MATCH REPORT: IRVINE MEADOW XI 0-1 ARTHURLIE
By Ross Lafferty
Scorer: Healy (89)
Red cards: Leyden (51) & Elrick (70)
Arthurlie travelled to Irvine Meadow to win their first points of the season and helped to serve up a treat of a game in the summer sun by the seaside.
The game looked to be hingeing on some questionable refereeing decisions but a dramatic late goal from Aaron Healy saw the points make their way to Barrhead.
Despite the 27 degree heat, the match finished as it started, with both teams pushing forward and the play going from end to end.Dale Simeon had Arthurlie’s first chance after only 2 minutes but failed to convert from close range after a cutback from Healy.
Gary Carroll shot over from the edge of the box before Healy forced a save from Marc Waters in the Medda goal, all in the opening 10 minutes.
Connor Boyd had the home team’s first real chance on 20 minutes when he was put in on goal, but Garry Black was equal to the effort and pulled off a good save.
Simeon and Conor Bradley were to force Waters into further saves in the opening half hour but it was Healy who was proving a constant threat to the home side.
The young forward was denied by the Medda goalie on 40 minutes and then shot narrowly wide soon after, having went on a mazy run past a couple of defenders.
But the game took a turn early in the second half when the visitors were reduced to ten men, Jordan Leyden being sent off for what was considered a dangerous challenge after 51 m
With his team a man short, ‘Lie boss Craig Palmer made a series of changes, including the introduction of Kyle Elrick and Alan Dunsmore on 66 minutes for Tam McGaughey and Calum Nolan.
After a water break, however, that change was to provide further drama involving the referee, as Elrick’s first involvement in the game saw him making a foul that drew a second red card for the visitors.
But despite being reduced to nine, Palmer’s men never stopped hunting the victory and with 5 minutes remaining substitute Lewis Warnock hit the post when he got on the end of a Simeon free-kick.
Four minutes later there was to be no mistake though, and this time Simeon was the provider again, playing through Healy to convert from a tight angle and spark wild celebrations from the away side.
Arthurlie team: Black, Pearce, Bradley (MacNeil 51), Leyden, Nolan (Dunsmore 66), McLaughlin, Miller (Mackay 51), McGaughey (Elrick 66), Carroll (c)(Warnock 80), Simeon, Healy
Subs not used: Scott (GK)
Irvine Meadow XI: Waters, Wallace, Byrne, Wharton, Gow, O’Donnel, Ramsay, Urquhart, Graham, Boubekri, Boyd
Subs: Findlay, Smith, Milliken, Faulds, Kearney, Whyte, Bysouth (GK)