Cup campaign off to a flying start

Raising his hands in the air, Johnny Sloss celebrates a goal.

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League Cup Group A

Grange Amateurs 2 Arran AFC 5

Arran AFC got their cup campaign off to a flyer putting five goals past Grange Amateurs in Saltcoats on Sunday.

After a lengthy three month break from football, owing to the festive break and their first fixture being cancelled due to weather, the well rested Arran side came out fighting fit for the game.

With a starting lineup in a 3-5-2 formation, it took Arran only a few minutes to revert to form as they settled into the game. With Archie McNicol and Johnny Sloss at the head of the pack they presented a formidable threat to their opponents and seemed poised to strike at any moment.

Arran took the lead with a ball through to Archie whose cross landed at Ryan Armstrong’s foot which blasted it straight into the back of the net. Grange played determinedly to equalise with a goal of their own but their hopes were dashed when Arran went 2-0 up with a well worked goal finished off by Johnny Sloss.

In the second half Grange came out more determined than ever and with renewed vigour they secured their first goal while also making good progress in dominating the opposition’s half of the pitch. The advance was rapidly curtailed when the Arran manager made a change of formation to 4-4-2 which immediately settled the players and frustrated Grange’s tactics.

With Archie on fine form he played provider and set up goals for Johnny, who scored twice during the game, and for Nick Emsley, before rounding the tally off with a goal of his own to bring the score up to 5-1.

Grange continued their valiant fight and despite Chris ‘Babbies’ MacNeil’s fine tackling -which prevented further opposition goals – Grange managed to reap some vengeance and secured a late goal to leave a final score of 5-2 .

Nick Emsley was nominated man of the match for his outstanding work in midfield.

The next game for the Arran team will be a league match against Ardrossan AFC at Ardeer, Stevenson tomorrow (Sunday) with a 1pm kick off.

Photos: Tam Borland

Johnny Sloss dodges a Grange challenge for the ball.   No_B07footy01

Raising his hands in the air Johnny Sloss celebrates a goal. No_B07footy02

Eyes on the target, goal scorer Archie McNicol claims possession of the ball. No_B07footy03

Ryan Armstrong, who opened up the scoring for Arran, in possession. No_B07footy04