Saturday 9th September 2017 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division One
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Liam Gormley flicks on a corner towards Jay McKay in the first half.
The number five was high in the thoughts of the Glencairn supporters at the end of this match as the team finally got their first league points on the board with a terrific display at The Celsius Stadium. The manager made five changes to the starting line-up, his team then went on to score five goals, a result which lifted them five places in the league table, and the Man of the Match was wearing no.5 !
There was to be no quiet entry for new striker signing Liam Gormley who had joined the club less than 24 hours before kick off. Willie Harvey threw his new man straight into the starting line-up and gave him the no.9 jersey. He was joined up front by Jay McKay who returned after injury, and also returning to the side were midfielders Sean McGuire and Del McNab.
There was another new face for the fans to have a look at as midfielder Jordan Leyden was given the holding midfield role in place of captain Tony Fraser who had failed a pre-match fitness test on a calf injury. Glencairn are hoping to tie up Leyden on a deal shortly having trained with the club for the past couple of weeks.
The match took a few minutes to get going with both teams nervously feeling each other out after their respective stuttering starts to the new season. The Glens were first to go close in the 7th minute as McKay's free kick round the defensive wall was saved but fumbled by Kilsyth goalkeeper David Kane, but he got up quickly enough to block Gormley's close range rebound attempt.
Glencairn's supporters didn't have to wait much longer for the opening goal, however. A forward pass from defender Craig McGregor in the 12th minute picked out McKay who flicked the ball first time in behind the defence, and Liam Gormley was on to it in a flash as he held off an attempted tug from a defender before rolling the ball past Kane for a debut goal.
Kilsyth had a great chance to equalise almost straight away as a corner kick a minute later picked out the head of Brian Henderson in front of goal, but he couldn't direct the ball on target. Every attack by Glencairn seemed to carry real threat, though, and Ryan McArdle's corner in the 15th minute was flicked on by Gormley at the near post (pictured at top) towards McKay who nodded over the crossbar.
The lead was doubled in the 18th minute and it was the debut man again. A pass over the defence by Andy Neil picked out the willing run of Liam Gormley, and the striker won the battle for the ball with goalkeeper Kane before walking it into the empty net for his and Glencairn's second goal.
Liam Gormley is mobbed by his team mates after scoring his second goal on his debut.
Kilsyth captain Scott Davidson had been his side's best player by some distance so far, but his attempted long-range shot in the 21st minute almost hit the corner flag and that rather summed up his side's frustration at how the game was going. In contrast, Glencairn were busy and full of energy in midfield, with Leyden sharp and tidy in his passing and Jamie Hamilton a continual threat when he got on the ball in central areas.
A delightful piece of skill by Hamilton released McKay on the left and his cross was cleared out only as far as Leyden. The midfielder didn't break stride as he rattled in a bending shot which had Kane beaten all ends up, the ball clattering off the inside of the post and flashing back across goal and back out to safety for the visitors' relieved defence.
The threat continued as Leyden released Del McNab on the right and he rolled the ball across the face of goal, defender Scott Falconer clearing for a corner just before McKay could convert. Chances kept coming for Glencairn, Kane saving from Gormley and Leyden slicing a shot narrowly wide. The pressure paid off in the 31st minute as Glencairn made it 3-0. McArdle's corner from the left was cleared out only as far as the edge of the penalty area where Jamie Hamilton was waiting to hit a sweet volley which flew past Kane with the help of a slight deflection.
The Glens were in no mood to take their foot off the pedal, and McArdle's cross from the left was headed over the bar by McKay, before Gormley almost completed a debut hat-trick in spectacular fashion as his close range overhead kick was cleared off the goal line by a Kilsyth defender.
The visitors almost found a way back into the game as half time approached as they went close twice in a few seconds. Przemyslaw Dachnowicz saw his curled cross rebound from the far post as Glencairn no.1 Jack Baker seemed to misjudge it, but Baker was on hand only moments later to palm Gary Wright's shot round the post for a corner kick.
Normal service was restored before the break, though, as Glencairn went close again, McKay releasing McNab on the right and the ball flashing across the face of goal just too far in front of the strikers.
Half time : 3-0
Jordan Leyden and Jamie Hamilton were in fine form in midfield for Glencairn.
There were no personnel changes at half time, and the second half started as the first half had ended, with Glencairn straight back onto the attack. Hamilton burst past defenders into the penalty area on the right hand side, but his cross was deflected in behind the strikers.
McArdle sliced a shot wide of goal after more creation by Hamilton, before Gormley spun away from his marker and linked with McKay, the final shot slipping narrowly wide of the post in the 57th minute. There was still no let-up, and Kane palmed away a stinging effort by Leyden, followed by Gormley headed just wide.
Gormley left the field on the hour mark to warm applause, and he was replaced up front by Gary Smith. Kilsyth made two changes as Andy McLaughlin replaced Davidson and Phil Dolan came on for Henderson.
Kilsyth pulled a goal back in the 66th minute to put some doubts into the heads of the home supporters, Andy McLaughlin curling a shot from 25 yards which seemed to catch Baker by surprise as the ball curled past the big goalkeeper's late dive and into the far corner.
With their side having played so well and created so many chances, there was an understandable nervousness in the home support as they saw the visitors getting a lifeline. Kilsyth clearly saw a chance to get back into contention, and Thomas Denholm replaced defender Christopher Marin in their final substitution.
The nerves in the home support increased as another golden chance was passed up in the 68th minute. Smith held the ball up well before feeding McKay who dribbled past the last defender but then fired straight at Kane from close range. Stewart Hall replaced McArdle in Glencairn's second change, McNab now switching to the left flank.
All of the tension in the black and white ranks disappeared again in the 71st minute as the 3-goal lead was re-established. Smith's cross from the right was cleverly cushioned by McNab into the path of Jay McKay, and last season's top scorer simply couldn't miss from right in front of goal.
That was to be McKay's final contrinution to the game as he was replaced by Alessandro Savarese in the 73rd minute in Glencairn's last substitution. The pressure towards the Kilsyth goal continued with McNab firing an angled shot just high and wide, and then Smith almost set up Savarese after getting free on the right side of the penalty area.
Baker saved a curling free kick by Wright in the 82nd minute as Kilsyth tried to reduce the deficit, and Baker was called on to save again as he got down low to smother a shot by Dachnowicz.
The afternoon was rounded off perfectly for the home support as their side grabbed a fifth goal in the 87th minute. Some more outrageous skill by Jamie Hamilton on the left saw him skip away from his marker, and then he made space for himself to fire in a shot which was deflected into the top left hand corner of the net to make it 5-1.
Dolan's cross on the turn hit the face of the crossbar for Kilsyth in the final minute and Smith's shot was smothered at the near post by Baker, but it was too little too late from the visitors, and The Glens fans went home delighted at what they had watched.
Rutherglen Glencairn :- Baker, McGregor, Neil, Donaldson, Leyden, McGuire, McNab, Hamilton, Gormley (Smith), McArdle (Hall), McKay (Savarese). (Subs not used - Palmer, Bennett, McAllister (gk).)
Kilsyth Rangers :- Kane, Reid, Martin (Denholm), Falconer, Harrison, Wright, McFadden, Smith, Henderson (Dolan), Davidson (McLaughlin), Dachnowicz. (Subs not used - Farrell, Duke (gk).)
Man of the match - (chosen by Jim Rae) Jordan Leyden.