Fight for top spot

Glens and Lang lead league cup group

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page -

It is all to play for in group four of the Exsel Group Cen­tral Sec­tional League Cup af­ter The Glens de­feated Vale of Clyde in the first home match of the sea­son.

Wil­lie Har­vey made four changes to the start­ing line-up from last week’s draw with Cam­bus­lang Rangers. The squad in­cluded seven play­ers who were mak­ing their first home ap­pear­ances at The Cel­sius Sta­dium.

Glen­cairn went close early in the match as Jay McKay charged down an at­tempted clear­ance by Vale de­fender Dean Cur­rie and lobbed the ball over goal­keeper Mathew Lynch but saw his ef­fort re­bound from the far post. There was a blow for the Glens af­ter only five min­utes when right back Graeme Brown limped off and was re­placed by Ste­wart Hall.

Vale had a couple of flur­ries around the Glen­cairn goal with­out se­ri­ously test­ing goal­keeper JC Hutchi­son but the Glens got the re­ward for their pres­sure as they took the lead in the 18th minute. Hamil­ton fed Team, who set up Fraser for a cross from the left which was volleyed into the net at the back post by Ryan Ben­nett.

Haydn Cochrane of Vale picked up a yellow card and was joined shortly af­ter­wards in the book by home mid­fielder Sean McGuire for a tug on the shirt of Robert O’Don­nell.

Vale should have lev­elled when Alan Kane broke free and his cross was de­flected into the path of for­mer Glen­cairn winger Kris Irvine, who scuffed his shot wide from 12 yards out.

The flow of the game turned on its head in a couple of min­utes early in the sec­ond half. McGuire was shown a sec­ond yellow card af­ter an at­tempted block tackle on O’Don­nell in­side the cen­tre cir­cle.

The Vale equalised from the re­sult­ing free kick. Lee Mor­ri­son’s ball from half­way was lifted to­wards the penalty area and Hutchi­son went to punch clear but Scott McManus got there first to knock the ball past him with his shoul­der into the empty net.

A dou­ble change for Glen­cairn saw Jamie Hunter and Del McNab re­place Ben­nett and Hamil­ton. McNab al­most made an im­me­di­ate im­pact as his run and cross from the right was met at the near post by Team, whose shot rat­tled the post.

The psy­cho­log­i­cal edge swung back in Glen­cairn’s favour as Vale sud­denly lost their ex­tra man ad­van­tage. Hall’s run down the right was abruptly stopped by a late chal­lenge by Cochrane and the ref­eree evened the sides up with a sec­ond yellow card.

And in the 72nd minute the Glens edged in front. Fraser’s pre­cise cross was met by the free head of Team, whose header was bril­liantly par­ried on to the bar by Lynch, only for Del McNab to re­act first and head the re­bound into the net from close range.

Late on O’Don­nell’s dip­ping free kick forced the Glen­cairn num­ber one to tip it over the bar at full stretch.

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