Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Shettleston 0 Rutherglen Glencairn 0

Saturday 4th October 2014 - Stagecoach West Region Super League Division One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Shettleston 2

Steven McClung launches a first half raid for Glencairn.

The Glens extended their unbeaten run in all competitive matches this season so far to nine matches with this useful point away to Shettleston. It was a game that could have gone either way, with both teams having a goal disallowed and some solid defending by both sides.

There were two changes to the starting line-up from the previous competitive match two weeks ago. Willie Galloway returned at right back after picking up an injury in the first game of the season, which allowed Jordan Dalzell to move forward into midfield at the expense of Paul Thomson. The other change saw Marc Russell return at centre back after missing the last game through illness, with David Dunnachie dropping to the bench.

Shettleston were on the front foot early in the game but, for all of their possession and territorial advantage, they were struggling to create any chances of note against a strong Glens defence. The first shot on target in the game actually came at the other end in the 7th minute, when Kris Irvine cut in from the left and fired a shot towards the top left hand corner, but 'Town keeper Bryn Halliwell saved confidently.

The pattern continued with the home side pressing, but not really opening up the Glencairn back line. Andy Neil tried his luck for The Glens in the 11th minute with a low shot from distance which flew a couple of yards wide of the target.

'Town began to look a bit more threatening when Kyle Robertson cut in from the left across the face of the penalty area and fired in a whot which was deflected wide for a corner. The resulting cross fell at the back post to Danny Boyle, and his cross was punched clear decisively by Glens no.1 JC Hutchison.

The action was heating up now, and Sean McGuire fired over the crossbar in the 15th minute before Glencairn thought they had taken the lead two minutes later. Irvine fired a shot through a ruck of players which Halliwell blocked but couldn't hold, and Steven McClung fired the loose ball into the net. However, the striker was denied the glory of a goal against his previous employers by the assiatant referee's offside flag.

Shettleston responded with a fizzed shot from 25 yards by Ryan McCrone which flew half a yard over Hutchison's crossbar. Del Esplin pulled a save out of Halliwell with a volley from 20 yards, and then it was the home side's turn to have a goal chalked off for offside. Ricky McIntosh's clever reverse pass set up Robertson to slip the ball past Hutchison, but the flag was up early and there were few complaints from the home side.

Glencairn had a huge shout for a penalty kick in the 34th minute. Jamie Gilmartin's long throw from the right came over the head of the Shettleston central defence and was blocked away by what appeared to be the arm of a home defender. Dalzell fired the loose ball over the crossbar while The Glens' players screamed for a spot kick, but the referee wasn't interested.

Half time : 0-0

Shettleston 1

Jamie Gilmartin challenges for first half possession.

There were no changes from either side at the interval, and the pattern remained the same with Shettleston edging the match territorially but Glencairn's back four standing strong. When they did get in behind the defence, 'Town found Hutchison in good form, and the big stopper reacted well in the 52nd minute to block at the feet of McCrone after dangerman Robertson had once again created the opportunity.

There was a big blow for Glencairn on the hour mark as top goalscorer Gilmartin was helped off with a hamstring injury, and he was replaced by Thomas Kilmartin.

Shettleston were the more dangerous side now, and Hutchison tipped a header by McCrone over the bar before he made an excellent block to parry Robertson's near post shot round the post.

Both sides made a change at the mid point of the second half. Shettleston brought on tall striker Kyle Brown for McCrone, and Glencairn decided that 70 minutes were enough for Galloway on his return to action and brought on Ross Ballantyne, with Dalzell reverting again to right back.

As the match moved into the final quarter of an hour, Glencairn started to open up the home defence, with Kilmartin and McClung combining to release Esplin, but he was denied by an offside flag. The Glens made their final change with Paul Thomson coming on to replace Irvine with fourteen minutes remaining.

The 79th minute saw Andy Neil get in behind the 'Town defence on the left, and he cut the ball back into the path of Kilmartin, but the pass was too strong for 'Deco' to control the ball and it bounced through to Halliwell.

Hutchison showed his ability again in the 83rd minute as Robert Campbell fired in a low angled shot from 20 yards, Hutchison diving full length to his left to palm the ball round the post.

The home side's fans were laughing in relief with five minutes to go when their side survived only through a huge stroke of luck. McClung released Esplin on the right, and his cross looked like being headed away by defender Robert Jenner, but instead he bulleted his header against the inside of his own post, and the ball rebounded back out to safety.

Esplin was yellow carded in the 90th minute as he "took one for the team", chopping down Robertson as he threatened on the left on the breakaway. The resulting free kick saw Hutchison come and punch clear again.

Glencairn had a golden chance to win the game in the 91st minute. McClung chased a lost cause into the corner and won possession before rolling the ball in front of Kilmartin, who stepped past the last defender and then fired a firm shot straight at Halliwell instead of placing his shot in the corner of the net.

Shettleston made their second change in the 93rd minute, Ross Dickson replacing McIntosh, but the action wasn't over yet. Hutchison was called on to make an excellent double save in the 94th minute, first of all tipping the ball off the head of Brown at the back post, and then getting up quickly to parry away the rebound shot by Robertson, before the referee finally blew for full time to end a goalless but nonetheless interesting match.

Willie Harvey was upbeat about the result after the match, and he commented, "Make no mistake about it, that is a good point to get. Not many teams will come here and get a positive result. The current league leaders lost here only a few weeks ago and conceded three goals, but we've come away with a draw and a clean sheet. It speaks volumes for the players that they are disappointed at the result, but picking up points like this is what helps you win promotion."

Shettleston :- Halliwell, Jenner, Campbell, Juskowiak, McGillion, Marshall, McCrone (Brown), McCormack, McIntosh (Dickson), Boyle, Robertson. (Subs not used - Martin, Hutchison (gk).)

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Galloway (Ballantyne), Neil, Bishop, Russell, Esplin, Dalzell, McGuire, Gilmartin (Kilmartin), McClung, Irvine (Thomson). (Subs not used - Dunnachie, Murray (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Kenny Paul) JC Hutchison.

JC Hutchison JC Hutchison

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