Girvan 0

East Kilbride Thistle 1

girvan slumped to their third defeat on the trot as East Kilbride hit the winner 15 minutes from time at Hamilton Park on Saturday.

Defeat sees the Seasiders drop down to sixth in the First Division and are now only six points above the relegation zone.

In fact, only nine points separate second-placed Whitletts down to Cumbernauld in 11th, further emphasising just how tight this league is.

A run of three victories can shoot you up the table whereas three defeats will send you plummeting.

And with nine fixtures left this season for Brian McLuckie’s men, it sets them up for a hectic finish to the season.

Girvan went close twice in the opening seven minutes in Saturday’s game. First up was George Wallace, but his header from Alan Love’s cross was tipped over the bar by Johnny Murdoch after five minutes.

Two minutes later, Neal Gilmour saw his strike fly just past the post. The visitors thought they had opened the scoring after 13 minutes, but Murray Watson’s effort hit the side-netting, deceiving the travelling support who thought it had gone in.

Since the departure of Michael Moffat, Girvan have had no luck in front of goal and this was highlighted when Moffat’s replacement, Aarron Connelly, couldn’t convert in a six-yard box stramash.

The on-loan Ayr United man had three chances to score but saw all his efforts blocked.

It was a missed opportunity for which Girvan were made to pay as East Kilbride, who grew more confident in the second half, finished off a slick move to secure all three points.

Substitute Billy Young started the move that led to the winner with a neat flick that released Steven Chaplian down the left wing. He picked out Ricky Orr inside the area and he made no mistake slotting past Keith Ross in the Girvan goal.

Speaking afterwards, chairman Tam McCreadie told the Gazette: “We just can’t buy a goal just now. We are missing Michael Moffat. As a partnership, Moffat and big George Wallace were really good and they did a lot of damage for us.

“We just need to keep plugging away and I’m sure the goals will start coming again. This league is very tight and probably the best in the juniors in terms of action and drama.

“We’re nearing the end of the season and so many clubs are in with a shout for promotion and relegation.

“We’ve got a tough game at Bellshill on Saturday, but it’s on a 3G surface and that will probably suit our passing game.”