Vics End 6 Year Wait For Win At Ladywell

Maybole 2 Whitletts Victoria 3


Report by John Dalton

Whitletts a six year wait for a win ended at Ladywell Stadium with a thrilling victory in this Ardagh Glass Cup tie.

The Dam Park side hadn’t won in the Carrick Capital since 2011, losing on their last five visits but a stunning late strike from Darren Baird ended that run to break Maybole hearts.
Whitletts couldn’t have made a better start with new signing Mbanje Munyaradzi finding the net in just 75 seconds. Maybole keeper Martin McCauley could only partially clear a Sean Ewart cross into the box and from 25 yards the little Zimbabwean lifted the ball over everyone and the ball nestled in the back of the net. Munyaradzi could have added a second moments later but he couldn’t turn Craig Harvey’s cross into the net.
The home side pressed forward but failed to break through the Vics rear-guard and it was Vics who looked the more dangerous going forward. Harvey broke ranks to break through the middle but ‘Bole keeper McCauley was brave to dive at the strikers feet to save.
Midway through the half Jordan Boyd turned well at the corner of the six yard box but McCauley pulled off a fine save at full stretch and it proved to be a key save as in the 24th minute the home side equalised. A Chris Allan free kick from 22 yards catching a wicked deflection off the defensive wall, wrong footing everyone as it spun into the far corner.
Maybole had a fair share of possession but it was Whitletts carrying the greater threat with Sean Ewart and Boyd again testing McCauley but two minutes before the interval the keeper dived again at the feet of Harvey but this time pulled the Vics striker to the ground giving referee Ross Clark no option but to point to the squad. Harvey dusted himself down to fire low past McCauley.
The home side tested Vics’ keeper Stevie Douglas with another free kick but this time the big keeper beat out Allan’s effort.
The second half started quietly with neither side creating any real chances in front of goal but midway through the half Louis Kerr tested McCauley with a volley from the edge of the area. That brought the game back to life as Sam Nimmo turned a low Allan cross over the bar while at the other end Harvey saw his drive beaten away by MacAulay.
With eleven minutes remaining a Lewis Dunn drive from 25 yards left Douglas rooted to his line as the ball crashed off the top of the bar but in the 82nd minute Maybole were back on level terms in controversial fashion. Allan netting his second, this time from the penalty spot after Isaac Kerr had bundled Nicholas Warren to the ground although the offence looked clearly to have taken place outside the penalty area.
That sense of injustice spurred Vics into action. Kerr almost made amends with a thunderous strike from 25 yards that crashed back off the post but in the 86th minute substitute Baird struck a stunning winner as he swivelled 25 yards out and struck a thumping shot past McCauley that flew in off the post.
The action didn’t stop there and in injury time Maybole almost snatched an equaliser but in a crowded area a netbound shot struck John Lowe and when the ball was returned to the danger zone Warren headed into the side netting.
An entertaining afternoon and an improved performance from Vics that manager Neil Duffy will be looking for his players to build on ahead of Wednesday’s fixture at Troon
Maybole: McCauley, McMillan, Bloy, Peacock, Lowe, L. Dunn, McDade (Clark 60), Gardiner (Warren 72), Allan, Nimmo, Connor. Subs Unused: Barnett, Walker, Bell.
Ayr United: Douglas, Anderson (Boyle 45), Lawrie, I. Kerr, Buchanan, Sloan, Munyaradzi, Boyd (Baird 72), Harvey (Milligan 72), L. Kerr, Ewart. Subs Unused: Ogston, McClymont.
Referee: Ross Clark

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