McBookie Ayrshire District League



By Stewart McConnell

SUN-drenched Victoria Park once again played host to mass celebrations as impressive Irvine Vics became the first District League club to seal a coveted Championship berth.

However the festivities were considerably overshadowed 24 hours later when boss Stevie Wilson shocked fans by announcing he was leaving the club to take up the Ardrossan Winton Rovers hotseat.

The Westenders did it the hard way, coming from behind to seal the victory they needed to return to the second tier.

It was, remarkably their third promotion inside five years and Wilson deserves great credit for getting them there.

They had to work hard to finally subdue a youthful and improving Lugar side.

However their trademark battling qualities helped get them over the line.

Vics came close in five minutes when Kevin Adam shot narrowly wide from 12 yards. At the other end two minutes later Ryan Connelly shot high and just wide from 22 yards.

The hosts really should have scored in 14 minutes when Grant Bolton and David Adams combined to set up Kevin Adam, but the flag had gone up for offside against the latter before he could shoot.

However in 18 minutes Luger took a shock lead when David Jardine smashed a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner of the net.

Lugar came close yet again in 23 minutes when a strong drive by Connelly was blocked by Chris Lamb's legs. Then a minute later at the other end Adams was denied by a fine save from Ronald Davis.

A Callum Davidson effort from eight yards was well handled by the Lugar goalie in 34 minutes.

Sean Mears set up Grant Bolton in 38 minutes but Davis easily saved his effort from eight yards.

Another chance was missed in 43 minutes when Callum Davidson curled a 25-yard free-kick well wide of target.

A free-kick from 25 yards by Jardine was well handled by Lamb in 44 minutes as Lugar kept pressing.

However Vics equalised right on the stroke of half-time when Adam sent home a looping header from an Adams cross.

The hosts blasted into the lead in 51 minutes when Mears capitalised on defensive indecision to roll the ball home from eight yards.

Lugar thought they had the ball in the net in 58 minutes through Adam Wales, but the "goal" was chalked off as it was adjudged not to have crossed the line.

Livewire Adam crossed to Davidson, whose effort from eight yards was easily saved by Davis in 61 minutes.

Lugar were unlucky in 64 minutes when Jamie Conn shot across the face of goal from 25 yards.

A cross-cum shot from 25 yards by Adams was well saved by Davis in 67 minutes as Vics kept pressing.

Irvine Vics had a great opportunity in 75 minutes when Davis spilled the ball but substitute Ryan Singleton failed to knock it past him.

Lugar were unlucky in 82 minutes when a Connelly shot from 10 yards was saved on the line by Lamb.

A strong Adam header from eight yards was well handled by Davis in 89 minutes as Vics comfortably saw the game out.

IRVINE VICTORIA: Lamb; Craig, Longair, D Wilson, Young, C Wilson, Mears, Davidson, Adam, Adams, Bolton. Subs: Bonner, Wood, Singleton, Ablorh.

LUGAR BOSWELL THISTLE: Davis; Montgomery, Lowe, Crolley, Jardine, Curtis, Conn, Wallace, Vance, Connelly, Wales. Subs: Orr, Caldow, Birrell.