Glenvale were just about deserved League Cup winners, but by the tightest of margins in this one goal final. Captain Sam Walters’ first half goal was in the end all that separated two very evenly matched sides at Parklea.
Both these two have had a creditable league season, with Glenvale still in the chase for the title, and Airdrie lying in fourth. For a one goal game it was still pleasing on the eye. Both teams obviously expounded the merits of passing football. The ball spent a lot of time on the deck with patient play building from the back.
Perhaps the key to Glenvale’s success was in wide areas, with wing backs David McNair and Andrew McColl keeping the pressure on their opponents throughout. For all that, though, Airdrie defended well, and it was to take a set piece to undo them in the first half.
After early opportunities for Declan Curran and Kyle McLaughlin, the goal arrived from the corner kick. Curran’s corner swung in, and Walters rose above a packed defence to guide his header past the keeper on 24 minutes.
In response Airdrie were restricted to long range opportunities, getting nothing from Walters and McLaughlin at the heart of the Glenvale defence. Michael Ralston fired just over on the half hour, before Findlay Beck forced a first save from Aiden McMahon four minutes later to parry wide.
It was beginning to look as though it would take something special to open up the Glenvale defence as the half wore on in a tight midfield contest. Yet it was still up in the air as the referee blew for half time with Airdrie just a goal down.