YOKER Athletic got off to a winning start under new boss Steven Reilly with a win over Maryhill at Lochburn Park in the Sectional League Cup on Monday night.

Debutants Liam Campbell and Shaun Kelly were in the starting line-up alongside player/manager Reilly.

Despite the early stage of the season, the pitch was heavy at times with surface water lying in places which restricted the standard of play both sides could offer.

However the Whe-Ho tried to play in the right manner with Kelly and Greig Maitland the main perpetrators of their best stuff.

The visitors looked a threat at set-pieces with gaffer Reilly and John Harvey both spurning good chances from Maitland deliveries. At the other end of the pitch Campbell was forced to produce a superb stop to deny David Quinn.

Player-boss Reilly was to open the scoring from the penalty spot after Harvey and Maitland combined well down the left flank and the latter was taken down by a clumsy Akinyemi challenge.

Within moments of the opener Darren Jones should have doubled the lead but he shot tamely at Grant Hay after excellent work by skipper Gary Bissland. The home side levelled shortly before the break when Shaun Fraser rose to nod home Jamie Docherty’s cross.

Gary Arbuckle was introduced at the break and the experienced hitman had an immediate effect in getting his side higher up the pitch. Seven minutes after the break Akinyemi was ordered off for denying Arbuckle a clear goalscoring opportunity leaving the match official with no option but to dismiss the young full-back.

The ten men stood resolute for large spells although Jones, Rankine and Maitland all passed up clear goalscoring opportunities for the Whe-Ho. Reilly was given another opportunity from the spot when Kieran Furay handled his rebounded effort from a corner with 15 minutes to go.

Young Furay joined Akinyemi for an early shower but the resultant penalty was blazed high over the bar by Reilly.

Yoker, although having to be patient, were now really making their numerical advantage count with Maitland and substitute Richard Henry finding plenty space on the flanks It was Maitland who was to provide the important second goal when he rounded keeper Hay after Kelly’s excellent pass split the home backline. Kelly and Maitland were to combine again moments later for the winger to fire low across goal where Arbuckle produced a clever finish to seal the victory.

Maryhill may point to the dismissals as being decisive in the match and the penalty awards for the Whe-Ho but in truth had the visitors had their shooting boots on the winning margin would have been much higher.

The focus for the Whe-Ho shifts to tonight’s (Wednesday) local derby against their Holm Park tenants Clydebank. Kick-off at Holm Park is 6.45pm.

Yoker Athletic: Campbell, Carson, Harvey, Cairns, Reilly, Kelly, Rankine (Henry), Bissland, Jones (McManus), Crerand (Arbuckle), Maitland.