- McBookie West Region Super League Premier Division
- Match 12
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Saturday 17th March 2018
- GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (0)
- KILWINNING RANGERS 1 (1)
by Frank Cassidy . Ayrshire Weekly Press
KILWINNING weathered a wave of Glens’ attacks while battling against a swirling wind before taking the lead. Chris Dallas and Darren McGill both had chances for the home side before Craig Pettigrew intercepted a Connor Lynass pass which was heading for Dallas.
But Buffs aren’t top of the league by accident and they showed why in 14 minutes with a goal in their first attack. Carlo Monti outpaced Ally Park on the left flank then sent in an inch-perfect pass which found Brian Boylan, who duly converted for 1-0.
Glens don’t like losing goals at home and they stormed back with Dallas setting up Mick McCann for a low shot which was well saved.
Boylan was caught offside in what looked like a tight decision, although there were no complaints from the player, more from the large visiting support. They had something to cheer about 10 minutes later when Adam Strain pulled off a magnificent save from a long-range Jamie McKernon effort.
Despite the wind, this was an enthralling encounter and Buffs were next to launch an attack which ended with a Michael Wardrope shot, from outside the area, just too high. He then got on the end of a sublime crossfield move involving Boylan and Monti, chipping keeper Brian McGarrity, but the ball ended up on the roof of the net.
Strain was called into action in the closing stages of the first half with a save to equal his earlier heroics, this time from a Lynass volley. With just one goal separating the teams, the next one was going to be crucial and Kilwinning started the second half strongly as they went in for the kill.
Having the strong wind behind them, they attempted to score from the kick-off but the ball sailed over. A Sam McCloskey shot failed to trouble McGarrity but he could only parry a Boylan effort, then almost lost a 50-50 to the hitman.
Mother Nature then had a hand in proceedings with a ball being caught in the wind giving Dallas an unexpected chance before a Monti corner was blown back out for a bye-kick. Sub Ryan Borris was involved within minutes of coming on, setting up Park, whose cross was blocked the combining well with fellow sub Dale Moore.
Borris went one better with a dangerous cross into the box which caused chaos among the defenders – who were also distracted by an overlapping Park. Moore’s shot blocked but Chris Dallas showed a striker’s instinct to pounce and level the scores with less than 20 minutes left.
Within a minute, Glens were down to 10 men when Alan Cairns was red-carded for dissent when he felt the referee should have played advantage.
Craig McEwan issued instructions from the sidelines and, as so often happens, the 10 men rallied. There were a few nervy moments, including a wind-assisted Ricky Hanvey shot and a brave save from McGarrity at the feet of substitute David Winters.
But Glens finished on top and were desperately unlucky when a Kyle McAusland free-kick found Dallas whose effort was just over the bar. One last chance fell for Wardrope who came close with a free-kick but the stalemate remained and it was a point apiece for two excellent teams.
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: McGarrity; Park, Cairns, Menzies, McAusland, Marlow, Lynass (Borris 56), McKernon, Dallas, McCann, McGill (Moore 56). Subs not used – McKnight, Andrew, Watson (gk)
KILWINNING RANGERS: Strain; Coleman, McCloskey (Nisbet 83), Pettigrew, Whyte, Frye, Monti, Hanvey, Boylan, Lewis (Winters 77), Wardrope Subs not used: Latta, McGuinness, Campbell.