Saturday 14th October 2017 - West of Scotland Under 21 Premier League
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Kyle Chrystal strides out of defence during the first half.
Glencairn Under 21s kept up their 100% record so far this season with a comfortable 6-0 home win over Kirkintilloch Rob Roy Under 21s at Glasgow Green Football Centre. While the final scoreline was a fair reflection on the match overall, it could have been many more had it not been for an impressive first half performance by Rob Roy goalkeeper Aidan Houston. The young stopper was the only real resistance to Glencairn's many attacks and, when he was red carded just after half time, it was no surprise that the roof caved in on the young Kirkintilloch side.
The Glens were missing captain Anton Phinn (holiday) and former Celtic youth Ryan Caird, so it was brothers Tommy and Michael Lone who made up the central midfield pairing. There was a late change to the line-up as defender Michael MacDonald pulled out with injury, so Peter Copland came in at right back and Kyle Chrystal moved into central defence beside Ryan Clark.
Rob Roy were first to have an attempt on goal as they won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, but Glencairn's reliable no.1 Chris Truesdale comfortably saved Rizman Rashid's curling effort. The first near thing for The Glens came in the 6th minute as a diagonal pass released Alan Dunsmore in behind his marker, and the wide man fired across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Glencairn were now getting into their stride and Jordan Davidson released Tommy Lone inside the penalty area, but the resulting square ball was just too far in front of Marcus Fraser for him to convert at the back post. Dunsmore fired over the crossbar from 20 yards, before Houston made the first of several saves, blocking at the feet of Fraser after good work by Davidson.
Houston tipped an inviting cross off the head of Clark, before moments later the goalkeeper came to the rescue for Rob Roy again as he denied Davidson's attempt to score from a tight angle. The pressure continued and Houston once again saved the day as he palmed Davidson's cross out from under the crossbar.
Chances for Rob Roy were few and far between, but Paul O'Hear found space inside the penalty area in the 21st minute only to be denied by a combination of Kyle Chrystal and Truesdale. Play swung quickly back to the other end and Clark's diagonal pass picked out the late run of Michael Lone, but once again Houston raced out to make the block and frustrate Glencairn.
Dunsmore's run and cross on the right in the 25th minute ended with a low cross which came invitingly to the foot of Fraser on the 6 yard line, but he scuffed his shot and Houston gathered gratefully on his goal line. Left winger Zander More was next to go close for Glencairn as he raced free on the left and dribbled round Houston, only to hit the outside of the post with his attempt to score.
There was a reminder of Rob Roy's threat in the 35th minute when Clark was caught in possession by Connor Hughes, and he squared to Rashid who seemed in a good position to score, only for Truesdale to make the save above his head look ridiculously easy.
Davidson was denied once again by Houston in the 37th minute as he burst through the defence only to be blocked away by the goalkeeper's legs. There was controversy a minute later as Houston raced 20 yards outside of his penalty area to block Davidson's run with his hand. The net was empty behind him and it was a clear unambiguous goalscoring opportunity, so how the referee only showed a yellow card to Houston was simply baffling.
Half time : 0-0
Kyle Chrystal was a dominant presence in central defence for Glencairn.
There was no panic in the Glencairn ranks as they retained their belief in breaking down the Rob Roy defence. Michael Lone was first to go close in the second half as he burst past a challenge and fired a shot a yard over the crossbar from 20 yards.
Something had to change to make the breakthrough, though, and the turning point of the match arrived in the 50th minute. Fraser pounced on a misplaced defensive pass and raced through on goal, rounding Houston before being brought crashing to the carpet by the hard-worked goalkeeper. The referee whistled for a penalty kick, and this time he had no option other than to show a second yellow card and a red card to Houston. Rob Roy defender Grant Wood took over in goals, but he was unable to save the spot kick by Ryan Clark which finally put the young Glens 1-0 ahead.
It really was now a case how many Glencairn would score, and two minutes later it was 2-0 as Marcus Fraser once again pounced on a defensive slip, and he confidently fired past Wood into the far corner of the net.
Wood denied Fraser in the 55th minute as he palmed the ball round the post, before Glencairn made a double change with Brian Ashe replacing Fraser and Jack Ferguson on for More. The replacement goalkeeper did well to block Davidson's shot in the 64th minute after good set-up play by Michael Lone, and Wood also reacted well to punch away the loose ball.
The mid point of the second half saw the lead increased to 3-0 as Glencairn really pressed home their extra man advantage. Ross Young raced down the left and swung in a fine cross which Wood could only flap out into the path of Jordan Davidson, who made no mistake to convert from 10 yards.
Rob Roy worked their way upfield enough to win a corner in the 68th minute, but they were made to pay for it as Glencairn scored on the breakaway. The cross was headed clear by Clark and then hooked upfield by Davidson over the defence. Wood came to kick clear but succeeded only in kicking the ball against Brian Ashe, who then won the race for the loose ball to roll it into the empty net for 4-0.
That sparked a triple change for Glencairn as they gave all of their remaining substitutes the final quarter of the match. Jamie Strapp, Dale Campbell and Paul Ross Caughey replaced Copland, Dunsmore and Davidson respectively. Dunsmore returned to the action shortly afterwards as Tommy Lone took a knock and had to leave the field.
The visitors had long since given up any hope of getting anything from the match, but Liam McCafferty tried to get some consolation with an audacious lob from 40 yards which dropped just over the crossbar, Truesdale having it covered in any case had it been on target.
The Glens hadn't finished, though, and they made it 5-0 in the 84th minute as Alan Dunsmore latched onto a flick from a long throw, and he drilled the ball low past Wood into the far corner.
The scoring was rounded off in the 88th minute with another well worked goal, Dunsmore crossing from the left and Paul Ross Caughey getting in front of his marker to glance a header past Wood from 14 yards.
The result made it five wins out of five for Glencairn in the league on top of starting the defence of the Scottish Cup with a win last week as well. They will be hoping to keep that record intact next week as they travel for a top of the table clash away to league leaders Harmony Row.
Rutherglen Glencairn u21s :- Truesdale, Copland (Strapp), Young, Chrystal, Clark, Tommy Lone, Dunsmore (Campbell), Michael Lone, Davidson (Caughey), Fraser (Ashe), More (Ferguson).
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy u21s :- Houston, Bateman, Cook, Wood, O'Hear, Kerr, Hughes, Rashid, Otiniti, Hurny, Singh. (Subs - McKenzie, Brass, McCafferty, Burns, Choudhry.)
Man of the match - (chosen by Peter Ferguson) Michael Lone.