By Ross Lafferty


Darvel: Meechan (2), Mackenzie (15, 37), Moore (90)

Red card Arthurlie: Carroll (52)

IT was a night of harsh lessons for Arthurlie on Friday as the 2022 Conference A champions came up against last season’s Premier Division winners in the shape of Darvel.

It’s been a rough start to the season for ‘Lie and they were put to the sword under the Recreation Park floodlights by Mick Kennedy’s clinical Darvel side who ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

As if the result alone wasn’t bad enough, the visitors were forced to play most of the second-half with ten men after their captain, Gary Carroll, was red-carded as a frustrating evening seemed to take its toll.

The immediate start of the match hadn’t at all suggested what was to come as Arthurlie had the ball in the net right from kick-off, Ali Miller firing home from a Dale Simeon cutback.

The referee, however, ruled that Simeon had failed to stop the ball crossing the byline and awarded a goal-kick as the visiting team were celebrating.

That was to be as good as things got for Craig Palmer’s men, as the home side went straight up the park to take the lead thanks to a stunning strike from Ross Meechan that was fired straight into the top left-hand corner of the goal.

Simeon had a couple of half-chances for Arthurlie but Darvel were controlling the game and on 15 minutes they doubled their lead when Allan Mackenzie converted from close range.

It was Mackenzie who added the third on 37 minutes with an almost identical finish, this time following an attack down the right.

Any hope Arthurlie had of getting back into the game ended 7 minutes into the second half, with Carroll seeing red following an aggressive challenge on Craig Truesdale that the referee clearly deemed to be dangerous.

With the home side in cruise control, Arthurlie were still plugging away but the final ball was letting them down and an Aaron Healy shot over the bar was the closest they came.

Following a string of changes for both sides Darvel thought they had claimed a fourth on 73 minutes, but Craig Moore’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Moore was to get on the scoresheet in added time, however, tapping in from close range after Garry Black had spilled a low shot from the edge of the box.

Arthurlie team: Black, Pearce, Nolan, Magee, Bradley (Mackay 87), Carroll (c), McLaughlin (Smith 77), McGaughey, Simeon, Miller (Warnock 64), Healy (Roulston 64)

Subs not used: Scott (GK), Dunsmore, Shields