Arthurlie Football Club
ARTHURLIE 1-0 GLASGOW UNITED
WoSFL Cup First Round
ARTHURLIE 1-0 GLASGOW UNITED
By Ross Lafferty
ARTHURLIE maintained their status as the only unbeaten team in Scotland’s professional football pyramid as they saw off a doughty Glasgow United by a single goal at Dunterlie Park.
It was a break from league action this week with Conference B’s United visiting Barrhead to take on the Conference A leaders in the West of Scotland League Cup. And in a season that has seen some truly brilliant performances ‘Lie would have been breathing a sigh of relief as they had to call on all their battling qualities to overcome one of their toughest opponents of the campaign so far.
Glasgow didn’t give Arthurlie a moment to spare throughout the ninety, and in a cagey start both teams huffed and puffed with the ball spending most of its time in the midfield areas.
Gary Smith had the home side’s first chance of the match with a free-kick on the edge of the area after 6 minutes but he lashed his attempt into the wall and United cleared the danger.
Seven minutes later, Smith again had a half-chance but this time dragged his hopeful 20-yarder well wide of the target.
With the ball going behind for a goal-kick, at this point the players and officials joined in with the crowd for a minute’s applause to remember 13-year-old Devin Gordon of Bathgate who so tragically lost his life earlier this week.
As the game restarted, United had their first chance of the match on 15 minutes, Dylan Martin sneaking past two defenders on the edge of the box before cracking a shot off James Scott’s crossbar.
One minute after what should have been a wake-up call for Arthurlie, United got in again, with Calum Nolan missing a header at the back post only for Anson Lung to send a wild volley high over the goal from only six yards.
As Arthurlie slowly crept into the match, Darren Ramsay headed a corner wide from a good position on 26 minutes and Tam McGaughey had a goal ruled out after the referee blew for offside.
With half-time drawing closer, McGaughey was becoming more of an influence on the match and on 38 minutes he saw a curling shot from the corner of the area rebound back off the post before Smith sent the rebound wide.
United weren’t sitting back, however, and with a minute of the half remaining Mick Macneil had to clear off the line after a trundling effort had wrong-footed Scott in the Arthurlie goal.
Shortly afterwards the visitors had another chance, but Ross Barclay lashed over the bar from 15-yards with the goal at his mercy.
Whatever Andy McFadyen said in the home dressing room at the break certainly seemed to do the trick and Arthurlie came out for the second half looking to make amends for a disappointing opening 45.
Andy McLaughlin and Gary Carroll both had chances as the pressure started to build and the Glasgow physio certainly earned his money as several of their players received treatment as tiredness seemed to creep through their line-up.
Substitute Nad Zeb had a header cleared off the line on 78 minutes and Smith headed wide from close range after Dave Mackay had a driven cross parried out by Ewan Roche in the away goal.
With ‘Lie dominating possession it seemed the goal was destined to come, even with so little time remaining, and on 83 minutes the winner arrived via McLaughlin, his powerful driving deflecting past Roche to make it 1-0.
Two minutes after cheering the goal, the crowd were on hand to give a rousing reception to Conor Bradley, making his return from a horror injury suffered at the start of the season in place of McGaughey.
Smith and Zeb missed good opportunities in the final couple of minutes and United did manage to garner the energy for a couple of late attacks but that single goal proved enough to send Arthurlie into the second round of the competition.
Arthurlie team: Scott, Chalmers, Mackay, Nolan, MacNeil, McLaughlin, Carroll, Ramsay (Zeb 55), Smith, Leyden, McGaughey (Bradley 85)
Subs not used: McFarlane, Simeon, Roulston, Dunsmore, Kerr (GK)
‘Mon the ‘Lie
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