Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Shotts Bon Accord 0 Rutherglen Glencairn 1

Saturday 26th March 2016 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Shotts Bon Accord 1

Mark Duffy fires Glencairn into the lead just before half time.

Glencairn's good away form continued as they earned their second successive away league win to remain undefeated outside of Rutherglen in 2016. The result meant that The Glens climbed up two places in the league table to ninth, and out of the dreaded four-team relegation zone.

Once again the playing squad was stretched to the limit, with Andy Neil the latest player to drop out of contention due to the knee injury he sustained last week. He was replaced by under 21 defender Josh McCorry who fitted in at right back, with David Dunnachie moving into the middle beside Ryan Docherty, with captain Brian Eadie employed at left back. Tony Fraser replaced Danny Salah on the left of midfield in the only other change from the starting team for the past two matches. Three trialists helped to make up the substitutes' bench, with The Glens missing no fewer than seven players due to a mixture of injury and domestic circumstances.

With many of the West Region matches falling foul of the overnight heavy rain, the groundstaff at Shotts should take great credit for the excellent condition of the enormous playing surface at Hannah Park. The gusting wind and rain early in the match meant both teams took some time to settle into the match, and there was very little to talk about in the opening fifteen minutes. Shotts almost created an opening in the 9th minute when Gavin McPherson pounced on an error by Dunnachie, but his pass to Aaron Cairns had too much pace and Glencairn goalkeeper JC Hutchison raced out to smother the ball at the striker's feet.

Glencairn had a spell of three corner kicks as they tried to assert their authority on the game, but there was little in the way of threat from any of them. The quality of the match started to improve as the blustery weather cleared away, though, and chances started to appear at both ends. Cairns ran at the Glencairn defence and went past a few tackles before Dunnachie snuffed out the danger with a well-timed interception in the 18th minute. Danny Burns sliced a shot well wide of the target in the 20th minute after spinning away from his marker on the edge of the penalty area.

A beautifully weighted pass by Alan Muir picked out the run on the right of Del McNab, and the midfielder took an excellent first touch before stretching to shoot, but home no.1 Gary Whyte made a good block to knock the ball wide for another Glencairn corner. Tony Fraser's curling cross from the corner almost went straight into the net, a defender heading the ball out for yet another set piece to the visitors.

Shotts Bon Accord 2

The Glens were now very much on the front foot, and good footwork by Sean McGuire saw him skip away from two challenges  before slipping a pass through to McNab who was flagged for offside, a highly questionable decision by the assistant referee.

Shotts were proving to be a threat on the break, however, and Burns tested Hutchison with a shot from 20 yards which the big stopper blocked away effectively with his knees. The cross from the corner picked out the free head of Martin McGuire, but his header was off target and cleared by Sean McGuire from in front of the post.

Cairns passed up a great opportunity for Shotts as they broke from a Glencairn corner and had a 3-on-1 situation, Cairns choosing to try to cross from the left with the outside of his right foot and sending the ball straight into the grateful arms of Hutchison.

The referee courted controversy in the 33rd minute as he blew for a free kick for handball to Glencairn as Sean McGuire crossed from the right, despite Mark Duffy heading the ball into the net from the cross. Once the frustrated protests of the Glencairn players had been calmed, Fraser's inviting delivery was flapped back out by Whyte, and Shotts had been given a let-off.

As half time approached, you could sense that The Glens seemed to have a grip on the game, and Fraser's low cross from the left had to be hooked away from right in front of goal by a home defender. Glencairn got their reward in the 42nd minute as they took a deserved lead. Muir once again aimed his pass for the overlapping run of McNab, but the pass was cut out by a defender. First to react to the loose ball, though, was Mark Duffy, who won the break of the ball past his marker and raced through on goal before firing a composed finish beyond the reach of Whyte. It was Duffy's fifth goal in five games since joining the club.

Shotts Bon Accord 4

Mark Duffy milks the applause from the Glencairn support after scoring.

Half time : 0-1

Glencairn started the second half in the same manner as they had ended the first, and Duffy had the ball in the net again in the 46th minute, firing a decisive shot past Whyte but being frustrated by the assistant referee's offside flag. Play swung to the other end of the park, and Danny McGuiness pounced on a defensive slip, but pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Cairns got in behind McCorry in the 48th minute and then turned past Dunnachie, but once again showed a lack of composure as he fired miles high and wide from 18 yards. Two minutes later, at the other end, Fraser's cross found its way through to Mark Batchelor at the back post, but the ball wouldn't sit down quickly enough and Whyte got out to block the eventual shot.

The home side were finding the Glencairn defence a difficult obstacle to overcome, in particular Ryan Docherty who continues to impress since joining the club a month ago. Burns used his pace to get past Dunnachie on the left, but he couldn't get past Docherty who made a timely interception and then dribbled away from danger.

Fraser's corner from the right in the 63rd minute flashed right across the face of goal, with nobody able to apply the finish. Five minutes later another corner by Fraser caused all sorts of confusion in the home defence as it bounced off a defender towards his own goal, but somehow the Shotts players combined to keep the ball from crossing the line, despite several attempts from attacking players in black and white.

Shotts were still a danger, and Burns' low whipped cross was just too far in front of its targets in the middle, as they got in behind the resolute Glencairn defence for once.

Shotts Bon Accord 3

The first substitution of the game came in the 72nd minute as John Wright replaced Martin McGuire for Shotts. The determination of the Glencairn players not to concede was summed up in the 75th minute as Fraser and Batchelor both threw themselves in front of a shot to make a block, Fraser's commitment  causing injury to his team mate in the process.

Glencairn playmaker Muir was withdrawn in the 78th minute, limping off to be replaced by under 21 midfielder Peter Copland, with Fraser taking up Muir's role in the middle and Copland employed on the left flank.

Hutchison had to show his versatility in the 80th minute as Fraser fired a firm passback, but Glencairn's no.1 calmly jumped to chest the ball down on his goal line before completing the clearance. McNab was given the signal to come off in the 82nd minute, and he was replaced by Trialist no.16.

The trialist was involved almost immediately as he was released by Batchelor's pass and produced a calm lobbed finish for what looked like a good goal, only for the offside flag to go up again. This one looked a very poor decision as it looked to be well onside.

With three goals having been disallowed, there were fears in the travelling support of a Shotts sucker punch as the game moved into its closing stages. Understandably the home side pushed on to try to equalise, with Eadie, McGuire and Batchelor picking up late bookings as they stopped threatening situations with fouls.

A brilliant challenge by McCorry in the 89th minute denied Burns as a cross found its way to the back post, the young defender sticking out a perfectly time leg to hook the ball out of danger as Burns pulled his leg back to shoot. Burns was injured in the incident and unable to continue, and was replaced by Steven Napier.

Shotts continued to throw balls towards the penalty area, which Docherty and Dunnachie dealt with on every occasion, and the referee blew for full time after over four minutes of stoppage time, to loud cheers from the travelling support.

Glencairn manager Willie Harvey was obviously delighted with the result, and he commented, "That's a great three points for us. We didn't have a failure in the team today, every one of them played their part and their commitment was pleasing to see. It's nice to keep a clean sheet for the first time for a while, and it's a psychological boost to everybody to lift ourselves out of the drop zone for the first time in quite a while. We now need to take our away form into next week's home match and try to build up some momentum."

Shotts Bon Accord :- Whyte, Campbell, McKee, Currie, Murdoch, McGuire (Wright), McGuiness, Brash, McPherson, Cairns, Burns (Napier). (Subs not used - White, Shelley, Orr.)

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

Man of the match - (chosen by Peter Ferguson) (joint award) Mark Duffy and Ryan Docherty.

Mark Duffy   Ryan Docherty

Mark Duffy      Ryan Docherty

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