MATCH REPORT: ARTHURLIE 11-1 PETERSHILL
Arthurlie: Smith (5, 11, 55), Healy (13, 73, 78), Simeon (15), McGregor (47), Leyden (50, 57), Carroll (70)
Petershill: Shelvey (38)
By Ross Lafferty
HAVING lost their appeal against the opening day 3-points deduction during the week, Arthurlie were looking to make up that deficit by building on last week’s excellent victory at Hurlford in this six-pointer with bottom of the table Petershill.
The Springburn side have picked up just the single point since returning to the Premier Division and were up against a buoyant, and unchanged, Arthurlie team seeking their first home points of the season.
Pre-match there was a minute’s silence at Dunterlie in memory of lifelong ‘Lie fan Martin Moran, who sadly passed away recently.
While the game started on a sombre note, the home side wasted no time getting into the match, taking the lead after only 5 minutes, Gary Smith heading home from close range after a great cross from the right by Mick MacNeil.
On 10 minutes Dale Simeon almost doubled the lead but the angle proved too tight and his powerful strike was parried away by Steven McNeil in the Petershill goal.
Peasy then went up the park to force a save from James Scott, but it was Arthurlie’s immediate counter-attack that was to prove lethal, Aaron Healy running on to a fine MacNeil pass from the back before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home.
The home side quickly grabbed a third, Smith latching on to a loose pass in the away defence to stroke home his own second.
A couple of minutes later it was time for Dale Simeon to get in on the act, brilliantly chipping McNeil from 20 yards with a shot that went in off the bar after a ball in behind had again proved Petershill’s downfall.
Things weren’t going well for the visitors and it got even worse on 25 minutes when McNeil was forced off injured and had to be replaced by Jordan Scott.
Scott was called into action just a few minutes later, making a excellent one-handed stop from a Smith free-kick that was creeping in at his left-hand post.
From there ‘Lie went very quiet in the match and the visitors took advantage to pull one back on 38 minutes, Jordan Shelvey heading home after an Eddie Ferns cross caused confusion in the home defence.
Simeon almost restored the home side’s four goal lead on 43 minutes but headed narrowly over after a fine cross from the left by Smith.
But it was proving an even match at this point and Ferns almost grabbed another for Peasy, seeing his fine free-kick crash back off the crossbar just before the referee blew for half-time.
If the first-half half finished as if the second might be a contest, that idea was put to bed just a minute after the restart, Ryan McGregor grabbing ‘Lie’s fifth, converting from close range after Scott had saved well from a Jordan Leyden free-kick.
Just a few minutes later Leyden wasn’t to be denied a second time, brilliantly slotting home with a first-time left-foot shot following great work by Healy on the left.
On 55 minutes, Smith made it 7-1 with his hat-trick and his 94th Arthurlie goal, tapping into the net after McGregor’s deflected effort fell to his feet in the six-yard box.
Two minutes later ‘Lie grabbed an 8th, Alan Dunsmore cutting the ball back to Leyden, who side-footed low into the net from the edge of the box.
On 70 minutes Healy was again at the centre of things as ‘Lie added a 9th, weaving past the Petershill challenges on the left before passing across goal to Gary Carroll to finish.
Three minutes passed before Healy grabbed his own second, cutting in from the wing and sending an unstoppable shot into the bottom left corner.
Healy was in scintillating form and 5 minutes after grabbing his second he notched his hat-trick, poking past Scott after jinking past two Peasy defenders on the edge of the box.
It was to be the end of the scoring on the day for the home side as they played out time to complete a thumping 11-1 victory, equalling the club’s biggest ever winning margin, and moving them five points clear at the bottom.
Arthurlie team: Scott, Dunsmore, Bradley (Pearce 22), Nolan (Shields 60), MacNeil, Leyden (Warnock 60), McGregor, Roulston, Healy, Simeon (Carroll 46), Smith (McGaughey 64)
Subs not used: Magee, Black (GK)
Petershill team: McNeil (Scott 25), Gracie, Aubrey, Leitch (Lachlan 46), McGregor, McLaughlin, Brodie, Cappie, Shelvey, Ferns, McKenna (McPherson 46)
Subs not used: Banks, Hepburn, Quinn, Bates