Part one saw the Ants finally get some league points on the board after four one goal defeats on the bounce to start the season and they started September with a good 2-0 win away to Larkhall in a friendly as they were the free team in the league, a game where Scott Arthur made his Ants debut alongside Tony Quinn however that was as good as it got in September, with only one point gained, having thrown away a 3-1 lead away to Ardeer to draw 3-3 which was the meat in the sandwich of two defeats from Lanark and Vale of Clyde (A match where Kamil Leszczynski scored on his debut as a trialist), both at McKenna Park.
The draw for the 2nd round of the Macron Sports Scottish Junior Cup hadn’t been kind to the Ants either, drawn up against West Region Premiership side Irvine Meadow at McKenna Park, Despite giving a good account for themselves, the Ants found themselves out of the cup for another season with a 3-0 defeat.
As bad as September had been, October and most of November saw a massive upturn in the Ants season, beginning away to Forth Wanderers, a matchday that didn’t get off to the best of starts when Ants players Owen McCallum and Ronnie Nicholson were involved in a traffic accident on the way to the match and ended up with the pair visiting hospital for treatment, Given that Owen was the clubs only goalkeeper, coach Tony ‘Tiger’ Curran had to pull the gloves back on as cover, but come full time there were smiles of joy as the Ants ran out 3-1 winners, a result which was to spark a run which would let thoughts of promotion enter the heads of the Ants fans.
Before the start of the game the following week our social media feeds received a massive boost when italian giants AS Roma, who were tweeted by Ants committee man James McKenna Jnr suggesting they made the Ants their Scottish team, did exactly that, throwing support behind the club for Non League Day, This gave the boys a massive boost and a Grant Kelly Hat-trick saw the Ants run out 3-1 winners over Johnstone Burgh for their first league win at McKenna Park and a 2nd win in succession for the first time that season. Grant’s hat-trick also saw him hailed as the King of Glasgow by the Roma account as the club accounts started to develop a great bond which has continued since. Our very own Graeme Crawford then attempted the AS Roma lupetto challenge which saw us in a competition with Sunderland AFC who’s admin’s had also attempted the lupetto, although this was one occasion we couldn’t come out victorious but it also led to a friendship forming between ourselves and Sunderland (More on that later)….
On the park, the team continued its great run, winning a further 3 league games on the bounce with wins v Thorniewood (a), Saltcoats Vics (a) and Newmains (h),however they crashed out of the Ardagh Glass West of Scotland cup when they again faced West Region Premiership opposition, this time Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, who scored a last minute goal to seal a 3-1 victory at Guys Meadow. The Ants bounced back with a fine 1-0 win v Vale of Leven (a) to stretch their unbeaten league run to six matches, before Thorniewood ended the 6 game winning run with a 2-1 victory at McKenna Park, scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes after the Ants had gone infront.
Off the park the club received mentions on the breakfast show on MAX Radio in Lagos, Nigeria with Mark Otabor and Debs Xtra updating Lagos on signings and results, Agreed a deal to put Balls to Cancer on the shorts of our home kit, and signed up to the On the Ball campaign to supply free sanitary products at McKenna Park on home match days.
We got back to winning ways with a win over Annbank at McKenna Park as November came to a close, but a disappointing 5-1 defeat at home to Muirkirk followed by a draw at home to Ardeer and defeat away to Lanark saw the Ants promotion hopes take a bit of a setback. We were delighted though to have had our first Ants Foodbank Collection, which saw us fill a van up 3 days before Christmas with supplies for the local Glasgow South West Foodbank and we headed into the new year full of optimism.