No Christmas present of three points for the Glens
Neilston ................ 4 Glencairn .............. 1 Eight-man Glencairn suffered a Nightmare Before Christmas in going down to Neilston.
The Rutherglen men were in the festive mood as they gift-wrapped the opening two goals, while Neilston also received a gift from the assistant referee for their third.
Glencairn were missing central defenders Mark Bishop and Marc Russell and midfield dynamo Sean McGuire, so it was a re-shaped starting XI with trialist defender Graeme Brown beside David Dunnachie in the middle, with striker Jamie Gilmartin employed in central midfield beside the ever-present Del Esplin.
Glens found themselves down to 10 men with just 10 minutes on the clock. Dunnachie pulled down Smith as he was set to pull the trigger and the ref pointed to the spot and sent the Glens man off. Cameron finished well from 12 yards.
Despite the man disadvantage, Glens created plenty of chances. Gilmartin hit the crossbar with a free-kick before James Digney made a fine save when one on one with McNeil. The Glens’striker’s second effort was blocked on the line and hit the post before dribbling out
McNeil struck the woodwork again when his head-flick rattled the base of the post before Glens suffered a double suckerpunch. First JC Hutchison mis-judged a ball into the box and Robbie Cameron was able to nod home from eight yards.
Then, Smith received the ball despite being well offside when it was played. The linesman ignored the protests and Smith centred for Cameron who completed his hat-trick.
Glens found a glimmer of hope four minutes into the second-half when McNeil was fouled in the box. Substitute Ballantyne made it 3-1.
McNeil fired inches wide as Glens pushed, and Digney had to save well from Gilmartin’s free kick. Hutchison also saved well at the other end from Cameron.
Despite Neilston having seven players booked, it was a Glens player who saw red for a second yellow with 11 minutes left. Gilmartin’s foul on the halfway line was adjudged to have been card worthy and he was sent packing.
He was followed by Hutchison who pulled down Barbour has he seemed certain to score. The ref ignored the advice of his assistant who said the foul had happened outside the box, but makeshift ‘keeper Ballantyne saved Barbour’s kick.
He was helpless in the 98th minute however when Kennedy drilled home from eight yards.