Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Rutherglen Glencairn 1 Maybole Juniors 1

Saturday 2nd April 2016 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Maybole Juniors 1

Glencairn put pressure on the Maybole goal in the first half.

Glencairn's wait for a win at home in the league this season goes on as a fourth match out of seven at home ended in a draw. The club and its fans were left fuming, however, by a diabolical decision by the assistant referee to award Maybole a goal early in the second half, when nobody else in the ground thought that the ball had crossed the line.

Willie Harvey made only one change to the team and substitutes after last week's away win at Shotts Bon Accord, with Graeme Brown returning after four weeks out through injury, taking his place at right back instead of under 21 defender Josh McCorry.

Both teams came into the match with lots of motivation to go full on for the three points to aid their fight to get away from the drop zone, with Maybole's predicament particularly desperate. That was obvious in the opening moments of the game, with the visitors on the front foot and Michael Reilly pulling a save out of JC Hutchison with a shot on the turn in the 3rd minute.

Glencairn had the better of the pressure in the next five minutes without testing Grant Weir in the Maybole goal, but the visitors went close again in the 13th minute. Alan Love's corner from the right was met by the free head of Reilly, and David Dunnachie was forced into an excellent clearance off the goal line.

Gradually, though, Glencairn's pressure grew at the other end, and Derek McNab's delivery from the right was causing concern for the Maybole defence. Tony Fraser's right foot shot from 20 yards was blocked out for a corner kick, and the resulting cross was punched out by Weir (pictured at top), but the ball was returned into the box and Dunnachie's overhead kick attempt dropped half a yard wide of the target.

The Glens should have been ahead at the mid point of the first half, as McNab's cross from the right found its way through to Fraser who seemed to only need to contact with the ball to score, but he was stretching for the ball and agonisingly sent his effort over the crossbar.

The home side were well on top at this point, but danger man Reilly was still posing a threat at the other end as he skipped past Ryan Docherty before pulling his shot across goal and wide. Mark Duffy was next to go close for Glencairn after he was set up by a quick-thinking move by McNab and Mark Batchelor, but the big striker's drilled shot flashed wide of the far post.

Glencairn were getting closer, and McNab struck the outside of the woodwork in the 41st minute after good persistent play by Duffy and Fraser. The frustration continued for the home support two minutes later as a lovely passing move involving Alan Muir and Fraser ended with Weir saving at the feet of Duffy as he seemed set to score.

Half time : 0-0

Maybole Juniors 2

Del McNab was a major threat to Maybole in the first half.

The second half started in the same manner, with Batchelor's cross to the back post picking out Fraser who sliced his volley over the crossbar. The referee angered the home contingent by allowing a Maybole player to block a quick Glencairn free kick from less than a yard away, and then allowing play to continue, resulting in a breakaway from which Maybole had a good chance to score. The whistler's blushes were spared when the resulting corner was headed wide by Maybole defender Stuart Peacock. The visitors were having their best spell in the game at this point, and Hutchison made a terrific save to deny a bullet header by Steven Shankland in the 54th minute.

A minute later came the moment that baffled everybody in the ground and left the black and white contingent furious. JC Hutchison made a comfortable save above his head just in front of his goal line, but took a step backwards in the process while holding the ball in the air in front of him. The assistant referee astonishingly signalled to the referee that a goal should be awarded to Maybole, without any claims for a goal from the visiting team. Everybody seemed confused, and the Maybole players seemed somewhat embarrassed, but weren't complaining, while the Glencairn players vehemently protested to no avail, and a goal was awarded. It was a simply diabolical decision, the ball simply did not cross the line or even go close to doing so.

JC Hutchison JC Hutchison

The sense of injustice around the stadium from the home support and players was strong, but the players channelled that in the right manner by using their anger to get back on level terms quickly. It took only five minutes for the scores to be levelled, a short corner being rolled to Alan Muir, who picked his spot in the far corner of the net with a beautiful curling effort from twenty yards, his first goal for the club.

Alan Muir Alan Muir

Hutchison was shown yellow for an over-exhuberant celebration of the goal, as the assistant referee remarkably continued to show no embarrassment about his earlier howler.

It seemed at this point that there would be only one winner, and McNab fed Duffy whose shot was blocked away at the near post for another corner. Sean McGuire was harshly booked for handball, and that was to prove to be a significant moment later in the match.

Glencairn's push for the lead continued as Muir's shot was deflected wide for yet another corner, and then the referee waved away penalty appeals after Docherty's header appeared to strike a defender's arm. Weir produced a save to deny McNab at his near post in the 69th minute as the momentum towards the visitors' goal continued. Batchelor headed wide from the corner kick that followed.

Hutchison remained on his toes at the other end, however, and made an excellent fingertip save to deny John Frame, although the Maybole player was clearly offside from the cross that picked him out, but the assistant referee's flag didn't going up this time.

The momentum of the game changed in the 75th minute as Glencairn were reduced to 10 men. McGuire dived into a mis-timed challenge on the edge of the penalty area, and he received a second yellow and the inevitable red from the referee. Maybole made an immediate change, withdrawing striker Andy Stevenson and replacing him with Roddy Paterson.

The Glens still had plenty of threat, though, with Brown feeding Duffy and the big striker's shot being parried away at full stretch by Weir. A brilliant pass by Muir released McNab through on goal in the 77th minute but, although he turned inside one defender, an excellent sliding challenge by Ryan McKay snuffed out the chance to shoot.

Both sides made more changes at this point, with Trialist no.15 replacing Brown at right back and Paddy Cullen replacing the tiring Duffy up front for The Glens. Declan Murphy replaced Shankland for Maybole.

It didn't seem that Glencairn were a man down as they continued to create chances, Fraser's cross from the right almost picking out McNab at the back post, Neil McGowan making an important defensive header from right in front of his own goal. Glencairn's final change saw under 21 midfielder Peter Copland replace Muir with six minutes remaining.

Maybole sensed Glencairn's legs were tiring and tried to use their extra man in the closing minutes to try to steal all three points, but they were met by stern resistance by Hutchison who was determined to keep the ball out of his net for the full game for the second week in a row, no matter what the man with the flag was saying. The big stopper made an excellent double save to deny Reilly and Paterson before beating away a header by Murphy in stoppage time.

The final chance fell for Glencairn in the 93rd minute as Cullen fed Fraser on the edge of the penalty area, but he snatched at his shot and it flew well over the crossbar from 20 yards.

And so yet another home match ends in a frustrating draw for The Glens, another match that should have been won. The officials left the field to angry  shouts from the home supporters, making it crystal clear what they thought about the decision to award Maybole's "goal that never was".

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Brown (Trialist), Eadie, Docherty, Dunnachie, McGuire, McNab, Batchelor, Duffy (Cullen), Alan Muir (Copland), Fraser. (Subs not used - Trialist, Trialist (gk).)

Maybole Juniors :- Weir, Frame, McGowan, McKay, Peacock, Love, Cuthbertson, Cameron, Stevenson (Paterson), Reilly, Shankland (Murphy). (Subs not used - Todd, Whittaker.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Andy Handlin) Derek McNab.

Derek McNab Derek McNab

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