Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Rutherglen Glencairn 10 Nia-Roo AFC 2

Saturday 16th May 2015 - Friendly match

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Nia-Roo AFC 2

Thomas Kilmartin is denied a 5-minute hat-trick by Nia-Roo goalkeeper Kevin Blacker.

With their season unexpectedly extended by a couple of weeks due to the postponement of the final league game, The Glens arranged a leg-stretcher friendly match against amateur side Nia-Roo AFC to keep the fitness levels of the squad up ahead of the rearranged league match scheduled for Monday evening.

Nia-Roo came to New Southcroft Park as champions of the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL Division Four and having scored 102 goals in their 15 league matches this season. But the gulf between their level and that of Glencairn was obvious as The Glens showed their visitors what it felt like to be on the end of one of the thrashings that they have regularly been handing out this season.

Glencairn started with two trialists, one in goal and one striker, while the rest of the starting XI were regular squad members. The substitutes' bench also had two of the unused players from the under 21 squad who had lifted the Lady Darling Cup only the night before, defenders Josh McCorry and Kevin McBride.

I will restrict this report to the goals and a few of other major chances, as I could be here all night reporting the goal scoring incidenets in the ninety minutes !

It didn't take long for Glencairn to open the scoring, Nia-Roo goalkeeper Kevin Blacker unable to hold the ball as he tried to block Sean McGuire, and the midfielder dribbled round him and rolled the ball into the net.

Sean McGuire Sean McGuire

The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute when Del Esplin lifted a pass over the defence where Trialist no.10 had sprung the offside trap, and the striker stabbed the ball past Blacker to make it 2-0. A few minutes later there was a blow for Glencairn as a late tackle saw Andy Neil limp off injured, and young McCorry was thrown into the action in central defence.

Ther game was over as a contest after half an hour, when Sean McGuire linked well with Ross McNeil and then dribbled round Blacker for a composed finish, his second and Glens' third goal.

Nia-Roo came close to scoring in the 36th minute, Stephen Jamieson cutting the ball back into the path of Anthony Galbraith whose shot was cleared off the line by David Dunnachie. A few seconds later Scott Arthur fired a deflected shot across the face of goal and wide for a corner.

The amateur side were having a good spell in the game at this point, and they got a deserved goal back when a slack pass by Dean Muir was pounced on by Alan Morrison, and he produced an impressive finish past the Trialist no.1.

That seemed to spark The Glens back into action, and Trialist no.10 almost got his second goal as he got on the end of Graeme Brown's cross, but his hooked shot flashed inches wide of the far post. He didn't have to wait much longer, though, as Glencairn made it 4-1 in the 44th minute, Trialist no.10 dribbling into the penalty area and winning a battle with the Blacker before rolling the ball into the net from a tight angle.

Glencairn manager Willie Harvey was heard to comment on his way off the park at half time, "If McGuire scores a hat trick I'm chucking it." More on that later.

Half time : 4-1

Nia-Roo AFC 1

Thomas Kilmartin races through on goal early in the second half.

Glencairn made three changes at the interval, with McBride coming on to partner McCorry in a young central defence, while strikers Thomas Kilmartin and Denis McLaughlin replaced McNeil and Trialist no.10.

There was an early shock for Glencairn in the second half when Nia-Roo pulled another goal back after only 20 seconds, a cross from the left picking out Joseph Gordon who stretched to fire into the net from 8 yards to make it 4-2. Gordon almost pulled another goal back in the 50th minute as he flashed a shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Glencairn's superior fitness began to tell quite dramatically, though, as the match approached the hour mark. It was 5-2 in the 57th minute when McGuire bustled his way into the penalty area and fed Thomas Kilmartin, who produced a typically composed finish.

Nia-Roo AFC 3

Thomas Kilmartin rolls the ball into the net for Glencairn's fifth goal.

Two minutes later it was 6-2, and it was a very similar goal as once again McGuire cut in from the right, with Thomas Kilmartin applying the finish from 12 yards for his 2nd goal in 3 minutes.

Thomas Kilmartin Thomas Kilmartin

Kilmartin was denied a 5-minute hat trick in the 62nd minute when Blacker somehow managed to parry away Deco's close range volley (pictured at top). A minute later Blacker impressed again as he dived full length to tip McLaughlin's goal-bound shot round the post. Kilmartin's curled free kick in the 70th minute took a coat of paint off the outside of the post, before James Buchanan cleared off the line a couple of minutes later after McLaughlin had dribbled round the goalkeeper.

The pressure was relentless from Glencairn now as Nia-Roo were being passed off the park. It was 7-2 in the 73rd minute when Kris Irvine's cross from the right dropped over Blacker and into the net at the far post.

Kris Irvine Kris Irvine

The 76th minute brought the goal that brought the biggest cheer from the Glencairn support as Sean McGuire completed his hat trick, skipping past a few challenges and firing into the net. The Glencairn committee members started a chorus of "Cheerio, cheerio !" as they sarcastically waved in the direction of the manager.

As if to rub salt into his manager's embarrassing wounds, Sean McGuire scored his fourth goal and Glencairn's 9th as he got on the end of Brown's cross and fired past Blacker from close range. Speculation began amongst the committee about who was next to fall on his sword.

The visitors were out on their feet now, and were hanging on to try and avoid conceding double figures, but they were foiled in the 89th minute by a quite brilliant lobbed finish into the top left hand corner by Denis McLaughlin to make it 10-2.

Denis McLaughlin Denis McLaughlin

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Trialist, Brown, Ballantyne, Neil (McCorry), Dunnachie (McBride), Muir, Irvine, McGuire, McNeil (Kilmartin), Trialist (McLaughlin), Esplin.

Nia-Roo AFC :- Blacker, McFadyen, Houston, Jamieson, Maneely, Queen, Arthur, Galbraith, Morrison, Tiffoney, Gordon. (Subs - Buchanan, McMahon, Blair, Hasson, Quinn.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Victoria Park) Sean McGuire.

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