JORDAN BOYD scored the only goal on Saturday as Whitletts Vics secured another vital victory in their battle against the drop.

Boyd’s 44th-minute strike was enough to earn Gordon Pope's men a 1-0 win that severely dented the promotion ambitions of visitors Kilbirnie Ladeside at Dam Park.

Vics can now boast six wins and two draws from their last nine First Division matches – but results elsewhere have conspired to ensure that Pope's men are still stuck in the relegation zone, albeit with games still in hand on all the struggling sides above them.

Saturday's match struggled to live up to the standard set in the 1-1 draw between the sides at Valefield Park seven days earlier, but Pope can still be delighted with the way his players battled their way to what could be three vital points.

Most of the game was played between the two penalty boxes, with very little goalmouth action – in fact it took until the 32nd minute before either keeper was called into action, when Graham Black in the Ladeside goal parried a back post header from Kris Brown.

But in the 44th minute Vics snatched the lead when Robbie McCracken saw his shot pushed on to the post by Black and Boyd was first to react to fire the home side in front.

It was more of the same in the second half with neither keeper being really tested – though in the 57th minute, from a 22-yard free kick, Nathan Wade forced Louis Kerr into a fine save in what proved the only shot on target the visitors managed in the entire match.

Whitletts had a great chance to seal the points with 11 minutes left but Andy Kerr saw his effort blocked by Black after being set up by Dean McColm, with the Ladeside keeper also reacting well to save Sandy Robertson’s follow-up.

Christian Kisuka was unlucky for The Blasties in the 82nd minute as he held off Kris Brown’s challenge before firing just over, but the visitors' chances were dealt a terminal blow when Daniel Bamford saw a straight red for a reckless last-minute challenge.

The stage is now set for another massive game for Vics this Saturday, April 15, when league leaders and promotion favourites Benburb come to Dam Park.

Kick-off is at 2pm.