MURPHY STRIKE GRABS A POINT

Girvan 3

Ashfield 3

A LAST-minute Tony Murphy strike rescued a point for the Seasiders against Glasgow side Ashfield on Saturday afternoon.

Brian McLuckie’s men looked to be heading for disappointing back-to-back defeats, following last week’s 3-1 reverse at the hands of Kilwinning Rangers, only for Murphy to pop up with a minute to go fire home on the half-volley from Scott McGilp’s cross.

The Seasiders were aiming to bounce back to winning ways on Saturday but they were without key midfield man Kevin Biggart and frontman George Wallace.

They made a determined start to the game and Alan Love was first to go close when he forced a save from the Ashfield keeper, who turned over his header from Murphy’s cross.

However, for all their early pressure, they fell behind after 22 minutes.

Lee McCrae was caught out of position allowing their wide man to get to the bye-line and pick out Alistair Martin at the back post who was left with the simplest of finishes.

The Seasiders were still on top in the possession count but they were struggling to make it count, passing up a few good scoring chances.

But they finally got themselves level with five minutes before the break. Stuart Peacock launched a long, high free-kick into the penalty area and, after it bounced around Ashfield’s goalmouth area, Mark Thomson swung his boot to clear but only succeeded in directing the ball into his own net.

And just two minutes later, Girvan found themselves in front from another setpiece. This time, Murphy delivered into the danger area and Neil Gilmour fired home.

It was a stunned visiting side that trudged back to the dressing room at the interval, but they reappeared for the second half with their heads up and got themselves level with a stunning strike.

And it was Ashfield captain Thomson who made amends for his first-half own-goal with a terrific curling free kick from 25 yards into the top corner of the net.

Fifteen minutes later in this topsy-turvy match, the visitors found themselves a goal to the good once again when Jim Smith slotted home from the penalty spot.

The previous meeting between the sides was a high scoring affair, with seven goals in that encounter, and the attacking philosophy of both sides brought its reward.

The Hamilton Park men continued to press for an equaliser and, just when it looked as though it would never come, up popped Murphy to fire home for a point for his side with a minute to go.

A point apiece, on reflection, was fair on both sides, who served up a fantastic flowing game with plenty of chances.

The dropped points saw Girvan fail to move to the top of the league and they dropped down to third after being leapfrogged by this Saturday’s opponents, Clydebank. They travel to Holm Park, Yoker, on Saturday in what will be a tough game for McLuckie’s men.