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Match Report : Whitletts Vics


An understrength Whitletts took the points in thrilling seven goal encounter at Dam Park against a Muirkirk side that can take a lot of heart from a spirited performance that saw them almost take an unexpected point.

Minus key players Raymond Buchanan and Michael O’Connor amongst others, from the start it was Whitletts who were doing the pressing looking for the early breakthrough and Louis Kerr, making his first start in a Whitletts shirt, almost opened the scoring after six minutes. Tony Balfour and Jim Wilson combined to set up the youngster and although Kerr’s effort beat the keeper, a defender got back in time to clear his netbound effort.

Kerr was unlucky again when he looked to be pulled back as he went for a Rikki Hanvey cross but although Kerr got his shot in on target Sean Kirkland blocked his effort.

Although they had the possession and territorial advantage, the home side were shocked when it was Muirkirk who broke the deadlock. With 18 minutes on the clock a clever free kick from the corner of the area played along the six yard box and was missed by Ally McInnes and ‘Kirk defender Allan Baird was on hand to roll the ball into the empty net.

That setback spurred Vics into action and within two minutes they were back on level terms. Jim Wilson broke down the left and his cross was headed home by Ricky Hanvey.

Whitletts almost took the lead moments later when Balfour’s drive from the edge of the box beat Kirkland only to crash back off the inside of the post. Balfour then beat the ‘Kirk offside trap but this time Kirkland blocked the strikers effort. However not to be outdone Balfour finally got his name on the scoresheet in the 34th minute. A superb flick from the wee striker took two ‘Kirk defenders out the game and the Vics’ top scorer ran on to fire past the advancing Kirkland to stretch his scoring streak to twelve successive matches.

Kerr almost made it three moments later but this time Kirkland was equal to the task and Vics had to settle for a one goal advantage at the interval.

Inside the opening minute of the second period the Ayr side increased their advantage. The ball broke to Lee Holland at the edge of the six yard box and although his effort was blocked by Kirkland the ball fell kindly for Jim Wilson who turned to fire home from six yards.

But within sixty seconds Muirkirk had reduced the leeway as Mark Eadie found space inside the box to beat McInnes but it didn’t take long for the home side to restore their two goal advantage. Martin Reynolds broke down the left and his cross picked out Wilson who headed back across goal for his second goal of the game, although Ricky Hanvey on the goal line tried to claim he got the final touch.

But not to be outdone back came Muirkirk and in the 54th minute a stunning 35 yard strike from Eadie gave McInnes absolutely no chance.

Both sides sensed there were more goals in the game and half chances were being created at both ends. Shaun Gallagher had a shot for ‘Kirk that wasn’t far away while for Vics, Graham Longair and Kerr collided as they both went for a back post ball in front of a gaping goal while from a Balfour free kicked whipped into the box, Jim Wilson came within inches of his hat trick with a diving header at the back post.

Whitletts continued to apply most of the pressure and create openings and should have sealed the points with just three minutes remaining but Hanvey failed to connect with Ewart cross in front of goal.

Despite having most of the possession and the chances in the second period it was Vics’ who were left hanging on for a point when a late push from Muirkirk saw the visitors win a free kick at the edge of the box deep into injury time but Gallagher’s effort struck the defensive wall and was cleared.

Whitletts Victoria
1. McInnes 2. Reynolds 3. Ewart 4. Holland 5. Wallace 6. J.Wilson 7. Longair 8. Love 9. Hanvey 10. L.Kerr (Robertson 82) 11. Balfour
Subs (not used) 12. S.Kerr 14. B.Wilson

1. Kirkland 2. Waite (Black 90) 3. Mullen 4. Baird 5. Palmer 6. Gallagher 7. Reid 8. Eadie (Martin 89) 9. Pollock (Jones HT) 10. Riddell 11. Hamilton
Subs (not used) 12. Black 14. Hampson 17. Pearson

Referee: Sean Welsh