Glencairn stunned by late fightback
Glencairn’s year ended on a disappointing note as a second-half horror show by both the team and the referee resulted in a two-goal half-time lead being turned into a 3-2 defeat.
Both sides were understandably under-strength due to the time of year, with players away on holiday and also nursing injuries. The Glens were missing Stewart Hall, Anthony Dempsey, Rhys Donaldson and Fraser Team due to injury, while Ryan Docherty, Brian Eadie, Alan Muir and Jordan Marshall were also unavailable.
That meant a call-up to the squad for two members of the under-21 squad, with a starting place for midfielder Njabulo Ndlovu and a place on the substitutes’bench for Anton Phinn.
It took Glencairn less than two minutes to take the lead. Jay McKay showed great trickery wide on the right to turn away from his marker and head along the byline. He rolled the ball into the path of Njabulo Ndlovu, who fired a precise shot into the net.
Glencairn increased their lead in the 25th minute when Hunter’s ball to McKay saw the striker turn and shoot. He pulled his shot but first to react was Paddy Cullen who slotted past McWilliams.
Glencairn took the opportunity of half-time to make all the available six changes to the line-up and the change in fortunes that was about to come was quite remarkable. A match which had seemingly been comfortable for The Glens at the break was about to turn completely on its head.
The 63rd minute saw the start of the Greenock comeback. Craig Brown looked at least six yards offside as he was released through on goal to score.
Greenock sensed that The Glens had not settled after this setback and they took the opportunity to equalise only two minutes later. Paton did well to hold off his marker and turn the ball across goal where Stephen Dallas was waiting to fire into the net.
The whistler continued to be the centre of attention in the 68th minute as he flashed a straight red card to Paton for what appeared to be dissent.
Paton had been in a tussle for possession with Brown and a foul had been awarded against the Greenock man, despite him emerging from the tussle with a bloodied nose.
With 15 minutes remaining, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Dallas went down in the penalty area as he ran in behind a turning Brown. Colin Gailey fired the kick into the roof of the net to put his side 3-2 ahead.
Assist Striker Jay McKay