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Arran AFC 7 Galston AFC 1
The Arran team had their first knockout cup game since forming and it was a home tie against Galston Amateurs in the GoVending Cup which is played among the Sunday Ayrshire Sunday League teams.
Manager Alan Murray opted for a 4-5-1 formation. Stephen Judge got his first start in goals while Marty Hynes partnered Danny Head in the centre of defence with Adam McNicol and Gavin Gilbert as full backs. Babbies MacNeil and John Drummond were the central midfield partnered with Ryan Armstrong pushing on just in front of them. Donnie Park returned on the right wing with Toby Wingham on the left side. Archie McNicol was the enforcer in the lone striker role.
Arran dominated possession from the start but still looked a bit shaky in the first 20 minutes and they were punished when Galston pounced on an uncharacteristic mistake by Armstrong, allowing them to open the scoring. The Arran Energy boys didn’t panic though and played some tactical passing football and it wasn’t long until Archie McNicol made one of his trademark runs to slot the ball beyond the keeper. It was Archie again who finished a well worked move to put the home side 2-1 up at the break.
In the second half Toby Wingham turned on the flair and was making some menacing runs causing the Galston boys all sorts of problems. The third goal for Arran was an own goal after the away side’s defence crumbled under the mounting pressure. McNicol then bagged his hat-trick which takes his total up to 13 for the season after only playing five games.
Captain Danny Head was playing his last game for the club before he heads away to Australia for the winter and he was rewarded with a goal. However the ball looked to have struck his hand as it crossed the line but thankfully for him the referee was unsighted. Wingham made it six when he was rewarded for his play, the big man powered the ball into the left hand corner with a fine strike.
The scoring was completed when Joel Small finished off a great move where the ball had been passed out from the back and the ball hit the net without a Galston player getting near it.
Johnny Sloss made his comeback coming on with 15 minutes to go to give the team a boost. He had a quick reintroduction to Sunday League tackles as he was upended with a shocking two footed lunge. Thankfully the winger came out unscathed and is sure to be a key player for Arran during the rest of the season.
Toby was given man of the match. The forward had a quiet game in the first half but really turned on the style in the second to showcase his powerful dribbling and skills.
Arran will travel to Irvine Victoria again tomorrow (Sunday) with a 2pm kick off in a repeat of the fixture from three weeks ago which ended in a draw. With all the qualifying now finished this will be Arran’s first game in Division 1 and they will be hoping to get off to a flyer. Limited spaces are available on the team bus, if anyone wants one they should contact a member of the team.
Babbies MacNeil in a tight tussle for the ball. 01_B38footy01
Arran AFC players, sponsors and supporters and the match referee. 01_B38footy02
Galston take the Arran keeper by surprise to score within the first 10 minutes. 01_B38footy03
Archie McNicol powers towards goal to score for Arran. 01_B38footy04