Players scratching heads at ref blunders
Glens lose penultimate pre-season game 3-1
Glencairn travelled to the north end of Glasgow to the newly refurbished Peugeot Ashfield Stadium to take on hosts Ashfield in the penultimate friendly match of pre-season.
Both teams looked keen for the action prior to kick off but it was the referee who had the players and coaching staff scratching their heads over the 90 minutes.
With a few players nursing minor knocks and some still on holiday, Glencairn had a matchday squad of 18 players to choose from.
Team manager Willie Harvey was back in the dugout after his summer break, and the hope was that the team would continue its progress after a positive previous weekend at the Kilbirnie tournament.
But the home side didn’t waste any time in taking the lead.
A long ball forward was flicked on in the air for Steven Dymock, who looked to be in an offside position, before he was allowed to run on and fire a decisive finish under JC Hutchison.
It took The Glens a few minutes to settle after this early setback, but the 15th minute saw them deservedly draw level. Fraser’s cross from the left was not effectively cleared by the home defence and Sean McGuire latched onto the loose ball and planted a shot past Martin Storey, with the help of a slight deflection.
The black and white support hoped that would be the catalyst for Glencairn to assert their authority on the game, but they were rocked back again in the 26th minute as Ashfield regained the lead.
This time there were no doubts about the validity of the goal, and also no doubts about the slackness of the defending. Kyle Lochhead’s free kick picked out the free head of Alex Donnelly right in front of goal, six yards out, and he simply couldn’t miss as he put the home side 2- 1 ahead.
The referee baffled everybody on the pitch and in the crowd on the half hour mark as he stopped play to deal with a shout from the Glencairn dugout.
With no offence having been committed on the field of play, the whistler then bizarrely awarded a free kick to Ashfield, with both sets of players shaking their heads in confusion.
Glencairn made seven changes at the interval as they continued their pre-season policy of giving every squad player as close to equal game time as possible.
The Glens continued to attack, with Ashfield not really threatening much at the other end, and Marshall’s pin-point cross picked out the free head of Craig McGregor at the back post.
His effort beat Mather but rebounded from the top of the crossbar.
Glencairn re-shaped the team to three at the back to try to change their fortunes but they were caught on the break in the 85th minute as Ashfield tied up the game.
Right-back David Cane looked to be offside as he was released on the wing was allowed to run on and square the ball to Steven Dymock who slipped the ball under Glencairn’s substitute goalkeeper KP McAllister.
The referee had the players and coaching staff scratching their heads
Rutherglen Glencairn: Hutchison (McAllister), Hall (Brown), Dempsey, Donaldson, McGregor (Dunnachie), Marshall, McNab (Hamilton), McGuire (Docherty), McKay, Bennett (Cullen), Fraser (Salah).
Pre-season Glencairn’s Del McNab takes on the Ashfield defence in the first half