Ar­ran take point from a tough dou­ble-header

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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.

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