Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup Second Round



By Stewart McConnell

PREMIER Division leaders Buffs overcame the District League pacesetters in a low key cup tie at Victoria Park on Wednesday.

Chris Strain's side were the dominant force, although gritty Vics did have some opportunities.

Strain said later: "We did okay on a a very difficult surface which was really poor in terms of the length of the grass but it's difficult at this time of year to get resources but we managed to cope with the game and were fairly comfortable, Vics had a couple of chances but Michael had a couple of saves. We were worthy winners."

Vics manager Stevie Wilson added: "I felt we battled really well, contained Buffs and lost a goal early after missing a good chance from Eddie Ablorh, who also missed a couple of chances in the second half, so another night he could have had a hat-trick. I thought we might sneak something and take it to penalties but Buffs are a good team and have great attacking options as well as working hard when they don't have the ball."

In four minutes Buffs threatened when an 18-yard shot from Ryan Nisbet glanced just over the bar. Then two minutes later a fierce volley from 12,yards out by Bryan Boylan was brilliantly saved by Chris Lamb.

At the other end in nine minutes an effort from just outside the box from David Cunningham was saved well by Michael Wardrope jnr in the visiting goal. However two minutes later Buffs blasted into the lead when Bryan Boylan broke down the right from near the halfway line and cut it back to Findlay Frye shot home from 12 yards.

Vics spurned a gilt-edged chance in 20 minutes when Eddie Ablorh turned a defender inside out but with just Wardrope to beat from six yards he screwed the Bell wide.

A Craig Pettigrew shot from six yards following a corner-kick was blocked by a Buffs defender on the half hour. Then a Nisbet rocket from 12 yards was cleared in 33 minutes. A Frye thunderbolt from 25 yards was brilliantly saved by Lamb and the follow-up from David Winters crashed of the inside of the post.

Buffs came so close on half-time when a Ben Lewis header from a corner hit the post.

The visitors had another chance in 48 minutes when a Ricky Hanvey shot from 25 yards was well saved by Lamb. Then a minute later Wardrope had to save at the feet of Ablorh from eight yards.

Vics were unlucky when Chris Wilson teed up Aborh inside the box but he miscued his shot in 56 minutes.

A Nisbet effort from 25 yards was blocked by a defender in 58 minutes. James Latta netted for Buffs in 64 minutes but the "goal" was chalked off for a foul.

The industrious Nisbet forced Lamb into a good save in 79 minutes.

Stephen Hill ballooned the ball well over the bar from 20 yards for Buffs in 83 minutes and two minutes later Boylan had Lamb to beat but hit the post from six yards.

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

KILWINNING RANGERS: MD Wardrope; Coleman, Latta, Pettigrew, Whyte, Frye, Nisbet, Hanvey, Boylan, Lewis, Winters. Subs: Hill, M Wardrope, McCloskey, McGuinness.