McBookie Premiership



By Ryan Miller

GRITTY Meadow completed a league double over their near neighbours as they won a tightly-contested showdown.

But the match was overshadowed by ugly scenes after the end of the match as the teams retreated to the dressing room. A scrap broke out, with Meadow players Jared Willet and Jordan McGuire both shown red cards.

The game started out frantically with both teams struggling to keep a hold of possession.

Meadow had the ball in the back of the net in seven minute as central midfielder Andy McLaughlin won the ball and found Ciaron Smith, who calmly put the ball under the on rushing Troon goalkeeper and into the net, but he was adjudged to be offside.

Troon had soaked up Meadows early pressure and finally created a chance. The ball fell to former Ayr and Hearts man Ryan Stevenson who skipped past two defenders and cut inside on the left wing. Once in space Stevenson unleashed a curling shot that sailed just over the bar.

The Seasiders were gaining momentum and the home team found them hard to contain. It would be a piece of intricate; one touch passing that would unlock the Meadow defence this time. Troon’s right winger Dylan Pooler took the ball past one defender before playing the ball into French striker Christian Nadé. After a good first touch from the big forward he laid off to Ross McCrea who took a low driven shot and was unlucky to see it cannon back off the post.

McCrea was then dealt more misfortune as he pulled up with what looked to be a hamstring related injury and Troon were forced to make their first substitution with Dean Fulton coming on.

Troon’s constant pressure would eventually pay off in 38 minutes as a corner-kick came in and the Meadow defence once again failed to deal with the danger. After some pinball in the six yard box the ball fell to Christian Nadé, who fired it home to give the away side a deserved first half lead.

After the break, Meadow came looked a different side. Early pressure was rewarded in 54 minutes. After a good bit of footwork from Smith in the Troon penalty area, he made space for shot which cannoned back off the bar however, Andy McLaughlin capitalised on the rebound and put Meadow back on level terms.

A ball behind the Troon defence was latched onto by Irvine substitute Roddy Paterson who was bearing down on goal. Paterson would have likely given Meadow the lead if it weren’t for a great recovering challenge from Dean Keenan. Off his challenge the ball fell to Jarred Willet whose shot was saved at the near post by Troon goalkeeper Scott Johnstone.

After a long struggle to retain controlled possession, Meadow would come from behind to grab the winner. After a well-worked piece of play, Reece Pearson found the ball at his feet on the right wing. He drove to the by line and put a brilliant cross to the back post which was headed in by the arriving Paterson. This gave them three wins this season against Troon after the Irvine side also won the Sectional Cup match.

Meadow leapfrogged Troon in the league standings, however, the Seasiders have a game in hand.