Arran rookies put league champions to the sword

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Ayrshire Sunday League

Arran AFC 5, Killie Atheltic AFC 2

Current Division One champions Killie Athletic travelled to Arran last Sunday on a gloriously bright day to enjoy near-perfect conditions for football on the freshly manicured Ormidale pitch.

The earlier kick off time didn’t affect the crowd too much as the Arran supporters turned up in good numbers to watch a convincing victory which has sent ripples of excitement through the rest of the clubs in Ayrshire competing for the title.

Manager Alan Murray changed the formation to combat Killie’s strong midfield reputation and went with three in central defence, three across the centre of the pitch and two attacking wing backs in the Gilberts – Gavin and Fraser. Johnny Sloss was chosen to fill Archie’s boots with Donald Park sitting back between him and the midfield.

It was the in-form Sloss who opened the scoring with the outside of his left foot after a good through ball from the impressive Nick Emsley. The best goal of the day was then side footed into the top corner from 25 yards by captain Ryan Armstrong, something he has waited for since the team started in August.

Arran had more chances to extend the lead but paid the price just before half time as Athletic pulled a goal back from a good free kick which was headed past returning keeper Stephen Judge.

Arran remained motivated after the break though and Sloss was again on the end of a good ball, this time from Chris ‘Babbies’ MacNeil, to knock it past the Killie goalkeeper to make it 3-1.

Emsley was running the midfield and another great ball from the right found Armstrong for his second of the game. A good strike from the edge of Arran’s box saw the score tighten again as it went 4-2 but Arran put the game to bed when substitute Joel Small was set up again by Emsley and tapped the ball home for yet another goal by the big striker.

Man of the match was Nick Emsley for setting up three goals and his use of the ball throughout and the match ball was sponsored by Brodick Bar and Brasserie.

The result sees Arran stay at the top of the league but they cannot afford to rest on their laurels as they play another big game tomorrow (Sunday) against the in-form Valley Thistle AFC at the Kilbinrnie Ladeside’s ground with a 1.30pm kick off. Anyone wishing to attend the game on the team bus can message the clubs Facebook page or message Marc Head.

Goalkeeper Stephen Judge can only look on as Killie Athletic slip one past him from close range. 01_B44footy01

Arran captain Ryan Armstrong shakes hands with the Killie captain before kick off. 01_B44footy02

Johnny Sloss opens the scoring with a left footed kick at goal. 01_B44footy03

Fraser Gilbert bears down on the Killie goal. 01_B44footy04

Donald Park sweeps past the opposition to claim possession of the ball. 01_B44footy05

Man of the match Nick Emsley set up three goals. 01_B44footy06

The Killie Athletic goalkeeper leaps into the air in an attempt to prevent another Arran goal. 01_B44footy07