Glens lift the sil­ver­ware

Rutherglen Reformer - - Sport -

Glen­cairn u21s ..2 M Wind­sor u21s.1

Glen­cairn’s lat­est gen­er­a­tion of un­der-21 play­ers fol­lowed in the foot­steps of their tre­blewin­ning pre­de­ces­sors.

They brought sil­ver­ware back to New Southcroft Park as they se­cured the Lady Dar­ling Cup with a 2-1 victory over Mus­sel­burgh Wind­sor un­der-21s at Somervell Park in Cam­bus­lang.

The young Glens side will now try and make it a dou­ble as they go into the Golden Goals Cup Fi­nal this week­end.

A healthy crowd turned out to watch the young Ruther­glen side take an early grip on the game, and Thomas Robert­son was first to go close as he fired just over the bar in the sec­ond minute.

The early pres­sure con­tin­ued as cap­tain Ryan Bennett danced past sev­eral tack­les into the penalty area be­fore see­ing his shot de­flected into the side netting.

Bennett went close again in the 10th minute when he got the break of the ball af­ter a drib­ble by Chris Dal­las, but Mus­sel­burgh goal­keeper Daniel Laing saved down low to his left. Wind­sor hadn’t threat­ened the Glen­cairn de­fence at all in the open­ing stages, their clos­est ef­fort be­ing a vol­ley by Steven Kean which flew well wide of the tar­get.

Glen­cairn took a well de­served lead in the 18th minute. A long ball was mis­judged by the Mus­sel­burgh de­fence, and Con­nor McGui­ness was first to re­act to the chance as he stabbed the ball past Laing and into the empty net.

The goal seemed to take some of the sting out of the Glens side, though, and Wind­sor be­gan to ex­ert more of a threat in the match for the first time.

Mus­sel­burgh sur­prised most peo­ple in the ground when they equalised in the 32nd minute, against the run of play. A free kick into the box saw in­de­ci­sion be­tween Glens’ goal­keeper Chris Trues­dale and de­fender Euan Con­roy, and Wind­sor striker Steven Kean made enough of a nu­siance of him­self to force the er­ror and di­vert the ball into the net from a yard out.

Trues­dale was forced into a save from a header by Chris Stevenson in the 34th minute as the young side from the east started to be­lieve it could be their night. Trues­dale also made a good save in the 37th minute af­ter Kan­van Tu­fail’s low shot was al­most de­flected into the net from close range by de­fender Dempsey.

The young Glens started the sec­ond half in the same man­ner as the first as they went on the front foot from the start. Craig Dal­las ended his drib­ble with a stabbed shot which was blocked in front of goal, and then sec­onds later Bennett’s header at the back post was just off tar­get.

Glen­cairn made their first sub­sti­tu­tion in the 48th minute, winger Daniel Salah re­plac­ing de­fender Mark McHendry, with Craig Young drop­ping slightly deeper to pro­vide the de­fen­sive cover. Shortly af­ter­wards there was an­other change for the Glens, with An­drew Quial re­plac­ing Martin McCann. Kyle Bur­rows re­placed Shaun David­son for Mus­sel­burgh on the hour mark.

Trues­dale made an ex­cel­lent save in the 62nd minute as a lovely pass­ing move ended with the ball fall­ing at the feet of Wayne Simp­son who seemed cer­tain to score, but the Glens’ num­ber one made a block with his foot to keep his side level.

Glen­cairn re-es­tab­lished their lead in the 75th minute. Pos­i­tive play by McGui­ness helped the ball across the edge of the penalty area to Ryan Bennett, who cut in­side his marker be­fore drilling a low shot un­der Laing from 18 yards. Bennett’s cel­e­bra­tion saw him dive full length in front of the Glen­cairn dugout, with his team mates quickly pil­ing on top.

In the 85th minute, Glens’ An­thony Dempsey was shown a sec­ond yel­low card and then the red for a foul on the half­way line.

As the match moved into stop­page time, the ref­eree awarded Mus­sel­burgh a free kick right in front of goal on the edge of the penalty area. Kean fired in a swerv­ing ef­fort which Trues­dale did well to hold above his head on the goal line.

Victory Glen­cairn un­der-21s cap­tain and man of the match Ryan Bennett lifts the Lady Dar­ling Cup

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