Girvan are held by Whitletts Vics but still top the section

Girvan missed TWO late penalties as they missed the chance to finish with a perfect record in Ardagh Glass League Cup section three.

Iain Kearney’s men could only draw 1-1 with Whitletts Vics at Dam Park last night but that still saw them top the group unbeaten and qualify for next weeks quarter finals.

They were joined by Maybole who thrashed Annbank 7-2 to finish runners up ahead of Troon.

Girvan took the lead on 52 minutes when Jordan Ryan’s blocked shot was put away on the re-bound by Craig Harvey.

However, Vics were level on 68 minutes when Neil McGinn squeezed between Neil Shearer and Mickey Wilson and while David Markey made the block, Tony Balfour was there to score the rebound.

Then came the late drama as first on 88 minutes after a one two between Ryan and Andrew Hislop ended in Ryan being taken out on the edge of the six yard box.

Ryan Caddis stepped up to take the penalty but Callaghan was equal to it. The drama was far from over though, as Caddis went to score the rebound he was taken down from behind by Holland. Holland got his second booking and the Seasiders were given a second chance to steal a late win, but Darren Mitchell scooped his penalty high over the bar.

The game started with Whitletts looking like the hungrier side, with Mickey Wilson giving away a free kick on the edge of the box for a trip on ex Girvan striker Mick O’Connor only four minutes in.

The free kick was hit straight at the wall, with Craig Harvey chasing it down and finding Jordan Ryan in space on the right hand side. The ball took a shin level bobble as he took aim and the shot drifted harmlessly past Callaghan’s near post.

O’Connor, who was lively all game, found himself through one on one with David Markey three minutes later but his pass was intercepted by Neil Shearer and the danger was cleared.

Mark Doolan’s free kick was flicked on by Darren Mitchell but again the ball wouldn’t come down for Ryan as he shot over from 10 yards.

Next to come close was Marc Dyer, when Markey sent a huge kick out into the Whitletts box. Raymond Buchanan headed clear but Dyer fired a volley from twenty yards straight at Callaghan.

Just before the half hour Dyer turned provider as he dribbled past three defenders, allowing Jordan Ryan the space to cross to Harvey, whose header was turned around the post by a diving Callaghan.

Five minutes after the restart Vics came close when a Balfour cross from the left was met by McGinn in the centre and his volley sailed just over the bar.

The introduction of Ryan Caddis and Andrew Hislop gave Girvan the spark they’d been lacking, but still they couldn’t add to their lead. Caddis played a neat one two with Mitchell in the middle and sent Hislop clear but the ball got stuck under his feet and Buchanan mopped up.

Whitletts’ front line looked dangerous all night and this time McGinn picked out O’Connor in the middle but his header from the edge of the box drifted narrowly wide. They didn’t have to wait long to get the goal they deserved as McGinn squeezed between Shearer and Wilson and while Markey made the block, Balfour was there to score the rebound.

It was almost two when Shearer was yellow carded for a push on O’Connor and the resulting free kick ran across the face of goal with nobody able to reach it. With seven minutes remaining Hislop almost repeated his heroics of Monday night against Troon when Caddis picked him out in the box but his shot was deflected and landed on the top of the net.

In the end a draw was a fair result and although Iain Kearney was visibly disappointed in his side’s performance they are rewarded with a home tie against premier league side Cumnock next Wednesday night in the quarter finals.

Whitletts: Callaghan, Simpson, Lawrie, Buchanan, Holland, Cameron, Duffy, Rodgers, O’Connor, McGinn, Balfour. Subs: Allan, Longair, Patterson, Davidson, Stewart.

Girvan: Markey, Doolan, Orr, Wilson, Shearer, Maitland, Harvey, McMahon, Mitchell, Dyer, Ryan. Subs: Caddis, Hislop, Webb, McMillan.