Saturday 23rd April 2016 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division One
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Glens winger Del McNab running at the Kilsyth defence was a feature of the match.
Glencairn made it four wins out of six matches and only one defeat in eight as they deservedly took all three points home to Rutherglen, after a victory over Kilsyth Rangers at Duncansfield Park. The result leaves Glencairn only three points behind 5th place in the league table, and they have now opened up a six-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone.
It was "as you were" for the starting line-up as Willie Harvey named an unchanged team for the third league match in a row, unsurprisingly after last week's victory over Cumnock Juniors. The team were all too aware, however, that the only team to have beaten them in a competitive match over the past three months has been today's opponents, so there were plenty of scores to settle and motivation to win back the points lost at The Celsius Stadium a few weeks ago.
The Glens went for the throat of their hosts right from the kick off, and there was a big decision to make for the referee after only thirty seconds when Del McNab slipped a pass through to Mark Duffy and he was brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Paul Doyle. The whistler chose only to show yellow, to the relief of the home captain. The dramatic start hadn't finished, though, as Alan Muir stepped up to curl a delightful free kick towards goal (pictured below), the ball hitting the underside of the bar via the fingers of goalkeeper Chris Prior, and dropping over the line before Duffy made sure of the goal by lashing the ball into the net, but the strike had already been awarded by the assistant referee for Muir's shot.
Alan Muir curls the ball into the net to give Glencairn a dream start.
That was just the start that the black and white travelling support had been hoping for, and the pressure continued in the 6th minute as Sean McGuire released Del McNab on the right and he had two attempts at low crosses which were blocked away by the home defence. McNab set up Duffy in the 11th minute with a clever pass over the defence, but Grant Hamilton made a good block to deny the striker as Glencairn's positive start to the match continued.
Kilsyth's first serious attempt on goal came in the 15th minute as Damon Welsh's disguised pass gave Doyle a chance to drill in an angled shot, but JC Hutchison beat the ball away at his near post. Glencairn burst immediately to the other end, and McNab out-muscled Kevin McBride before firing for the far corner of the net, Prior tipping the ball round the post at full stretch.
Muir tried to score from the centre circle in the 37th minute after seeing the goalkeeper off his line, but the ball dropped just over the crossbar. Glencairn's defence were looking solid, which is more than could be said for the hosts' back line, and they gifted Glencairn the second goal in the 38th minute. An attempted pass back to Prior instead went straight into the path of prolific striker Mark Duffy, and he didn't need to be asked twice as he fired into the net for his seventh goal in eight games to double the lead at 2-0.
Duffy had a chance to score again in the 43rd minute as a cross from the right was flicked on by Mark Batchelor, but Duffy was leaning backwards and stretching for the ball and fired over the bar from close range.
Kilsyth had a huge chance to pull a goal back right on the half time whistle as Kevin McBride's free kick from the left picked out the free head of his namesake Paul McBride, and he headed wide of the target from six yards out right in front of goal. It was a bad miss, but there were worse to come later in the game !
Half time : 0-2
It was perhaps indicative of the lacklustre showing of the home side that they used all of their substitutions at the interval. Gary Kelly, Corey Pearson and Paul McBride were all left to have an early shower as they were replaced by Michael McGee, Nicky Prentice and Ryan Clougherty respectively. Glencairn unsurprisingly stuck with the starting team who had controlled the match up to that point.
Kilsyth's changes gave them momentum at the start of the second half and they had The Glens pinned back in the early stages after the restart. Glencairn were exposed with defenders caught upfield in the 56th minute as the home side broke rapidly, but Hutchison made an excellent block to deny striker Joe Barclay when a goal seemed a certainty. Welsh glanced a header from the corner and the ball dropped inches wide of the post as the Glens defence held its breath.
Glencairn's first meaningful attack of the second half saw Batchelor burst into the box and fire in a shot which Prior did well to hold at his near post. The game became a much closer contest in the 62nd minute as Kilsyth got their reward for their positive start to the second half. Kevin McBride's corner from the right found the head of Doyle at the back post, and he nodded back across goal where Joe Barclay had the easy task of tapping into the net from a yard out.
The Glens went back on the offensive again to try and re-assert the control they had in the first half, and Tony Fraser's corner was flapped out by Prior into the path of Duffy, whose shot was deflected just wide of the post for another corner.
The entire crowd were astonished in the 65th minute when Kilsyth failed to equalise with a quite incredible miss. Barclay sprung the offside trap on the right and squared into the middle where home players were queuing up to score, but somehow Clougherty mis-hit his shot and allowed Hutchison to make a double save.
Brian Eadie in defensive action as Glencairn hold onto their precious lead.
The referee wasn't interested in Glencairn's penalty appeals in the 70th minute when Fraser's free kick appeared to be blocked by an arm in the defensive wall. Four minutes later Batchelor matched Clougherty's miss at the other end, as he initially beat Prior to a high ball and only had to roll the ball past defender Hamilton to score, but somehow Hamilton managed to block the shot and keep his side in contention. Play swung straight back to the other end, and Prentice's cross couldn't be turned into the net by Livingstone in the middle.
Glencairn made their first change with 14 minutes remaining as Danny Salah replaced McNab on the right of midfield, and with 9 minutes remaining Mark McCarry made his competitive return after a long-term injury as he replaced the injured Fraser.
Ryan Docherty tried his luck in the 84th minute as he stepped out of defence and took a pass from Muir which he fired half a yard over the crossbar. Kilsyth's attacks were by now predictable as they launched the ball long, and they were eaten up by Docherty and David Dunnachie who was having an excellent game in central defence.
Glencairn's defence continued to stand strong, helped out by hard work from the midfield in front of them, and the visitors were in no hurry to do anything as the clock ticked down. Duffy was shown a yellow card for blatantly kicking the ball away in the 90th minute. There was no way back into the game for the hosts, however, and The Glens held on through the three minutes of stoppage time, with the final whistle being greeted by yells of delight from the Glencairn support and players.
Kilsyth Rangers :- Prior, Waters, Kevin McBride, Doyle, Hamilton, Kelly (McGee), Welsh, Pearson (Prentice), Barclay, Paul McBride (Clougherty), Livingstone. (Sub not used - Hogg.)
Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Brown, Eadie, Docherty, Dunnachie, McGuire, McNab (Salah), Batchelor, Duffy, Alan Muir, Fraser (McCarry). (Subs not used - Kemley, Borland, Thomson (gk).)
Man of the match - (chosen by John Sinclair) David Dunnachie.