Arran go six points clear after tough Thistle tussle

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Ayrshire Sunday League

Valley Thistle AFC 2 Arran AFC 3

Arran travelled to Kilbirnie’s Ladeside ground on Sunday to play a challenging game against undefeated Valley Thistle.

Although Arran started well they seemed to lose the grip on the match after five minutes – a risk that manager Alan Murray was well aware of when announcing an untested line-up – but which eventually paid dividends.

A ball over the top saw Thistle go 1-0 up after 20 minutes which appeared to galvanize the Arran side who came back strong. A rejuvenated Arran side then found themselves up 2-1 at half time through a header from captain Ryan Armstrong after good play from Chris ‘Babbies’ MacNeil and another goal for man-of-the-moment Johnny Sloss, assisted by a good set up from in-form Nick Emsley.

After half time Arran got off to demoralising start as Thistle quickly grabbed an equaliser. A change of tactics saw Arran start to control the game and despite a few near misses from Sam Tattersfield and Nick Emsley, super-sub Grant Adamson was rewarded for his patience with a last minute winning goal which sparked celebrations from the players and crowd.

The result now leaves Arran six points clear at the top of the Ayrshire Sunday League although the teams below them have numerous games in hand and manager Alan Murray is keen to stress that no-one is getting carried away.

On Sunday another big home game awaits at Ormidale Park as Arran welcome Irvine Vics, the only team to beat them in the league so far. A minutes silence will be held in respect of Armistice Day and kick off will be at the slightly earlier than usual time of 11.30am. Supporters are warmly welcomed and always appreciated.

Photo’s: Tam Borland

A minute’s silence is held prior to the game in honour of a friend and colleague of the Thistle team. No_B45footy01

The Arran line-up in the game against Valley Thistle. No_B45footy02

Goalkeeper Stephen Judge intercepts a Valley Thistle attempt at goal. No_B45footy03

Grant Adamson powers the ball into the goal right in front of the Thistle goalkeeper. No_B45footy04

Arran goalkeeper Stephen Judge throws himself to the ground in an attempt to prevent a sideward attack at goal. No_B45footy05

Nick Emsley narrowly misses scoring as the ball goes slightly wide. No_B45footy06

Ryan Armstrong faces a trio of challengers for the ball. No_B45footy07

Players from both sides look on anxiously during a Thistle attempt at goal. No_B45footy08

Johnnie Sloss accelerates away from opposition players with the ball. No_B45footy09