Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club


Kilsyth Rangers 2 Rutherglen Glencairn 1

Saturday 17th February 2018 - West Region Super League Division One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Kilsyth Rangers 1

Club captain Tony Fraser in action in his usual midfield anchor role.

Glencairn suffered a dent to their promotion ambitions as they stumbled to defeat away to Kilsyth Rangers. Despite dominating for long periods of the match, it was missed chances which came back to haunt The Glens as the home side took full advantage to claim all three points.

Willie Harvey had some selection headaches in the build-up to this game, with influential sweeper Rhys Donaldson unavailable and defender Andy Neil missing through illness. Craig Palmer declared himself fit enough to replace Donaldson at sweeper, despite not being 100% fit himself. Jamie Hamilton remained on the sidelines with a groin injury, and he was joined by top goal scorer Gary Smith who injured his back in last weekend's friendly match. Jordan Leyden returned in midfield after recent work commitments and Liam Gormley replaced Smith up front.

Glens no.1 Jack Baker took a sore hit after only 40 seconds as he stretched to palm away Franny Kelly's cross as the Kilsyth strikers piled in on goal, but the big stopper recovered to play on after treatment. Glencairn started to threaten and created their first real chance in the 6th minute, Sean McGuire winning possession and feeding Jordan Leyden who curled a shot wide of goal from 12 yards.

The 10th minute saw Gormley bundled from behind for what looked like a clear cut penalty kick, but the referee waved play on to the surprise of most of the crowd. A slack pass by Leyden a minute later set up a chance for Kilsyth as Scott Davidson fed Ian Diack, but Palmer's vital block deflected the ball over the crossbar.

How Glencairn didn't take the lead in the 13th minute was baffling as a cross was met by the head of Ryan Kerr and then from almost on the goal line by Craig McGregor, but somehow Kilsyth got enough bodies onto the goal line to keep the ball from crossing it, and the scoreline remained blank.

The home side took the lead in the 21st minute very much against the run of play. A cross from the left wasn't cut out by Baker and, with defenders being sucked towards the ball, Kilsyth striker Alan McFadden was left free at the back post to volley into the net from an 12 yards.

Glencairn were rocked by this setback, and Kilsyth looked to capitalise a couple of minutes later as Diack's flick set up Davidson for a dipping shot which flew wide of goal. The Glens were soon back on the front foot, though, and two home defenders had to throw themselves in front of the ball to block Jay McKay's goal-bound shot from 18 yards. Two minutes later Leyden's cross from the right was heading for McKay, but defender Jack Harrison did well to divert the ball over his own crossbar when he could easily have sliced it into his own net.

The travelling support were shaking their heads in disbelief again from the resulting corner as the ball came to the back post where Gormley nodded the ball back to Kerr. Again a goal seemed a certainty, but he succeeded only in nodding the ball weakly into the grateful hands of home goalkeeper David Kane.

Kilsyth were very much a threat in forward areas, however, and McFadden escaped the attention of Kerr in the 28th minute before firing an angled shot which rose half a yard over the crossbar. The general flow of play was still towards the Kilsyth goal, however, and Glencairn continued to be wasteful. Nice build-up play by Stewart Hall and Gormley ended with McKay firing over the crossbar. The same player scuffed a shot straight at Kane moments later after a clever flick by Leyden had set up the chance.

The Glens couldn't have hoped for a better chance to equalise than in the 38th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick. Ryan McArdle got free on the left and his cross was clearly handled by Harrison as he slid to try and block the ball. The normally reliable Jay McKay was made to wait a few seconds by the referee as he ran to the dugout area to consult his assistant, but when the kick was taken McKay hit a poor effort which Kane saved down low to his right.

You could see the frustration growing in the Glencairn players as the match was not going to plan, and that was summed up by Leyden's shot from 20 yards which flew well over the bar when better passing options were probably available.

Half time : 1-0

Kilsyth Rangers 3 Kilsyth Rangers 2

Ryan Kerr and Craig Palmer in first half defensive action.

Kilsyth made a change at the interval as Stuart Livingston replaced Danny Smith in midfield, while Glencairn stuck to their starting line-up and shape.

The Glens started the second half on the front foot, but Kilsyth were first to go close as McFadden's dangerous cross from the right had to be cut out for a corner by Craig McGregor. The cross from the corner flashed right across the face of goal with nobody attacking the ball either offensively or defensively. The frustration continued for the black and white supporters as Hall linked well with McGregor on the right and the ball pinballed around the six yard box before bouncing away from goal.

As Glencairn pushed for an equaliser, they were leaving themselves a little short defensively, and Kilsyth took full advantage to double their lead in the 54th minute. A breakaway saw the defence stretched, and Baker produced a fine save to deny Andrew McLaughlin's shot, but Davidson's heel was clipped as he tried to latch onto the rebound and a penalty kick was awarded. Scott Davidson took the kick himself and, despite Baker getting a hand to the ball, it hit the net to make it 2-0.

It was always going to be a long way back for Glencairn now, but it could have been worse as Leyden was caught in possession on the halfway line. Diack was slipped through on goal but pulled his attempted chip narrowly wide of goal.

Leyden was involved at the other end a minute later as he fired a free kick over the defensive wall but straight into the arms of Kane on his goal line. The hour mark saw a change of shape as Leyden was withdrawn and replaced by Del McNab, with McKay asked to play in behind a front two of McNab and Gormley. Five minutes later McNab was moved to the left as striker Alessandro Savarese replaced McArdle.

It was almost all one-way traffic now as Glencairn threw everything the ycould forward to try to recover the match, but all too often the team reverted to hopeful long balls to the strikers which were of little effect. A long throw by McKay dropped into the path of McGuire, but he fired his shot over the bar from 18 yards.

The mid point of the second half almost saw Kilsyth put the game beyond Glencairn as they had a 3-on-1 against the defence, but Baker did just enough to smother the ball at the feet of Diack, despite an initial fumble. Kilsyth went close again moments later as Thomas Denholm cut in from the left and fired an angled shot across goal and wide of the far post.

McNab was next to try his luck with a free kick from 25 yards which flew a couple of yards over the crossbar. Kilsyth's second substitution saw Corey Pearson replace goal scorer Davidson after 76 minutes, and with five minutes remaining Ryan Conville replaced McFadden as Kilsyth now looked confident of holding onto their lead.

Glencairn kept at it, though, and McKay's long throw from the left fell to McNab whose angled shot was deflected just over the bar. The next cross into the box wasn't dealt with by the home defence, and it fell perfectly for Liam Gormley to fire the ball into the net from close range, his 8th goal in 8 starts since joining the club.

Liam Gormley

That set up an "all or nothing" finish for Glencairn and they threw bodies forward more in hope than expectation of an equaliser. But the home side were in no mood to throw away their win, and they held on without any real scares through to the referee's final whistle at the end of the 93rd minute.

Kilsyth Rangers :- Kane, Franny Kelly, Denholm, Harrison, Hughes, Gary Kelly, Smith (Livingstone), Davidson (Pearson), Diack, McLaughlin, McFadden (Conville). (Subs not used - Dolan, Duke (gk).)

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Baker, McGregor, Palmer, Kerr, Fraser, McGuire, Hall, Leyden (McNab), Gormley, McArdle (Savarese), McKay. (Subs not used - Dempsey, Chrystal, Hutchison (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Colin McNab) Craig Palmer.

Craig Palmer


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