Saturday 14th March 2015 - Stagecoach West Region Super League Division One
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Denis McLaughlin goes close with a spectacular overhead kick just before half time.
The Glens showed their fitness and fighting spirit as they came from behind to score two late goals and secure a second successive away league victory. After last week's win at league leaders Pollok, it was another tricky away tie for Glencairn as they travelled to Scottish Junior Cup quarter finalists Yoker Athletic.
There was only one change to the starting line up as manager Willie Harvey gave a vote of confidence to last week's starting team, except for Jonny Boal replacing the injured Kris Irvine on the left side of midfield. The experience of Brian Welsh was used again as a holding midfielder as the team once again started in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
The opening stages saw The Glens playing with good energy with some crisp passing, but it was the hosts who seemed to have a little more threat as the first half developed. The first proper attempt on goal came in the 7th minute when Yoker defender John Harvey lifted a free kick towards Greg Maitland on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot on the turn flew high over the crossbar.
The pattern continued with Glencairn playing with good energy and workrate, but lacking a cutting edge in forward areas. Yoker tried a similar move with another free kick in the 22nd minute, Harvey once again picking out Maitland, and this time the curled shot flew a yard wide. Maitland was clearly the dangerman, and his free kick from the left two minutes later almost went straight into the net, Graeme Brown doing well to head clear from just under his own bar.
Yoker were claiming for a penalty kick in the 26th minute when David Crerand went down under a challenge by Willie Galloway, but the referee only whistled for a corner kick. The resulting cross saw Glencairn no.1 forced to tip the ball over the bar for another corner as the home side continued to press.
Del Esplin keeps his eye on the ball.
The Glens' first shot on target almost brought a spectacular opening goal. Welsh lifted a free kick towards Denis McLaughlin and, when the ball spun up in the air, the striker tried an overhead kick (pictured at top) which was flying into the top right hand corner of the net until home goalkeeper Craig Winslow stretched to tip the ball over the bar.
Glencairn had a penalty shout of their own a couple of minutes later as McGuire clashed with Maitland inside the box, but once again the referee wasn't interested, and Welsh fired the loose ball over the bar from 20 yards out.
Yoker were pinned back inside their own penalty area as half time approached, but they defended strongly and rode their luck on a couple of occasions. Boal worked his way to the bye line before cutting back just behind his targets in the middle, and then a goal-bound driven shot by Marc Russell was blocked on its way by his own team mate Jordan Dalzell.
Yoker had the last chance of the first half as Andrew Rankin broke forward, but the move ended with Ryan Frew heading over the bar from 8 yards out.
Half time : 0-0
Jonny Boal drives forward in a first half Glencairn attack.
Both sides were unchanged for the start of the second half, and it took some time for the goalmouth action to get going again. A dangerous cross from the right in the 57th minute was headed only partially clear by Brown, and Maitland sliced his shot high and wide from 16 yards.
The Glens went close to opening the scoring on the hour mark as a free kick by Welsh found its way through to Esplin at the back post, but he couldn't quite get his shot away and Russell's back heel attempt was blocked for a corner by Winslow.
Glencairn were looking the more likely side to score at this stage and, two minutes later, McLaughlin was given space and time to turn and shoot across the face of goal, the ball missing the far post by a yard. The pressure continued and Boal went close in the 64th minute as he turned his marker and curled an effort narrowly wide of the target.
Yoker made a double change at the mid point of the second half, with Gary Bissland and Alan Cairns replacing Andrew Rankin and Reece Pearson. The change seemed to disrupt Glencairn's flow and gave the home side some attacking momentum, resulting in the deadlock being broken in the 73rd minute. A cross from the right came over the head of Russell and into the path of the unmarked David Crerand, who met the ball on the drop and squeezed his shot past Hutchison to put Yoker 1-0 ahead.
The blow of going behind with ony 17 minutes remaining resulted in a change of shape for Glencairn, as midfielder Esplin was withdrawn and replaced by striker Ross McNeil, and then a few minutes later defender Galloway was replaced by striker Thomas Kilmartin, as the shape of the team changed to 3-4-1-2 to try to rescue something from the game.
There was controversy when Yoker substitute Cairns challenged Hutchison in a 50/50 race but led with his studs, hurting the Glencairn goalkeeper in the process. The referee awarded the foul, but didn't even speak to Cairns, despite the clearly dangerous nature of his challenge.
The Glens hadn't given up hope as the game moved into its final stages, and the 82nd minute saw a deserved equaliser for the visitors. Dalzell's corner from the right was flicked on into the path of Jonny Boal, and he controlled the ball on his chest before drilling it into the far corner of the net from close range.
Glencairn now sensed that the game was there to be won, and McNeil's flick set up a great chance for Kilmartin to shoot, but Winslow made a good block. It seemed that the final chance to win the game had gone in the 92nd minute when Dalzell's corner from the right was headed by Kilmartin into the path of Russell, but the big defender volleyed well over the crossbar.
Nobody had told the players in black and white that the game was over, though, and only seconds later the travelling support were jumping about the terracing as The Glens grabbed a dramatic winner. Brown lifted a precise cross in from the right and Jordan Dalzell didn't have to break stride as he volleyed the ball past Winslow at his near post to make it 2-1 to Glencairn.
Yoker brought on substitute Mark Maxwell to replace the injured Reilly, but there was no way back for the home side and the referee blew for time only a few moments later, to the delight of the travelling support who, only ten minutes earlier, had been looking at the prospect of defeat.
Willie Harvey was obviously very pleased with the outcome, and he commented, "That's a big three points for us, especially after the positives of last week. We were pleased with the way the players kept to the game plan today and they got their reward. That lifts us back up the league table again, and we have a lot of home matches to come, so it's all positive."
Yoker Athletic :- Winslow, Carson, McManus, Harvey, Reilly (Maxwell), Frew, Chang, Pearson (Cairns), Crerand, Rankin (Bissland), Maitland. (Subs not used - Bailey, Elliott (gk).)
Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Brown, Galloway (Kilmartin), Neil, Russell, Welsh, Dalzell, Esplin (McNeil), McLaughlin (McClung), McGuire, Boal. (Subs not used - Dunnachie, Ballantyne.)
Man of the match - (chosen by Colin McNab) Jonny Boal.