Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Rutherglen Glencairn u21s 1 Rossvale u21s 1

Saturday 28th November 2015 - West of Scotland Under 21 Premier League

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Rossvale u21s 3

Peter Copeland drives at the Rossvale defence in the first half.

Glencairn Under 21s maintained their unbeaten run so far this season but, for the second week in a row, they left the field disappointed with dropping two points which could be crucial in their pursuit of the West of Scotland Under 21 Premier League championship.

The incessant rain that had fallen in the build-up to the match saw most matches on grass pitches in the area called off, but the excellent new artificial pitch at Glasgow Green was in perfect condition for this clash which saw 3rd place entertaining 7th.

Rossvale were on the front foot in the early stages without testing Glencairn goalkeeper Chris Truesdale, and it was the young Glens who made the first clear cut chance of the game in the 11th minute. A delightful reverse pass by Anton Phinn released Ryan Bennett in front of goal, but Rossvale no.1 Ryan McKechnie reacted well to make a block and force the ball onto the outside of the post and wide.

Truesdale came to the rescue at the other end in the 13th minute when Glen Stokes' corner from the right was met by a diving header by Thomas Waddell, but Truesdale made a fine block to keep the scoreline blank. There was a bit of a let-off for Glencairn in the 16th minute when defender Peter Copeland upended Connor Clarke on the edge of the penalty area, the referee ruling that the foul had taken place inches outside the line. Clarke took the free kick himself and curled it half a yard over the crossbar.

Phinn was the creator again in the 21st minute when he ran to the byeline and crossed to the back post, where Danny Salah chested the ball down but pulled his shot wide of the near post.

The deadlock was broken only a minute later, and it was a simple "route one" goal. A long ball from the back caught out the Rossvale defence, and Jason McArthur timed his run perfectly to dribble round McKechnie and roll the ball into the net.

The lead lasted for less than a minute, however, as Rossvale bounced straight back onto level terms. A cross from the right was misjudged by the Glencairn central defence, leaving striker Sean Hughes free in front of goal to take an excellent first touch and roll the ball under Truesdale to make it 1-1.

Rossvale should have been ahead on the half hour mark when Stokes' corner from the left found its way through to Jack Crumlish, who fired over the bar from six yards in front of goal. Truesdale showed his awareness a couple of minutes later as he raced from his line to block after a clever dummy had released Stokes through on the angle of the penalty area.

McArthur turned creator for Glencairn in the 42nd minute as he skipped to the bye-line on the right and fired the ball across the six yard area, but there were no black and white jerseys on the end of the cross.

Half time : 1-1

Rossvale u21s 2 Rossvale u21s 1

Glencairn midfielders Craig Young & Ryan Bennett try to unlock the Rossvale defence.

The Glens' management team resisted the temptation to make half time changes, but only a few minutes into the second half saw a change of tactic, with the height of Dale Wallace replaced by the trickery and pace of Craig Dallas. The substitute made an immediate impact as he lifted a free kick to the back post where Mark McHendry volleyed just wide on the stretch.

More trickery by Dallas in the 52nd minute finished with a lovely slipped pass which released Phinn clear on goal, but McKechnie blocked well with his legs to keep the score level. The Glens were well on top at this point, and McArthur bundled his way past a few defenders before being brought tumbling on the edge of the penalty area, the referee bizarrely not giving a free kick.

Connor McGuiness replaced Salah in the 57th minute, and McGuiness almost scored in the 66th minute as he cut into the penalty area and curled a shot just too high and wide from 16 yards. Glens' captain Ryan Bennett had been working tirelessly to turn the key to open the defence, and he tried a shot himself from 20 yards in the 69th minute which McKechnie beat away on the dive to his left.

Rossvale substitute Sean Gillespie pounced on a slip in the 70th minute and crossed from the right, forcing defender Ross McConville to make an important near post block with Hughes waiting to pounce behind him.

The referee blew for offside in the 73rd minute as a lovely pass by Phinn released McArthur, but it was an embarrassingly bad decision by the whistler as McArthur was at least a yard onside when the pass was released. McArthur was withdrawn in the 74th minute, with defender Josh McCorry replacing him and Shaun Roberts pushed forward.

Truesdale made a terrific save to keep Glencairn level in the 76th minute. A corner from the left was not effectively cleared, and a snapshot from close range seemed a certain goal until the young Glencairn no.1 raised his hands to beat the ball away.

The match was full of incident now, and McConville's header was cleared off the line by 'Vale defender Jamie McNamee. With five minutes to go, Craig Young's header was brilliantly saved by McKechnie, and Dallas sliced the rebound wide of the target from a yard out.

Both teams had penalty claims as the match moved towards a conclusion. Firstly a shot by Young appeared to hit the arm of a Rossvale defender, and then 'Vale substitute Kieran Smith went down under a challenge at the other end a minute later, but the referee wasn't interested in pointing to the spot for either incident.

McKechnie raced from his line to block from Roberts in the 88th minute, and he saved again from the resulting corner after McHendry had got his head to the cross. The final big chance came in the 89th minute as Dallas got clear on the right, but he held onto the ball too long and tried to shoot himself, the effort being blocked to the frustration of the three team mates who were waiting for a cross.

The heavens opened as the match moved into stoppage time, and both teams had to settle for a point each.

Rutherglen Glencairn u21s :- Truesdale, Copeland, Roberts, McConville, McHendry, Salah (McGuiness), Bennett, Young, Wallace (Dallas), McArthur (McCorry), Phinn. (Subs not used - Chrystal, Conroy, Lundie, Sproull.)

Rossvale u21s :- McKechnie, McCafferty, Clark, Allison, Crumlish, McBeth, Foy, Hughes, Clarke, Waddell, Stokes. (Subs - Smith, McNamee, McCormack, McArthur, Gillespie.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Peter Ferguson) Ryan Bennett.

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