Ardeer AFC 2
Vale of Girvan 3
Vale of Girvan were on their travels last Saturday up the A77 to play Ardeer Amateurs once again.
The aim was to keep their promotion hopes alive but, although they started well, the Vale were dealt with a cruel blow inside the first five minutes when Frazer Reid sustained a broken ankle, which meant the game was held up for a good half hour whilst the emergency services attended. When the game resumed, the Vale players were looking and playing like the dejected team they were.
And it was not too long before the mood was even more depressing after John Rankin put Ardeer a goal to the good when he slotted home at the back post.
This sparked Vale into life, with some good play from John McMillan and Bryce which almost pulled Vale back level. But with just five minutes of the first half remaining, Vale went two down when Dylan Yardley was sent clear.
Manager Gordon McIlwraith gave the players a few harsh words at the half-time team talk which seemed to do the trick as they came out with far more hunger about them.
Right at the start of the second half, a neat through ball was threaded in by David Bryce and met at the back post by Alan Wason, who headed into the back of the net to bring Vale right back into the game. It was all the Vale of Girvan now and some great work from Bob Ashworth saw Ardeer keeper Karu pull out some great saves.
Vale kept pressing for the equaliser, which finally came when McMillan played in Liam Wright to level things up.
With their tails up, Vale pushed forward looking for the winner and, when it did arrive, it was a cracker. Davie Wright put a lovely ball into the 18-yard box for veteran Neil Hyslop to hit the ball first-time into the net. After the game, McIlwraith said: “We played really well in the second half and I thought Steven McCluskey won us the match today because he was outstanding at the back. I would just like to add that we all wish Frazer Reid a speedy recovery.”
Vale of Girvan’s next game is home to Castleford tonight (Wednesday) at Victory Park, followed by the big one when they are at home to Dreghorn on Saturday. Both teams are undefeated in the league, so it promises to be a cracker.
Lucky numbers winner: John McMillan