McBookie Premiership



By Frank Cassidy

TROON took to the field in red with Glenafton in blue which might have confused neutrals in the crowd.

There was no confusion, though, as Danny McKay gave the visitors a 1-0 lead from the spot after he had been brought down in five minutes.

A lack of protest from the Glens' defenders told its own story and the ex-Ayr United striker buried his kick into the bottom corner.

Glens tried to respond but the defence, well marshalled by skipper Dean Keenan, stood firm.

It was almost 2-0 in 16 minutes when David Syme watched a ball drop before hitting it on the volley but his spectacular effort went wide.

But the goal was only delayed by 60 seconds as a high ball beat everyone, except Robert Love practically on the bye-line and he netted from a tight angle.

As expected, Glenafton mounted a wave of attacks and Darren McLean's curled free-kick came off the crossbar.

Then Scott Johnstone finger-tipped a Joe Andrew shot, also on to the bar, and it looked briefly like Troon were under siege.

They were hitting Glens on the break, however, and were awarded another penalty - not as clear cut this time - after Ally Park and Ross McCrea came together.

The outcome was also different as McKay hit the post with keeper Brian McGarrity beaten.

In typical junior football style there was a skirmish, just before the break, with for Ayr United starlet Cammy Marlow booked for his part.

Marlow was also involved in the first action of the second half when he played a one-two with Dale Moore, whose shot was well saved.

Despite having most of the possession, Glens could not breach the well-organised Troon defence.

Something special would be required to do so and that came in 77 minutes when Findlay Frye showed great composure to reduce the margin.

Off-the-ball altercations and disagreements kept the referee on his toes and the fans excited - but there was plenty of good football on show as well.

Substitutes Evan Maley and Jamie Martin added a bit of pace to the Troon attacks but they could not add to their tally.

Likewise Glens, who were denied by Syme when he calmly shielded a ball out of play as Kit Cummins tried in vain to dispossess him.

Seasiders manager Jimmy Kirkwood said after the match: "Both teams were going at it hell for leather. When you are in the dugout it is only enjoyable at the end, when you win, but I thought we deserved the points today. We missed a penalty which would have put us 3-0 up at half-time, who knows what would have happened after that?"

Kirkwood has put together a blend of youth and experience which is proving effective.

He added: "We've got Dean Keenan, Christian Nade and Scott Chatham - who is in his 10th season with the club. They help the young guys and give the team a bit of steel. But Davie Syme, who is only 20-years-old, is looking really good just now."

TROON: Johnstone; Strachan, Sherrie, Keenan, Syme, Murphy, McCrea, Chatham, Nade (Martin 86), McKay (Fulton 55), Love (Maley 66).

Subs not used: McInally, Simpson.