play and immediately produced a straight red card.
Half time : 0-0
Glencairn re-shaped to a 4-4-1 for the second half, and it was always going to be a hard shift on a muggy afternoon with a man less. Just as the home side were beginning to get frustrated and firing shots well off target from long distances, the ball broke kindly inside the penalty area for Paul McKenzie who drilled his shot low past McLellan to make it 1-0.
The Glens hadn't thrown in the towel, though, and a surging run up the left by Scott Schoneville almost ended in him setting up substitute striker Marcus Fraser, but the ball broke just behind its target. Michael Lone's pace and power continued to keep the home defence on their toes, but McLellan was forced into two saves to keep The Glens in the contest towards the end of the match.
In the end it was a good afternoon for the fitness and another 90 minutes in the tank as the build-up to the start of the season continues.
Hurlford United :- Burns, McIntyre, Magee, Miller, Paul McKenzie, Bell, Morrison, Mark McKenzie, Mullen, Wilson, Sloan. (Substitutes - Liddington, Whittaker, Muir, McKnight, Frew, McDonald.)
Rutherglen Glencairn :- McLellan, Hall, Schoneville (Leitch), Shields, Coleman, McGuire (Thomson), Michael Lone (Henderson), Wingate, McIlveen (Fraser), Tommy Lone, Mitchell (Smith).
Yellow cards - Harry Mitchell (28 minutes), Scott Schoneville (35 minutes), Ross Smith (88 minutes).
Red card - Drew Wingate (45 minutes).
Man of the Match - (chosen by Andy Handlin) Keirin Coleman.