Aberdeenshire AFA

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Glendale 4 – 3 Glendale XI (AET)

North of Scotland Cup Second Round

Report by Andy McLaren

Glendale veteran Jim Grant admits he was shocked but honoured after receiving the Association Medal in recognition of outstanding service to amateur football.

The 58-year-old joined the Aberdeen outfit as a player in 1974 aged 19 before being elected president ten years later.

Since then, Jim has played and watched over 600 games with the Division One (North) side, who mark their 40th anniversary in May.

And Jim admits it would be “very hard” to walk away from the club he loves.

He said: “Every year I ask who wants to sit in the president’s chair and every year I am told to sit down.

“I am extremely proud to be recognised by fellow clubs within amateur football.

“My journey with Glendale has been fantastic and it has been full of ups and downs.

“I have made several good friends over the years and I hope to make more in years to come.

“Hopefully we can get into the top four of the league but it would be really special to win a piece of silverware in our 40th anniversary season.”

Jim has been nominated to receive the award for the last three years and has won a variety of titles with the club, most recently, being crowned Division Two (East) champions in 2009.

But the Glendale legend believes playing at Pittodrie in the Aberdeen FC Trophy final was the highlight of his career.

“Playing at Pittodrie will always be in my mind as it was such a special occasion,” said Grant.

“I think the main difference with football now in comparison with when I joined the club in 1974 is the commitment of players.

“In my era, it was the same 16 guys in the dressing room every Saturday but now there seems to be a lot more attraction outwith football.

“I’m always looking to push the club forward and fingers crossed we can continue our progression up the league table in the next few games.”

Glendale’s Steven Abercrombie also had a reason to celebrate as he scored his 200th goal since joining the club in 1991.

The 42-year-old, who re-joined Glendale last season, admits he is relieved to have finally scored his 200th goal.

He said: “It’s nice to have finally reached the landmark after 20 years with the club.

“I wouldn’t say it is a weight off my shoulders but I’m glad it’s done and dusted now.

“I have only missed one game this season and my fitness has been great so hopefully I can play for as long as I can.

“We would like to think we take football seriously but the main thing is we have a good bunch of lads at the club.

“I don’t think there is anyone in Division One (North) who are clear favourites to win the league so hopefully we can push up the table after the next few games.”

Glendale started the brighter of the two sides but it was Glendale XI who struck first on 15 minutes when David Murray’s deflected free-kick flashed past goalkeeper Neil Walker.

Richard Fearn almost found the equaliser when his looping shot looked destined for the net, only for Douglas Gordon to tip it over the bar.

The home side had the bulk of possession in the first-half but couldn’t find the net when Fearn’s header skimmed the post.

Half-time: 0 – 1

Darren Banks was the heartbeat of the Glendale XI side throughout the match and his shot on 50 minutes went agonizingly past the post.

XI, who currently sit 10th in Division One (East), made it 2-0 on 55 minutes when David Murray calmly side-footed the ball from the penalty spot after Stuart Smith was taken down by Neil Walker.

Glendale clung to the hope that XI may throw away their lead and pulled a goal back on 75 minutes when Graeme Oag’s powerful header crashed against the underside of the crossbar and crossed the line to make it 2-1.

Glendale made it 2-2 on 80 minutes when Colin Patterson unleashed a fierce drive giving goalkeeper Douglas Gordon no chance.

Full-time: 2 – 2

Glendale went in front for the first time in the match when Simon Darwin curled a shot past Gordon to make it 3-2 on 105 minutes.

XI’s frustration showed when Stuart Bennett was sent-off for an off-the-ball incident with Steven Abercrombie.

Banks was Glendale XI’s best player throughout the match and his free-kick deceived Walker and bounced into the back of the net.

A pulsating derby was brought to an end when Glendale made it 4-3 after Steven Abercrombie’s 200th goal secured his sides place in the third round of the North of Scotland cup.

Final Score: 4 – 3 (AET)