After the disappointment of the midweek defeat to Vale of Clyde, Ants manager John Kelly rung the changes with four changes to his starting line up. Littler, Conway, Mark McIlvaney and Sinclair coming in place of McGarrigle, Marshall, MacDonald and Williams. The changes though did not immediately appear to have made a difference as it was the visitors who took the lead when a long diagonal ball found Howson at the back post, he squared the ball to MARTIN JANIK and the big striker knocked past Patrick to give Newmains the lead with only three minutes on the clock much to the despair of the Ants crowd who were looking for the team to bounce back.
Having said that, it was somewhat of a false dawn for the visitors as from then on in it was pretty much a game of attack v defense as the Ants piled on the pressure looking for the equaliser, with the visitors having to try and play on the counter. There were a couple of half chances for the Ants as Gallacher, Edwards and McLaughlin all had efforts that were either easily dealt with by Meek or went high or wide of the target. Sinclair, making his first start since joining in the summer, was impressive on the right hand side and his crosses were causing problems at the back for the visitors and in the 15th minute he almost got lucky as one of his crosses ended with Meek adjusting his feet well to save as it threatened to go in. Leszczynski will probably feel he could have done better in the 22nd minute when McLaughlin clipped a ball to the back post, Gallacher couldn’t get his head to it but it found the Polish striker who caught the ball maybe a little too well and from a tightish angle his shot went over the bar. Milne then whipped in a great cross a minute later onto the head of the aforementioned Leszczynski but he couldn’t direct his header on target and Meek watched on gratefully as the ball went just past his near post. In the 26th minute the Ants got the goal their play deserved and a fine team goal it was too. Gallacher picked up the ball in the middle of the park, he ran with it then passed it to McIlvaney, who played it to McLaughlin, he switched the play to the Ants left back Milne who in turn found Gallacher, His short pass found DAVID EDWARDS 25 yards out and the Ants striker let fly with a shot on the turn past he despairing Meek and into the bottom corner to level things up with his 4th goal in 6 games for the club.
Having drawn level, the Ants were now in the hunt for a second to take the lead and the McKenna Park crowd were almost celebrating again on the half hour mark when good play between McIlvaney and Leszczynski saw the latter find Milne but the left back’s shot flew inches wide of Meek’s far post. There wasnt long to wait though when in the 35th minute the Ants did take the lead, Sinclair’s cross finding the head of KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI at the back post and he powered a header across the keeper and into the net to make it 2-1 to the Govan side. Sinclair then had a shot of his own well held by Meek but the Newmains keeper was powerless to stop the Ants extending their lead in the 42nd minute when Edwards laid the ball back to MARK MCILVANEY at the edge of the box and the midfielder smashed the ball home for his second in two games to give the Ants a two goal cushion. Newmains almost grabbed a second in first half injury time but Banks was denied by a great tackle from Crawford, which led to the Ants defender picking up a sore one for his troubles as the ball went behind for a goal kick.
HALF TIME – ANTS 3 (EDWARDS 26, LESZCZYNSKI 36, M.MCILVANEY 42) v 1 NEWMAINS (JANIK 3)
The second half was more of the same with the Ants camped in the Newmains half for the vast majority, and within minutes of the restart the home side almost added a fourth when Leszczynski played a neat 1-2 with Edwards but Meek did well to save from the former’s drive at goal. With 58 minutes on the clock the Ants got the 4th when Leszczynski found CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN who danced and twisted away from a couple of Newmains players before pirouetting from a third then steadied himself to fire past Meek into the far corner. The Ants then introduced Andy Turner and Gary McGarroch with Sinclair and Edwards making way and if Newmains thought this would mean a bit of respite they would have been wrong with both players looking to add to the Ants goal tally.
Leszczynski once again was denied by Meek in the Newmains goal when he was put through on goal, the keeper this time thwarting him with his feet. The Ants were pushing hard for goal number five and in the 68th minute they got the goal their efforts deserved with another great team goal. Patrick took a short goal-kick to Conway, who rolled the ball to Milne, The Ants full back spotted the run into the channel by Leszczynski and found him with a great long pass, he beat a Newmains defender before cutting the ball back into the path of sub ANDY TURNER who didn’t even have to break his stride to dispatch the ball past Meek for his first goal for the club and the Ants fifth of the afternoon. Credit to Newmains who could have easily thrown in the towel but they kept trying to play football, and a nice move saw Janik sent down the edge of the penalty box but his cross was a little too close to Patrick who gathered well.
This spurred the Ants back into action and two goals in three minutes put the gloss on the scoreline, the first coming from the penalty spot when Leszczynski was fouled in the box and GARY MCGARROCH stepped up to calmly put the ball past Meek for his first goal for the club to put the Ants 6-1 ahead and then a goal of the season contender from ANDY TURNER in the 78th minute when he volleyed home from the join between the touchline and the halfway line after Meek had miskicked an attempted clearance, the Newmains keeper tried to chase back in vain but he was helpless to stop it as the ball went in at his far post to put the Ants fans into seventh heaven.
Newmains did manage to pull a consolation goal back a minute later when a mix-up in the Ants defence saw Patrick come to collect a through ball, whilst an Ants defender or two tried to shepherd the ball back to him, only to see the ball fall to ALLAN HALLIDAY who couldn’t believe his luck and he gladly rolled the ball into the empty net to make it 7-2. There were a couple of further chances for the Ants to add to their tally but a mixture of good goalkeeping, last gasp defending and poor finishing saw them unable to notch any more goals.
FULL TIME – ANTS 3 (EDWARDS 26, LESZCZYNSKI 36, M.MCILVANEY 42, MCLAUGHLIN 58, TURNER 68,78 MCGARROCH 75 (PEN) ) v 2 NEWMAINS (JANIK 3, HALLIDAY 79)
|Date||Time||League||Season||Match Day||Full Time|
|August 24, 2019||2:00 pm||West Region League 2||2019-20||6||90'|
|392 Shieldhall Rd, Glasgow G51 4JA, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Saint Anthony’s FC||3||4||7|