McBookie Premiership



A POINT may be better than nothing but neither side can be completely satisfied with a draw from a match that both needed to win for different reasons.

The strong wind made things difficult for both teams and the early stages saw few goalmouth incidents.

The home side did have a minor scare though when Jamie Gallagher had to clear a shot from Tommy Maitland off the line following Mario Monti’s corner from the left. Buffs’ goalkeeper Adam Strain’s game lasted little more than 10 minutes as he was forced to leave the field with a leg injury and was replaced between the sticks by backup ‘keeper Chris Taylor.

Troon’s best move of the half came off a throw-in by Jack Sherrie on the left from which Gallagher passed to Dean Fulton and his shot from an acute angle was pushed over the bar by Taylor. Fulton then went on a good solo run but seemed to lose his bearings, ran away from the goal and the move literally ran into the ground as Fulton slipped and fell over.

Buffs seemed rather more purposeful and Carlo Monti produced a shot that just missed the target.

Darren Frye showed good strength to hold off Dean Keenan and get in a shot but Andy Strachan was on hand to clear. In 27 minutes the visitors took the lead after another corner from Monti which was headed down by David Syme for Calvin Kemp to sweep into the net from close range. Troon replied with a snap shot from Evan Maley that flew past the post then John Gemmell headed over the top off a corner from Ross Barbour but the home side had not gained much advantage from having the wind behind them.

As the rain blew in and conditions worsened, Troon’s fortunes began to improve.

Taylor held on to a shot from Fulton after Ben Reilly’s cross had been laid back by Gemmell and eight minutes into the second half, Troon shocked the visitors with an equaliser.

Mark Morrison went on a good run down the inside right channel and hit a well-judged shot that deceived the ‘keeper and flew in at the far post.

Referee Calum Scott took nearly an hour to produce a card but made up for it with half a dozen of them thereafter. One of these cards was a straight red for Garry Fleming’s challenge from behind on Fulton that left Buffs to play the last quarter of the match a man short. With deteriorating weather, substitutions and a plethora of cards, the final stages of the game were scrappy at best. Gemmell did manage to run through and prod the ball beyond the advancing Taylor but Maitland was able to get back and clear the danger with some ease.

TROON: Johnstone; Barbour, Sherrie, Keenan, Strachan, Gallagher, Reilly, Morrison, Gemmell, Maley, Fulton.

Subs: Henderson, Pooler, Vernon, Fraser.

KILWINNING RANGERS - Strain; Agnew, McCloskey, Syme, Maitland, Fleming, Stuart, Frye, Monti, Kemp, McWaters.

Substitutes: Whyte, McColm, Lewis, Taylor.