Girvan march on in West of Scotland cup

Tony Murphy battles against Thorniewood as Girvan win 4-1 to march through.
Tony Murphy battles against Thorniewood as Girvan win 4-1 to march through.

Craig Reid scored a hat-trick as Girvan beat Thorniewood United 4-1 at Hamilton Park to march into the West of Scotland Cup second round.

It was the visitors who started the better with Danny McNulty setting up Liam Anderson after ten minutes but his shot went into the side netting.

Peter Leonard’s side grabbed the crucial first goal on 25 minutes when a superb cross from Tony Murphy from the left wing saw Craig Reid superbly hammer home.

Shortly after this Paul Hewitt had a chance to level but he shot over, before Girvan brought off young central defender Dean Marshall as a precuation after he had suffered a head knock early in the game. Experienced Danny Cunningham took his place at the heart of the defence.

Paul Cameron ensured Girvan went in at the break 2-0 ahead after a fine move involving Robert Paterson and Reid saw Cameron set up to slot home from inside the six yard box.

Early in the second half, Paterson’s cross found David Cunningham in the clear but his header went wide.

That seemed to jolt the away side into action as they went up the other end and only a terrific save by Steve Douglas kept an Anderson header at bay.

Douglas was at his best again two minutes later when he tipped over a fierce drive from Andrew Crilly. McNulty then had a cross hit off the bar midway through the second half as Girvan lived dangerously.

The third goal though came on 76 minutes when Steven Cargill drove the ball out of defence and set up Reid who went round the keeper to grab his second of the game.

A fourth was added when Murphy found Reid eight minutes from time and he collected the match ball.

Douglas blotted his copybook right at the end of the game when he missed an attempted clearance and the ball was left for Hewitt to score.

A delighted Leonard said : “I thought they started very well and were a quick team but I was absolutely delighted with the first goal as it was a great finish by Craig Reid.

“To get the second just before half time put us in a very good position.

“The two saves by Steve Douglas were terrific; he might be a big boy but he’s very, very athletic

“The thing is though he’s come into the dressing room and he’s only worried about the mistake he’s made at the end and I think he’s drove back to Dalmellington depressed.

“Those two saves were magnificent though.”

Saturday (October 17) sees another home game for Girvan as they are back in league action against Muirkirk. Kick off 2pm at Hamilton Park.

“We go into that game with confidence due to our defence being well organised as Saturday was the first goal we’ve let in in three games.

“We’ve also scored 13 goals in our last three games and the players are doing really well.

“Muirkirk will be well organised as George Grierson always has his teams set up like that but at home people will have us as favourites.”

Saturday’s matchball against Thorniewood was sponsored by Mackay Corporate Insurance Brokers from Ayr who are thanked by the club.