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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


Girvan turned back the years as veteran striker Darren Mitchell came off the bench to fire the Seasiders into the Superleague First Division next season. In a tense afternoon for the home side, who required the win not only to secure their promotion but keep up their title challenge, Mitchell, the Clubs’ record goalscorer who was playing as a trialist having spent the season with amateur side Vale of Girvan, struck with just 4 minutes remaining to net Girvan’s 100th goal of the season before former Vics striker David Cunningham scored a second deep into injury time to secure the points. It was a harsh outcome on an understrength Whitletts side who will be missing talisman striker Tony Balfour and club captain Raymond Buchanan for the remainder of the season through injury but who battled hard all afternoon to frustrate the home side and who came so close to denting Girvan’s title ambitions.

Both sides observed a minute silence before the match for former Whitletts committee member Brian Darroch who passed away earlier in the week and whose contribution and commitment to the Club was immeasurable over the years. In a cagey opening, it was Girvan who threatened first when Paul Cameron headed a Paul Murphy free kick wide of the target. Sam McFall, playing upfront in the absence of Balfour, then had a great chance when he was sent clear by Graham Longair and although he lofted the ball over the advancing Stevie Douglas, the ball landed on the roof of the net. In the 29th minute, Girvan were given a great chance to opening their account when referee Tony Fullerton adjudged that Graham Longair had fouled Paul Cameron inside the box. To say the award was soft is an understatement and justice was done as Ally McInnes dived to his left to save Cameron’s spot kick. In the stramash that followed the home side had another claim for a penalty waved aside as Murphy went down under a Sean Ewart challenge but this time the referee wasn’t interested. Ewart then almost put Vics’ in front with a swinging cross from the left that beat Douglas but landed on top of the net while for Girvan David Jardine saw his effort flash across the face of goal after the visitors defence switched off at a throw in. In the second period the home side had virtually all of the possession as they forced Vics’ to defend ever deeper but rarely did they manage to trouble McInnes. Jardine again firing wide across the face of goal after some good lead up play between him and Cunningham being the only chance of note for Girvan as they grew increasingly.

With fourteen minutes remaining Peter Leonard introduced Mitchell to the play and almost immediately he showed his threat in front of goal as he just failed to connect properly in front of goal with a Craig Reid cross. But then with just four minutes remaining Whitletts resistance was finally broken as they failed to clear their lines from a long throw into the area and in the stramash that followed it was Mitchell who fired the ball home from six yards out. The relief was palpable as the home side celebrated and only a Lee Anderson block denied Jardine from adding a second before Girvan finally snatched a second in the 93rd minute as Cunningham fired home after a rebound fell kindly for him at the edge of the area.

A tough one for Vics to take given the amount of effort the players gave, superbly marshalled by Graham Longair at the back and plenty of thought for manager Neil Duffy as he looks to replicate Girvan’s success next season.

1. Douglas 2. Reid 3. Maxwell 4. Cargill 5. Danny Cunningham 6. Dinwoodie 7. Murphy 8. Cameron 9. David Cunningham 10. Jardine (Nairn 90) 11. Sloan (Mitchell 76) Subs (not used) 14. Gallagher 15. Marshall

Whitlets Victoria
1. McInnes 2. Lee Anderson 3. Ewart 4. Longair 5. Hercus 6. Sloan (Mathieson 77) 7. L. Kerr (McCarrison 53) 8. Campbell 9. Black 10. McFall 11. Davidson (Liam Anderson 84)

Referee: Tony Fullerton