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Irvine Meadow 0 Kilbirnie Ladeside 1 as battling Blasties boost survival hopes


Shaun Dillon insists Kilbirnie Ladeside still believe they can pull off the great escape after claiming a vital away win this afternoon.

The battling Blasties had Dylan Henry’s predatory instincts to thank as they left Irvine with three precious points after a scrappy West of Scotland League Premier Division encounter at Meadow Park.

The striker was in the right place at the right time to slam home a rebound from close-range in 53 minutes and give the visitors a lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Even when midfielder Alan Frizzell was controversially sent off with 15 minutes to go, Kilbirnie’s defence and goalkeeper Joe Wilton looked assured.

Ladeside still languish in the seven-team drop-zone with just five games to play – fewer than their nearest rivals.

But co-boss Dillon insists his players have the minerals and the mindset to believe they can beat the dreaded drop.

He told Ayrshire Football News: “I thought the boys were excellent to a man today and fully deserved the three points.

“The work rate, the desire and the application we showed to want to win a football match was terrific.

“You saw that when we went down to 10-men. There was no panic, everyone got together. That’s the team spirit we’re building.”

He added: “No-one here is giving in and thinking we’re getting relegated. We still believe we can stay in the league.

“We’ve got five cup finals left. We’re just going to battle on, win as many as we can and see where it takes us at the end of the season.



Dylan Henry's goal was enough to earn Kilbirnie all three points
Dylan Henry’s goal was enough to earn Kilbirnie all three points

“The players have done great since we came in to get us to this position so all the credit goes to them. I’ll feel sorry for them if the effort they’ve put in just isn’t enough.”

Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances in a nip and tuck first half.

Meadow, who had the benefit of a strong wind behind them, went closest with a Connor Boyd strike that Wilton did well to tip over the bar.

At the other end, Kilbirnie had a goal-bound effort blocked in the six-yard box by Kinlay Bilham.

That aside, there was little to excite the 288 fans inside Meadow Park – even though the travelling support’s non-stop singing suggested otherwise.



Meadow couldn't get the better of Blasties' keeper Joe Wilton
Meadow couldn’t get the better of Blasties’ keeper Joe Wilton

Kilbirnie started the second half the brighter of the two teams and just four minutes after the restart they were screaming for a penalty.

Striker Brendan Sharpe appeared to have his legs swiped away from him by Medda defender Jamie Whyte but referee Michael McCart waved play on.

However, just three minutes later the Blasties made the breakthrough when Henry reacted quickest to a fine reaction save from goalkeeper Marc Waters to prod home the loose ball from four yards.

Meadow went looking for a quick reply and Wilton had to look smart to bat away Boyd’s shot on the turn in 59 minutes.

That was as close as the hosts came to an equaliser however – even after Frizzell was sent off for an alleged headbutt that only the match officials seemed to spot.

Meadow co-boss Colin Spence admitted: “I thought the workrate and the desire was there but we’re just not creating enough at the top end of the park which is my biggest concern at this moment.”

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