Glen­cairn gaffer likes the odds as league starts

Rutherglen Reformer - - Sport - Dou­glas Dickie

Glen­cairn gaffer Wil­lie Har­vey has ad­mit­ted he may have a flut­ter on his own side to win the Su­per­league First Di­vi­sion ti­tle.

Glens get their league sea­son un­der­way on Satur­day with a trip to Blan­tyre Vic­to­ria, just a week af­ter the sides met in the sec­tional league cup, with the Glens emerg­ing 3- 2 win­ners.

While Cum­nock are the book­ies’ favourites to take the ti­tle, Glens can typ­i­cally be found at around 12/1 be­hind the likes of Cly­de­bank, Kil­win­ning and Shotts.

Glens were un­for­tu­nate to miss out on a last-eight place in the sec­tional league cup af­ter record­ing three 3-2 wins in a row fol­low­ing the open­ing day de­feat to Cam­bus­lang Rangers.

And Wil­lie reck­ons his side may be worth a punt be­fore the sea­son kicks off as he re­vealed he thinks his side has not yet hit its full stride.

He said: “It all de­pends on whether you’re a bet­ting man or not but I’ll be hav­ing a few quid on that.

“We’re just about on sched­ule right now.

“If we had taken all our chances in the sec­tion it might have sugar-coated things a wee bit, made us look bet­ter.

“We’re on the right track. We aren’t far away from where I want us to be.”

Wil­lie also hit out at man­agers who had made ex­cuses of hav­ing play­ers miss­ing through­out the league cup sec­tion.

He said: “A lot of other teams com­plained about hav­ing play­ers miss­ing.

“You know my phi­los­o­phy. Through three games we had guys miss­ing but I didn’t say any­thing.

“I think that is deroga­tory to the play­ers that are on the park, ba­si­cally say­ing they aren’t good enough to win with­out cer­tain play­ers.”

Wil­lie is less pleased with the de­ci­sion to send Glens to Blan­tyre just seven days af­ter the sides met in the league cup, de­scrib­ing the sched­ul­ing as “men­tal”.

But he does not think last week will have any bear­ing on Satur­day’s game: “You would think the pow­ers that be would know the sec­tion and see we were play­ing Blan­tyre last week.

“It should never have hap­pened but it will have no bear­ing on this week’s match.

“I hap­pen to know Blan­tyre had a few play­ers miss­ing last week and we had two out who will re­turn.

“Ev­ery­one knows how ev­ery­one plays in the sec­tions any­way so there will be no big ad­van­tage from hav­ing played them last week.”

Wil­lie added to his squad this week by snap­ping up for­mer Arthurlie midfielder Alan Muir.

Alan has played in the last two games as a tri­al­ist and Wil­lie hopes he can add some­thing ex­tra to the side.

He said: “He brings a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“He’s played at a high level and is com­fort­able on the ball.”

Glen­cairn just missed out on reach­ing the last eight of the Euroscot En­gi­neer­ing Cen­tral Sec­tional League Cup de­spite their third 3-2 win in six days.

Wil­lie Har­vey made five changes to the start­ing line-up as he stuck by his ro­ta­tion pol­icy for the group games, try­ing to get the whole squad match fit ahead of the start of the league cam­paign next week­end.

Glens needed to match Vale of Clyde’s re­sult and over­come a goal dif­fer­ence of two to go through and they started at a fran­tic pace.

They had al­ready threat­ened when they took the lead af­ter seven min­utes. Dun­nachie re­acted quick­est to a loose ball from a cor­ner and fired home from 18 yards.

There was no let-up in the tempo from Glen­cairn as they dou­bled their lead only three min­utes later. Andy Neil’s dinked pass over the de­fence picked out a trade­mark run from deep by midfielder Mark Batch­e­lor, who calmly lobbed the ball over Mack­lin to make it 2-0.

Vics pulled a goal back mid­way through the half when McShane’s header just squeezed past Dun­nachie on the goal line

And only two min­utes later Blan­tyre were level. Wil­liam Fer­gu­son found space on the left edge of the penalty area and he crossed for Ryan Tiffney to ap­ply the fin­ish in front of goal.

Amaz­ingly, Glens were ahead again be­fore half-time. McShane mis­judged the ball in the air and Mark Tait was on to it in a flash, show­ing good com­po­sure as he con­trolled the ball, picked his spot and calmly rolled it past.

Both sides made changes at the in­ter­val. Blan­tyre brought on striker Steven Dy­mock to re­place Dun­can McGre­gor, while Glen­cairn in­tro­duced Mark McCarry to the left side of mid­field to re­place the in­jured Dun­nachie, with Tony Fraser drop­ping into left back and Andy Neil into cen­tral de­fence.

McLaugh­lin saw a shot de­flected into the side net­ting as Glens looked to kill the game.

As news fil­tered through that Vale of Clyde had taken the lead at EK, Glens re­shaped to a front three with McCarry join­ing Zok and Tait in the for­ward area as they chased the re­quired goals.

McCarry rat­tled the cross­bar and Muir’s free-kick was saved by Mack­lin.

There was time for a fi­nal burst from Glen­cairn, with the three sub­sti­tutes com­bin­ing. O’Con­nor fed Zok on the right and his cross was spec­tac­u­larly volleyed over the bar at the back post by McCarry.

The fi­nal ef­fort of the match saw Paul Doyle head wide from Alan Muir’s cor­ner from the right.

Ruther­glen Glen­cairn: Hutchi­son, Brown, Neil, Doyle, Dun­nachie (McCarry), Dean Muir (O’Con­nor), Alan Muir, Batch­e­lor, McLaugh­lin (Zok), Tait, Fraser.

Goal Mark Batch­e­lor

Bet Wil­lie Har­vey fancies his side’s chances

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