Buffs feel Strain asMed­da­come from be­hind...

Evening Times - - SPORT -

He couldn’t to­tally mask his ob­vi­ous dis­ap­point­ment, how­ever Strain kept his true feel­ings un­der con­trol as he ac­knowl­edged his play­ers got what they de­served for un­der­per­form­ing on the day.

He said: “We are bet­ter as a team and as in­di­vid­u­als than we showed out there, but we just didn’t pro­duce on the day.

“Twice we failed to sit on a lead for longer than a cou­ple of min­utes and you can­not do that at any level of the game, yet my big­gest gripe is the lack of in­ten­sity and our look­ing at times as if we were go­ing through the mo­tions in what is a huge derby game as far as brag­ging rights go for our fans.

“Irvine Meadow have come here and parked the bus but all credit be­longs to Brian McGinty and his play­ers for mak­ing things dif­fi­cult and ask­ing ques­tions of us that we couldn’t an­swer.”

Nei­ther did Strainy moan over the quite baf­fling de­ci­sion that saw whistler Craig King dis­al­low a Ryan Nis­bet goal for off­side (at 1-1 and ap­proach­ing half-time) on the sayso of his as­sis­tant whose fla­grais­ing ac­tions in­di­cated he had some­how failed to spot the striker dart­ing be­tween a cou­ple of sta­tion­ary de­fend­ers to latch on to a Bryan Boy­lan flick and clip the ball into the net .

One would have to say the en­su­ing tor­rent of abuse from Kil­win­ning sup­port­ers and in par­tic­u­lar the many ref­er­ences to “Spec­savers” were all his own do­ing be­cause it was a quite hor­ren­dous gaffe yet one that was prob­a­bly in keep­ing with an open­ing 45 min­utes lit­tered with mis­takes .

The home team’s su­pe­ri­or­ity in pos­ses­sion was all too of­ten negated by an ab­ject lack of qual­ity in the fi­nal third which in tan­dem with Medda’s man­ful de­fen­sive set-up , where Dar­ren Miller was out­stand­ing, en­sured there were pre­cious few at­tempts al­lowed to trou­ble goal­keeper Shaun New­man.

And it’s maybe just as well the guys in front of him were on their game be­cause the for­mer Ayr United Youths No.1 had ear­lier made a to­tal hash of keep­ing out Craig Pet­ti­grew’s free-kick opener for the Buffs.

A foul just out­side the box with only 90 sec­onds played had led to the award and New­man duly set-up a cov­er­ing wall but his tak­ing up a po­si­tion more cen­tral than nec­es­sary left a yawn­ing gap to his left side into which Petty side­footed the ball for 1-0 .

Vis­it­ing heads slumped but they were not down for long as be­cause Irvine Meadow’s first at­tack­ing sor­tie up­field brought an­other free-kick award in a near iden­ti­cal spot and skip­per Ben Car­son’s swerv­ing shot found the bot­tom cor­ner of the net with Kil­win­ning ‘s vet­eran cus­to­dian Michael Wardrope look­ing at fault on t his oc­ca­sion.

An­other whirl­wind start de­noted the sec­ond half get­ting un­der­way and Kil­win­ning ‘s noses were soon back in front fol­low­ing an un­tidy melee in the Medda penalty box that was ended by James Latta pok­ing the ball home for 2-1.

But yet again the lead was to prove short-lived as shortly af­ter­wards Irvine Meadow re­stored par­ity when Con Boyle worked some space on the right flank and fired over a low driven cross that found Jared Wil­let to­tally un­marked com­ing in from his left-wing beat and he belted the ball past a help­less Wardrope from close range.

Boy­lan and Fin­lay Frye ef­forts crept over the cross­bar as the Buffs sought to re­gain the ad­van­tage and Nis­bet was foiled by New­man’s block­ing save at the striker’s feet how­ever Medda were be­ing seen as more of an at­tack­ing threat and their mo­ment of in­spi­ra­tion ar­rived from the speedy Wil­let ‘s run down the left that cul­mi­nated with him re­cip­ro­cat­ing Boyle’s ear­lier as­sist by putting the ball across goal for his team mate to fire home an an­gu­lar shot for a 3-2 score­line.

WIN­NING gaffer Brian McGinty said af­ter­wards, “We al­ways felt our front play­ers had the pace and en­ergy to pose prob­lems for Kil­win­ning’s de­fend­ers if we could stay in the game un­til the clos­ing 20 min­utes .

“Our game plan was de­signed to go tight on their two most in­flu­en­tial play­ers, Pet­ti­grew and McGuin­ness but ul­ti­mately we can set the guys up in all sorts of ways but they have to de­liver ...and boy did they do that and more be­sides.

“I shook hands with Craig Pet­ti­grew at time up and he said it was the first time he as a sweeper had ever been man­marked but I made no apolo­gies as the end jus­ti­fies the means in my book.”

Among other first-round shocks were the elim­i­na­tion of West Re­gion king­pins Gle­nafton elim­i­nated 3-2 at home to Gir­van for whom Michael Reilly and Craig Reid were on tar­get while Ash­field knocked out two Di­vi­sions higher up Ruther­glen Glen­cairn with a 3-1 vic­tory at Sara­cen Park thanks to a Paul Maxwell brace and Billy Steven­son counter.

Tro­phy hold­ers Pol­lok ran out 5-0 win­ners over Royal Al­bert and last sea­son’s beaten fi­nal­ists Cum­nock ham­mered Glas­gow Perthshire 9-1 with Scott An­son net­ting a hat trick.

In the de­layed Scot­tish Ju­nior Cup sec­ond-round con­tests, Arthurlie front­man Marc McKen­zie bagged a hat-trick to go along with a Colin Spence goal as the Bar­rhead men beat Les­ma­hagow 4-3 while Barry McGeechan grabbed the only goal of the game as Forth Wan­der­ers got the bet­ter of Irvine Vics.

But pride of place be­longs to Cup bat­tlers Kil­birnie Lade­side who fought back from 3-2 down and be­ing re­duced to 10 men (Mick O’Byrne red-carded) away to Penicuik Ath­letic to level mat­ters at 3-3 be­fore win­ning 4-3 on penalty kicks.

Ar­nauld Bembo, O’Byrne and Peter McGill were the Ayr­shire marks­men.

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