Goal rout for Arran as they go third in league

Archie McNicol powers the ball into the top left corner of the net.

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Arran AFC     8

Irvine SB      0

Ayrshire Sunday League Division 1

Arran continued their unbeaten record this season when they won comfortably in the league game against Irvine SB at Kilwinning Sports Club on Sunday. They now sit third in Division 1 with a maximum of nine points from three games.

Irvine were dealt a blow in the first couple of minutes of the game as their midfielder was given a straight red card for a lunge on Christopher ‘Babbies’ MacNeil.

Arran took the lead when Archie McNicol fired in a rebound from a tight angle and Johnny Sloss got the only other goal of the first half when he was first on the scene to meet the rebound from Ryan Armstrong’s strike.

In the second half the extra man showed as Irvine looked to tire. Capitalising on this Archie got an impressive second half hat-trick to make it four in the match.

The pick of his goals was a free kick on the right hand side of the area. The goalkeeper tried to second guess him thinking he would be crossing it in but Archie had other ideas and stuck the ball into the right hand side of the goal.

A weary Joel Small came off the bench but showed no signs of his previous day’s exertions as he burst down the left wing and held off the defender to put the ball into the corner of the net. At the other end Babbies made a great goal line clearance to ensure Arran got a clean sheet.

Danny Head also got in on the goal scoring when he latched onto Archie’s pinpoint crossed free kick – the keeper made a good save but Danny knocked on the rebound.

Johnny added another goal to add to his tally after some good build up from the Arran midfield.

Archie was unsurprisingly given the man of the match award. He fired in four goals and chipped in with a couple of assists too. Archie is looking in formidable form so far this season with an impressive 13 goals in five matches.

A club spokesman said: ‘The players have a well earned break next week and so do all of their helpers. This is due to Media AFC withdrawing from the Only Sport Sunday Trophy which will afford Arran a bye in the next round.

‘Due to this small break the club and players would like to express their gratitude to a number of people. With the majority of our games looking like they are going to be played on the mainland the team relies on a lot of volunteers helping us out with lifts to try and keep costs down as much as possible for the club.

‘We would like to thank Tam Borland for the time he gives to the team giving us lifts and the endless time it takes having to sieve through photos to post for our supporters.

‘We are also pleased to have our social media expert Kirsty Stewart back to keep people informed of latest scores and upcoming fixtures. She also provides transport and makes sure that our left midfielder gets to the game and has money to pay his game fees.

Thanks too, to everyone else that has been helping us out behind the scenes and also with lifts and coming to support us, especially Lorna, Ellis, William Jnr, Doreen and Marc!

‘We also wouldn’t have the chance to play if it wasn’t for the continued support of all our sponsors, from our main sponsors Arran Energy and Little Rock, to people putting money in the box at home games. Thank you all very much!

‘And last but not least, we can’t forget our manager Willie Sillars who maybe didn’t realise how much work goes into running a team, especially one in our situation. He has embraced it though and all the players are very grateful to him!’

Photographs: Tam Borland

Prolific goalscorer Archie McNicol works his way towards the goals. No_B40football01

Archie McNicol powers the ball into the top left corner of the net. No_B40football02

Joel Small kicks the ball past the keeper to score for Arran. No_B40football03

The Irvine SB keeper looks on helplessly as another ball makes it past him. No_B40football04

Ryan Armstrong has a attempt at goal right in front of the Irvine keeper. NO_B40football05

A tense moment in the Irvine goal as players struggle to intercept an overhead ball. NO_B40football06

Fleet-footed Archie McNicol outwits the Irvine keeper to score his fourth goal of the game. NO_B40football07