It was quite a game at Hamilton Park and will live long in the memory of all who were present.
After last week’s defeat away to Shettleston it was important that Girvan bounced back. Mark Cameron made way for Stephen Auld in midfield and Tony Murphy returned from injury and was in the 16.
Irvine Meadow had some early pressure and Scott Johnstone made a good save from a Ben Carson free kick at the edge of the box palming it away with an outstretched arm. Eight minutes in and the home side took the lead when from a Stevie McCreadie corner Michael Reilly had a shot on target and when it came back off the keeper Stephen Auld finished from close in for his first goal for the club. It was nearly two a couple of minutes later when Michael Reilly beat two defenders and played in Craig Reid at an angle, Craig hit a great strike but it cannoned back off the junction of the bar and post.
Michael Reilly came close again after 19 minutes when he headed just over from another Steven McCreadie corner. But minutes later Scott Johnstone pulled off a good save down to his right when Willet had a header from a Meadow corner. Next up Stephen Auld, who was having an excellent game, had a shot on target which rebounded off the keeper to Michael Reilly but his effort from 8 yards went over the bar.
Meadow got back level in the 34th minute when a long ball caught out the Girvan Back four, Boyd was onto it but as Scott Johnstone came from his goal line it looked that the striker used his arm to push it past Scott before knocking the ball into the empty net. The officials disagreed and the goal stood. It got worse for Girvan 4 minutes later when Boyd again broke through and as Scott Johnstone attacked the ball he brought the big striker down and a penalty was awarded. To make matters worse the Referee decided it was a red card offence and Scott was sent from the field. Scott Dinwoodie, more used to playing central midfield, took up the gloves, but Carson sent him the wrong way from the spot kick and the Meadow were one up.
So in at half time a man down and a goal down.
Davie Jardine had to give way to Mark Cameron in midfield as Girvan looked to get back into the match. It was nearly all over in the 48th minute when, from a corner, a header from the Irvine defender looked goal bound until Scott Dinwoodie made a miraculous save pushing the ball onto the bar, the rebound was then knocked wide, a close escape for the home side.
But Girvan were competing well and Robert Paterson had a shot from inside the box saved by the Meadow keeper. Girvan kept attacking and had most of the ball as the Meadow rarely threatened. In the 71stminute Davie Cunningham replaced Michael Reilly and had an immediate impact. Firstly Stephen Auld cut in from the left but his powerful shot was saved by the right foot of the keeper. The Davie Cunningham played in Robert Paterson who was upended in the box and the home side were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Stevie McCreadie and he sent the keeper the wrong way for his second of the season. Four minutes later and Robert Paterson was through with only the keeper to beat but was unable to finish, however 2 minutes later he made amends.
Girvan were awarded a free kick 25 yards out, Stevie McCreadie hit a great strike but it cannoned off the bar, it dropped to Robert Paterson who finished it off from 12 yards out, Hamilton Park went mad. Back came the Meadow and with only a few minutes left they had a free kick from 25 yards out but Carson sent it just over. Davie Cunningham then held the ball up in the corner to waste a bit of time before Irvine had a last chance from a corner but the danger was cleared.
So a victory which looked unlikely when we went down to 10 men with almost an hour to go. The players showed great fight and determination and should be commended for their efforts. Next up Cumbernauld at home who impressed when we played the reverse fixture a few weeks ago.