Amateur Football

Budget Blinds Premier League



A DAZZLING double from Chris Skippen helped determined Drive blast back from a two-goal deficit to edge out their local rivals.

The game was switched to Greenwood Academy to get it played and turned out to be a cracker.

It was very open in the early stages with both teams going for it. An early injury to Dirrans player Stuart Walker meant a early change to the team and system.

Dirrans took the lead when a brilliant move between John Pirie and Ross McManus saw the latter in on goal to finish well. They doubled the lead when again McManus beat two men before a great strike into the top corner. Dirrans were playing some great stuff and half-time probably came at the wrong time.

Clark Drive manager Willie McMillan gave his team a right dressing down at the break and tweaked his formation.

The second half started a bit slow with not many chances but Calvin Smith broke through and a great tackle stopped him scoring.

Drive started to get back into the game and with 20 minutes remaining were awarded a penalty-kick when Michael Fitzpatrick was fouled in the box. However Ross Stewart saved the same player's spot kick.

The Kilwinning side went for it, throwing centre-half Skippen up front and this proved to be the game's turning point.

A corner-kick from Robert Lynch was headed home by Skippen to reduce the leeway.

Then from another Lynch corner the ball bounced off a Dirrans player for Skippen to score his second in 85 minutes.

A game Dirrans thought they had won was now running away from them. Logan Stevenston then had the chance to win the game for Dirrans when he raced through with only the keeper to beat but hit the side netting.

This miss was pivotal as another ball into the Dirrans box wasn't dealt with and Kyle Finnie scored to win the game with almost the last kick of the ball.

Delighted Drive secretary/chairman Drew Wilson said: "At 2-0 down when we missed the penalty it wasn't looking good and we were out of the game. Once we got the first goal that was a huge turning point and our tails were up.

"Chris Skippen did very well scoring two goals. To come out on top was excellent."

Dirrans manager Jason Stewart said: "It was a game we should never have lost though it was up there with the best we have played all season at times. We scored two lovely goals and with 20 minutes to go think everybody at the game would not have expected that result. But fair play to Drive - they threw everything at us and got their reward for that. We have to finish teams off when we are on the ascendancy but at 2-0 we shouldn't lose that."

DIRRANS ATHLETIC: R Stewart; Hynard, Walker, J Stewart, Muir, Boyd, Kean, Bennett, Pirie, McManus, Smith.

CLARK DRIVE: Kirkpatrick; McLeod, Whyte, Skippen, McFarlane, Gillies, Finnie, Hay, Lynch Gray, Fitzpatrick. Subs: Stewart, McMillan, Catterson.