McBookie Ayrshire District League



WHITLETTS Victoria's promotion hopes received a massive boost with a hard-fought win over South Ayrshire rivals Maybole at Dam Park.

And the Ayr side had to do it the hard way as they came from behind to collect all three points and kill off any hopes the visitors had of making the play-offs.

It was a tough outcome for Maybole who played some exquisite football at times but lacked the killer touch in front of goal in a game that was a fantastic advert for the Ayrshire District League.

Maybole started well, pressing Vics back into defence and Lewis Gardiner went close with a curling effort from the edge of the box that slipped inches wide.

Adam Forsyth tested Martin McAulay with a shot from the edge of the box and then saw his shot slip agonisingly past after he turned a defender just inside the box.

Louis Kerr almost gave Vics the lead when he rose to meet a Declan Milligan free-kick but the midfielder just couldn’t get enough on the ball to direct it goalwards.

But the hosts were shocked in 29 minutes when Maybole took the lead. From a free-kick Chris Campbell ghosted in only for Vics keeper Martin Fraser to save his effort but there was no denying the Maybole youngster who kept his cool to fire home the loose ball from six yards.

Moments later Fraser denied Campbell a second, saving the striker's 25-yard thunderbolt as the visitors enjoyed a good spell but Vics worked there way back into the game and four minutes before the interval they were level. Blair Anderson played in Forsyth down the right and from his cross across the face of goal, Graeme Barbour fired past McAulay from six yards.

Within seconds Vics almost took the lead when Forsyth charged down an attempted defensive clearance and the ball flew past the keeper and shaved the wrong side of the post.

Whitletts started the second half more positively. Forsyth fended off a challenge from Fraser McMillan only to be denied by Martin McAulay and then the visitors keeper did well to turn over a mishit Milligan cross from a free-kick that was heading into the top corner.

From the resulting corner kick, only the last ditch intervention of Damien Bloy denied Forsyth again but it wasn’t one way traffic and when the impressive Gardiner slipped past a couple of Vics defenders, it took a full stretch save from Fraser to parry away the striker's cross before Campbell could capitalise.

Vics almost took the lead on the hour when Forsyth nipped in to intercept a short pass back but McAulay reacted superbly to save the striker's attempted dink.

Barbour almost got a second when his header from a Connor Howe cross flashed wide before Vics got that vital second goal with 10 minutes remaining.

No doubt at all about the penalty award as McAulay’s challenge on Forsyth gave referee Ross Menzies no option but to point to the penalty spot from which Isaac Kerr thundered his shot off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

Maybole pressed but Whitletts took the points and moved up into the play - off position in the league which if maintained would likely see them play either Shettleston or Maryhill for a place in the Championship. However with five games remaining, Vics' ambitions are still to gain an automatic promotion spot.

WHITLETTS VICTORIA: Fraser; Anderson, Brown, Mullen, I Kerr, Buchanan, L Kerr, Sloan (Fisher 82) Forsyth, Barbour (Boyd 87), Milligan (Howe 73)

Subs (not used) Ogston, LT Kerr

MAYBOLE: McAulay; McMillan, Connor. Smith, Peacock, Bloy (Baird 58), McDade, Nimmo, Holland, Gardiner (MacLeod 87), Campbell (Ewing 80). Subs (not used) Elliot, Milarvie.