Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club


Rutherglen Glencairn 1 Troon 2

Saturday 28th November 2020 - PDM Buildbase WoSFL Premier Division

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Glencairn were left to regret missed chances for the second week in a row as they suffered their first home defeat of season 2020-21.

Manager Willie Harvey made two changes to the starting team from last week's cup defeat at Thornton Hibs. Club captain Tam Miller returned in central defence at the expense of Craig McGregor, and Sean McGuire was preferred in midfield to Tommy Lone.

Glencairn gave an early hint of their threat in the second minute as Harry Mitchell's long ball over the top almost released the pace of Jay McKay, but defender Scott Chatham matched the striker all the way and made a timely interception.

Troon had been knocking the ball about well in the opening stages without seriously testing the home defence, but they took the lead in the 6th minute with a goal out of nothing. The ball was slipped in to Dean Fulton in space on the edge of the penalty area, and he was given time and space to turn before curling an impressive shot out of the reach of Scott McLellan and into the far corner of the net.

For the second week in a row The Glens found themselves behind after only six minutes, and already had an uphill task to get themselves back into the match. Keirin Coleman headed over the crossbar under pressure in the 11th minute, before Troon went close a minute later when Ryan Stevenson pulled his shot wide of the post from 22 yards.

The Glens almost produced a delightful equaliser in the 18th minute as Mitchell picked out Scott Schoneville at the back post, and his cushioned volley across goal picked out the slide of McKay, but the striker couldn't direct the ball on target at full stretch. The pressure continued and there were shouts for a penalty as Mitchell went down at the end of a nice passing move, but the referee wasn't interested.

Derek McNab fired an ambitious angled shot over the crossbar from 25 yards in the 26th minute, and four minutes later the same player had the ball in the net as he fired past Ross Lundy from close range, but he was correctly flagged for offside. Almost all of the efforts on goal were coming from the home side, and Schoneville was next to pull a save out of Lundy with a low shot which didn't really test the Troon number one.

A brilliantly timed defensive challenge by Troon defender Todd Henderson stopped McNab in his tracks as he threatened on the left side of the penalty area, while at the other end Chatham headed well over the bar right on the half time whistle.

Half time : 0-1

There were no personnel changes at the interval, and the flow of the game remained the same as Glencairn went in search of an equaliser. Schoneville's cross from the left was tipped off the head of McNab by Lundy, with the 'keeper getting back into position quickly to save from McKay after the ball was put returned into the danger zone by Drew Wingate.

It was almost a nightmare for Miller in the 50th minute as he was caught in possession by Stevenson and the ex-Hearts man looked set to double the visitors' lead, but Miller stretched his leg just in time to divert the shot out for a corner and save his own blushes.

Glencairn continued to spurn chances, though, and McNab fired over the bar from four yards out after Jackson Biggar's corner had missed everyone at the front post. There was a yellow card for Jaime Gallagher of Troon for a blatant trip on Mitchell on the halfway line as The Glens looked to break forward again.

Troon gave a hint that their threat hadn't gone away, though, and Isaac Kerr got his head to a cross from the right but glanced his effort a yard wide of the post. A few seconds later Stevenson fired a shot off target from 20 yards after a tidy passing move by the visitors.

The Glens were given the perfect chance to equalise on the hour mark as Mitchell was caught late just inside the penalty area, and it was an easy decision for the referee to blow for a spot kick. The young playmaker was designated to take the effort himself but, as he saw Lundy diving the right way, he tried to lift the ball over him (pictured at top), but lifted if too much and the ball rebounded from the top of the crossbar and onto the railway line. It was a costly missed opportunity for Glencairn !

Wingate was put under unnecessary pressure by the referee when he was shown a yellow card for an alleged foul on the edge of the penalty area, when he had clearly taken the ball cleanly. Gallagher lifted the resulting free kick well over the crossbar.

Willie Harvey chose to substitute Wingate to avoid the risk of a second yellow card, and he was replaced by Kieron Maxwell who was making his first competitive home appearance. The referee wasn't having his best period of the match, though, and he also showed an extremely harsh yellow card to Glencairn defender Mick O'Byrne for an innocuous foul in the centre of the park, reacting unnecessarily to shouts from the side of the park.

Another corner from the left by Biggar found its way right into the 6 yard box, but once again nobody in black and white could apply the finishing touch and the ball ended somewhat fortunately in the hands of Lundy.

Troon's first change saw Ryan Nisbet replace Alan Frizzell who was also running the risk of a second yellow card, and The Glens also made a change with Rikki McIntosh making his first competitive appearance of the season after a calf injury, replacing McNab up front.

The harsh yellow card for O'Byrne came back to haunt him in the 75th minute as he tripped Stevenson wide on the left and earned another yellow. This one was merited, but the nature of the first yellow left a bad taste in the mouth as the big defender trudged off the park in disgust.

If it was an uphill task after the opening goal, it became a mountain to climb for The Glens only a few moments later as Troon doubled their lead. The home defence hadn't had time to readjust in O'Byrne's absence, and a cross from the left saw Isaac Kerr outmuscle Coleman to nod into the net at the back post and make it 2-0.

The shout from the manager to the Glencairn players was clear to hear at this point. "Ok, you can accept your fate and roll over, or you can roll up your sleeves and fight for what's left in this game. It's up to you."

The players heeded the message, and suddenly the ten men were back in the game with a quite brilliant goal. Kieron Maxwell skipped past his marker and strode forward for a few paces, before unleashing a shot from 25 yards which swerved over the top of Lundy and into the top left hand corner of the net. The goalkeeper knew he was beaten as soon as the shot was hit, he didn't move.

Liam Gormley replaced McKay up front before the re-start, The Glens now sensing the chance of getting an unlikely point from the game. Jordan Lusk also replaced Jordan Morton for Troon.

You sensed that The Glens would get one more big chance in the game, and it arrived in the 89th minute. Biggar's corner from the left again found its way into the 6 yard box, and Coleman stabbed out his foot but couldn't force the ball past Lundy, the ball rebounding out for a corner. Gallagher very deliberately kicked the ball over the fence and onto the railway line to waste time, earning himself a second yellow card and a suspension for Troon's next game. The cost of the replacement of another lost ball to his opponents probably never even entered his head.

That was the chance, though, and despite a further four minutes of added time, The Glens were unable to find a way past the defence for a second time.

Troon maintained their fine start to the season (10 points out of 12) and remain in 2nd place in the league, while results elsewhere meant that The Glens also didn't move in the table, staying in 10th place with games in hand over the teams above and below them. It's strange to be saying that it's still early in the season, with December starting in three days, but that's the reality. We're only 3 games into the season, and there are another 23 games still to be played. Today's performance was a huge improvement on last week, we just need to find that killer touch in front of goal.

Next up, though, is a visit to league leaders Clydebank who have a 100% record in competitive games so far this season, five wins out of five. It would be nice to break that record though.

Rutherglen Glencairn :- McLellan, Biggar, Miller, Coleman, O'Byrne, McGuire, Mitchell, Wingate (Maxwell), McNab (McIntosh), McKay (Gormley), Schoneville. (Subs not used - McGregor, Quinn, Tommy Lone, Cochrane.)

Troon :- Lundy, Kerr, Chatham, Montgomerie, Stevenson, Henderson, Fulton, Frizzell (Nisbet), Morton (Lusk), Black, Gallagher. (Subs not used - McDowall, Roberts, Boyd, Paterson, Fraser (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Alex Forbes) Sean McGuire.