Three points, in the third game with three goals scored showed that three really is the magic number as the Ants put Lugar to the sword at McKenna Park. It could, and probably should have been a wider margin as the Ants missed a few gilt-edged chances but the main thing is they recorded the win, with a clean sheet to boot.
The Ants were fresh from a week off after the match v Thorniewood was postponed the week before and right from the first whistle looked right up for the fight. Within the opening five minutes they almost took the lead when Edwards cross met Williams at the front post but he was stretching to reach the ball and didn’t connect properly with the ball going over the bar. That set the tone for the majority of the half as the Ants piled the pressure on, although Lugar did threaten now and then from the counter attack and Patrick did well to narrow the angle on Dunn. Leszczynski and Edwards were causing the Lugar backline no end of problems and with 12 minutes on the clock Milne found the former, who turned his marker but could only shoot into the side netting. Chris McLaughlin, making his first start since re-joining from Neilston, was pulling the strings in the middle of the park and a diagonal pass from him found the head of Leszczynski at the back post but his header went just wide.
Lugar were more or less camped in their own half and the Ants had a penalty claim turned down as Edwards appeared to be pulled back by Cornell. Despite the Ants dominance, it was almost the visitors that took the lead when Buchanan flicked a corner into the path of his defensive partner Cornell who stuck a leg to divert it goalwards, only for Patrick to save and the ball was cleared off the line. McLaughlin then had an effort at goal which didn’t really trouble Graham in the Lugar goal as the Ants continued their onslaught of the visitors goal.
The Ants thought they had broken the deadlock in the 32nd minute when a fine move involving Gallagher and McLaughlin saw the latter play a neat ball through to Edwards who raced in on goal and slotted the ball past Graham only for the ball to hit the inside of the far post then bounce along the goal line to hit the inside of the near post, just when it looked like the ball was going to finally cross the line Graham got back and collected it with only 3/4 of the ball in the goal, much to the frustration of the McKenna Park faithful. Edwards was getting close to the opener and he was a fraction too late to get on the edge of a Williams cross in the 35th minute and the ball went out for a goal kick. A minute later the Ants hit the woodwork for a third time, this time from Gallacher after clever play by Leszczynski. A goal had to be coming and in the 42nd minute the Ants were given a golden chance to do so from the penalty spot after MacDonald was judged to have been fouled by Cornell as he tried to cross into the box and DAVID EDWARDS gave Graham no chance, sending him the wrong way from the spot to deservedly put the Ants 1-0 up.
HALF TIME – ANTS 1 (EDWARDS 42 PEN) v 0 LUGAR
The second half was more of the same with the Ants pushing forward and Lugar restricted to a rare counter attack. The Ants thought they had doubled the scoreline in the 48th minute when MacDonald crossed for Edwards to tap the ball into the net but the Ref had already blown with the Ants winger judged to have been offside followed by half chances for McLaughlin and Gallacher. The Ants did eventually get the second goal in the 57th minute with a well worked goal. Patrick played a short goal kick to Marshall, He passed it to McGarrigle who played the ball to full back Crawford, his sweeping ball forward saw Leszczynski get on the end of it before the Polish striker squared the ball for DAVID EDWARDS to slam the ball past Graham to double the home side’s lead. Two minutes later it really should have been 3-0 when the impressive McLaughlin sent Williams through on goal with a well weighted pass but the Ants wing man saw his shot well saved by Graham.
The chances kept coming for the Ants as MacDonald had a great chance after some neat play down the wing saw Edwards beat three men, his cross found MacDonald at the back post but once again Graham did well to narrow the angle and put the ball over the bar for a corner kick that came to nothing. Edwards almost netted his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, Crawford again found Leszczynski with a long ball which caught out the Lugar defence, but this time Edwards couldn’t get on the end of the cross, then Milne really should have done better when he headed over from a pinpoint cross from McLaughlin. Lugar’s only chance of note in the second half was when Buchanan headed wide from a free kick with 77 minutes on the clock.
Six minutes from time the Ants finally killed the game off when CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN beat Graham with a fine free kick that was whipped in with pace and found the far corner to the delight of the McKenna Park faithful who must have been wondering if the missed chances would come back to haunt them. Lugar were reduced to ten men in the final minute when Cornell, who had already been booked for complaining after the penalty, brought McLaughlin down on the edge of the box and was shown a second yellow card. Salt was almost rubbed into the wound from the resultant free kick but McLaughlin’s effort went just over the crossbar.
FULL TIME ANTS 3 (EDWARDS 42 PEN, 57, MCLAUGHLIN 84) v 0 LUGAR
|Date||Time||League||Season||Match Day||Full Time|
|August 17, 2019||2:00 pm||West Region League 2||2019-20||4||90'|
|392 Shieldhall Rd, Glasgow G51 4JA, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Saint Anthony’s FC||1||2||3|
|Lugar Boswell Thistle||0||0||0|