Monday 19th February 2018 - Friendly match
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Jamie Hamilton looks for an opening late in the match.
Glencairn manager Willie Harvey took the opportunity to have a look at a few trialists and some under 21 players as he mixed up the starting line-up for this friendly match against Super Premier League side Kirkintilloch Rob Roy. It turned into an entertaining evening to reward the small crowd who braved the drizzle at Glasgow Green Football Centre with some excellent football on show from both sides.
There were two trialists in the starting XI for Glencairn as well as a trialist goalkeeper and two under 21 squad players on the substitutes' bench. The rest of the team included valued pitch time for striker Alessandro Savarese and a welcome return to action for playmaker Jamie Hamilton after his recent injury.
After an opening spell with chances at both ends, the opening goal arrived for Glencairn in the 10th minute. Del McNab's pass saw the Rob Roy defence stop expecting an offside whistle which didn't happen, and Alessandro Savarese took full advantage to run through and calmly place his shot beyond former Glencairn goalkeeper Steven McNeil.
Rob Roy looked to respond quickly and Glencairn's defence was at full stretch to deny efforts by Gary McCulloch, Scott Walker and Stefan Law, all with shots from the edge of the penalty area. Glencairn had chances to increase their lead, with McNeil denying trialist striker Paolo Buzzi on a couple of occasions, however Rob Roy got what was a deserved equaliser in the 26th minute.
A crossfield pass from left to right picked out Andrew Johnstone, and his precise cross came right onto the head of Joe Slattery who nodded the ball past Jack Baker from close range.
Rob Roy's passing was slick and efficient, and Law was off target with a couple of firm shots from distance while Willie Sawyers headed narrowly over before Baker saved a header by Danny Boyle.
There was a big shout for a penalty kick for Glencairn just before half time as Savarese pounced on a slip by Boyle and cut into the penalty area between two defenders who appeared to trip him, but the referee wasn't interested and waved play on.
Half time : 1-1
There were three changes for Glencairn at half time including the introduction of trialist 'keeper Ryan Hay and under 21 midfielder Cammy Ferrier.
The second half didn't start well for The Glens, though, as Rob Roy were gifted the lead in the 49th minute. A corner from the right was met by an attempted defensive clearance header which flew the wrong way, and Connor Hughes couldn't believe his luck as the ball dropped at his feet to score from six yards out right in front of goal.
Glencairn introduced another u21 player as midfielder Jack Ferguson replaced trialist Michael McGinty, and shortly afterwards the front two of Buzzi and Savarese were replaced by Liam Gormley and Jay McKay.
Hamilton produced a piece of magic in the 62nd minute to almost bring Glencairn level, as he skipped past two markers on halfway and saw substitute 'keeper Alex Connell off his line. The shot from just outside the centre circle was dipping into the net, but Connell produced a wonderful save by diving backwards to tip the ball over the bar at full stretch.
The resulting corner was met by the head of Jordan Leyden and the ball smacked off the crossbar as Glencairn continued to press for an equaliser. They got their reward in the 75th minute with a well-worked goal. The ball was fed to McKay on the edge of the penalty area, and he held the ball up well before laying it into the path of Jamie Hamilton who drilled a low shot past Connell from 18 yards out.
The Glens sensed a chance to win the game, and a vital defensive header by Boyle denied Gormley as he looked to get on the end of McNab's inviting cross. The 81st minute saw a golden chance to take the lead spurned. Leyden's accurate cross from the right was missed in the air by Boyle and was chested down perfectly by McKay, who then only had Connell to beat. Instead of shooting, though, McKay rolled the ball to Gormley who didn't seem to be expecting it, and Gormley's shot was blocked away by two defenders in front of goal.
Only two minutes later Rob Roy showed a much more clinical touch as they grabbed a winning goal for themselves. The ball was worked to Stefan Law on the edge of the penalty area, and he fired an unsaveable left foot shot into the top left corner of the net.
Further chances for Daniel MacKenzie and Johnstone were denied by saves by Hay as Rob Roy controlled the closing minutes to see out their win, but both managers seemed pleased with what they had got out of the evening.
Rutherglen Glencairn :- Baker (Hay), Hall, McGregor (Kerr), Fraser, Hamilton, Leyden, McNab, McGuire (Ferrier), Buzzi (Gormley), McGinty (Ferguson), Savarese (McKay).
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy :- McNeil, Walker, MacKenzie, McMenamin, Boyle, McCulloch, Johnstone, Law, Sawyers, Hughes, Slattery. (Subs - O'Halloran, Morris, Carroll, Mackie, Watt, Fraser, Connell (gk).)
Man of the match - (chosen by Peter Ferguson) Jordan Leyden.