Arran take point from a tough double-header
Hillhead Ladies 4s 2 Arran Ladies 2
Arran Ladies faced a double-header last weekend, travelling to Jordanhill in Glasgow to play Hillhead Ladies 4s on Saturday and then hosting Glasgow University 4s at home on Sunday. Having played both these teams last season, Arran knew that it was going to be a challenging weekend.
The match against Hillhead started with Arran taking control with great forward movement with the ball. Susie Murchie and Hazel Malakoty caused havoc in the midfield, winning the ball and redirecting it to the forward line.
The first goal came via a pass from Ellie Wood to Lorraine Hewie, who manoeuvred through the Hillhead defence to score after just six minutes. Arran dominated the first half keeping most of the possession, with Susie and Lorraine both having a couple of near misses on goal. Hillhead played extremely well with some lovely teamwork and accurate quick passing. They had a few breaks in the first half but Arran’s defensive line comprising Faith McKelvie, Jenny Stark, Freya McNicol, Elyse Aitken and Ellie, remained strong and steadfast.
Hillhead took the second half passback and tried to work their way through the Arran defence but again to no avail. It was while they were top heavy in pressing the Arran goal that a strong defensive clearance from Susie sent the ball to Lorraine at the half way line, catching Hillhead off-guard and leaving their goalkeeper with no defenders in place to challenge the charge. Lorraine cleanly finished the attack with Arran’s second goal.
Hillhead did not give up and with great determination managed to pull back two goals in the last six minutes of the game, at which point the Arran team were tiring.
The final score ended with a 2-2 draw and goalkeeper Ali McKie was voted dame of the game by Hillhead for her fantastic goalkeeping skills in thwarting many goal attempts throughout the match.
Arran Ladies 0 Glasgow Unversity 4s 4
Having played on Saturday and still missing some key players for Sunday’s match against Glasgow University 4s, Arran played a courageous game.
Arran had plenty of attempts on goal in the first half, coming up against a very strong defensive line denying goals being scored. Arran’s defence held their own throughout this half of the game, but after a determined battle within the circle, Glasgow University managed to score the first goal of the match ending the first half with a 1-0 lead.
Ayrshire Sunday League Arran AFC 5 Killie Athletic 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 Kilbirnie Ladeside’s ground with a 1.30pm kick off.
Anyone wishing to attend the game on the team bus can message the club’s Facebook page or message Marc Head.
Jenny Stark receives the ball from Susie Murchie but despite a valiant effort is unable to convert it into a goal.
Eyes on the target, Mia Walker powers down the sideline with the ball.
Stephen Judge looks on as Killie Athletic manage to slip one in the goal from close quarters.
Arran captain Ryan Armstrong, right, shakes hands with the Killie captain before kick off.
Fraser Gilbert bears down on the Killie goal.
The Killie Athletic goalkeeper leaps into the air in an attempt to prevent another Arran goal.
Nick Emsley was awarded man of the match for his performance and his help in setting up three goals.
Johnny Sloss opens the scoring with a left-footed kick at goal.
Donald Park outmanoeuvres the opposition to claim possession of the ball.