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Ardagh Glass Ayrshire League Cup Final

Ardagh Glass Ayrshire League Cup Final
Troon  2 -v- 4  Hurlford United
Sunday 4th October 2015
At Meadow Park, Irvine. Kick-off 2.15pm
Troon’s first appearance in the League Cup Final ended in disappointment. The stuffing was knocked out of the Portland Parkers as Hurlford United scored twice in the opening six minutes. The first goal was scored by Richie McKillen who rose high at the far post to send a strong header into the top left hand corner of the goal. Troon keeper Ally Semple got his hand to the ball which bounced down on his goal line but he could not prevent it going into the net.
Before Troon had time to recover from this early set-back they found themselves two goals down. A ball into the Troon box appeared to brush the hand of Martin Ure, his arm was by his side, but to the shock and horror of the Troon players and their vociferous band of supporters referee Grant Irvine adjudged that Ure had handled the ball and awarded Hurlford a penalty kick. This was a harsh and controversial decision by the official but after lengthy protestations Stewart Kean duly took the spot-kick and fired a low shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net sending Semple the wrong way.
The match was now literally over as a contest however to their credit the dejected Troon outfit soon knuckled down. rolled up their sleeves and started to make a game of it. Despite holding their own in the middle of the park Troon rarely posed a threat to the Hurlford goal. Adam Forsyth was ploughing a lone furrow up front, he worked hard, he ran all over the park but was unable to find a way through a resolute Hurlford defence.  Hurlford’s beanpole centre-back Chris Robertson was winning everything in the air.
Troon’s diminutive wing men Craig Harvey on the right and Dale Moore on the left posed little or no problems for Hurlford full-backs James Creaney and Martin Brown. Troon did create chances but mainly from mid-field where Scott Chatham, Colin Spence and Chris McKnight worked their socks off. Danny Mitchell was the first to go into the referee’s note book when he was cautioned for halting the progress of Spence with a sliding challenge as the ex Talbot man made a surging run towards the opposition goal. Troon were now having their best spell of the match and Spence came close to reducing the deficit in the 31stmin. when his 25 yard rocket shot crashed back off the face of the crossbar.
In the next minute Chatham was twice thwarted by keeper Brown when through on goal. At the other end Kean almost got a third but his deft front post flick came back off the upright. Chatham had a chance from a left wing corner kick but his header from a central position in front of goal went high over the bar. During the half Troon had three free kicks from good  positions in front of goal but the usually reliable free kick expert Dean Keenan failed to hit the target.
Centre-back Robertson was then the second Hurlford player to see yellow when he downed Spence. 
Half-time score: 0 - 2.
With ten minutes of the second half played Troon rang the changes with striker Dale Shirkie replacing Harvey. The previously isolated Forsyth now had a team-mate to play off and Troon immediately upped the anti as they endeavoured to get back into the match Five minutes on  Sean McKenna came on in place of Chatham. Keenan was then yellow carded for a challenge on Paul McKenzie in front of the Troon dugout. With about 20 minutes left a Ure pass sent Forsyth through on goal but as Brown came off his line the striker miss-hit his attempted lob and the ball went tamely into the arms of the keeper. Troon were then hit by a sucker punch in the next Hurlford attack when Ryan Borris collected the ball just inside his own half   before cutting inside and firing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box into the postage stamp  corner of the net, a superb effort. 
It was four nil in the 77th min. when Troon failed to clear their lines and McKenzie unmarked at the back post rose to bullet a header past Semple. Troon  got  a goal back in the 85thmin. when Forsyth was floored by a clumsy challenge from Brown and although the keeper got a hand to McKnight’s fierce spot-kick he could not keep it out of his net. Troon’s tails were up and they got a second in the 88thmin. when Forsyth turned Chris Robertson and left him for dead on the deck before curling a low shot into the far bottom corner of the net. The dubious penalty decision in the sixth minute spoiled the game as a spectacle as it left Troon, underdogs on the day, with a massive mountain to climb.
Ally Semple, Martin Ure, Neil McGowan, (Jordan Muir 76) Dean Keenan Y, Gavin Collins, Scott Chatham, (Sean McKenna 61) Craig Harvey, (Dale Shirkie 55) Colin Spence, Adam Forsyth, Chris McKnight, Dale Moore Y. 
Unused substitutes: Ross McCrae, Morgan Brown. Scorers:  Chris McKnight, [85 pen]  Adam Forsyth. [88]
Hurlford United:
Ally Brown, Martin Brown, James Creaney, Richie McKillen, Chris Robertson Y,
David McClune, (Gus Cochrane 78) Paul McKenzie, Danny Mitchell Y, (Fraser Chisholm  66 Y) Stewart Kean, Ross Robertson, Ryan Borris. (Phil Dolan 79) Unused substitutes: Glen Mitchell, Chris Murchie. G/k.
Scorers: Richie McKillen, [2] Stewart Kean, [6 pen] Ryan Borris, [72] |Paul McKenzie. [77]
Man of the Match award:  Ross Robertson of Hurlford United.
Referee: Grant Irvine. Assistants: Gary MacLean, Tony Fullerton. Fourth Official: David Dickenson.
Since the League Cup competition began only six of the current Ayrshire clubs have failed to win it namely Maybole, Lugar Boswell Thistle, Muirkirk, Girvan, Whitletts Victoria and TROON.