Report: Stewart McConnell

Pictures: Stevie Doogan

IRREPRESSIBLE Irvine Meadow ended what has been an amazing year on Saturday by defeating second-placed Clydebank 2-0 away - a week after defeating table toppers Hurlford United.

The Irvine side, who clinched a Premiership place back in June were much too streetwise for a sluggish Bankies outfit.

Victory takes them up to seventh spot, behind local rivals Largs Thistle only on goal difference.

Later jubilant boss Brian McGinty said: “We have come to grips with the players. We are on a really good run. They deserve their result. Now we play Talbot on Saturday and it’s another massive challenge but it’s one we have got to enjoy.

"We have played the top two teams but have been worthy of beating them.”

Clydebank came very close in four minutes when a Chris Black drive from 22 yards was brilliantly saved by Shaun Newman.

Andy McLaughlin went on a great run for Meadow in 14 minutes, beating three players before shooting just over the bar from 25 yards.

Meadow were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out in 20 minutes following a foul on Brendan Sharpe but the set-piece from Ben Carson was cleared by the Bankies defence. However just a minute later they took the lead when Darren Miller smashed a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner of the net. Three minutes later a Colin Spence effort from 25 yards was we’ll saved by Marc Waters.

Reece Pearson saw his 25-yard shot well saved in 43 minutes.

Home striker Steven Higgins was booked for a rash challenge on James Latta in 47 minutes.

In 55 minutes the visitors were awarded a penalty-kick after McLaughlin was sent tumbling inside the box and skipper en Carson confidently netted from the spot.

McLaughlin’s netbound 25-yard shot was brilliantly saved by Waters in 67 minutes.

Newman made a great save to keep out a Jordan Shelvey header a minute later.

Liam Rowan was booked for a foul on Reece Pearson in 71 minutes. A Rowan shot from 20 yards was well saved by Newman two minutes later.

Pearson sent a 25-yard effort just wide in 76 minutes.

Meanwhile in other action, Kilwinning Rangers completed a perfect festive season by defeating Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 2-0, courtesy of goals from Bryan Boylan and Ryan Nisbet.