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Last gasp equaliser earns Troon a point against Girvan

Written by  Troon Thistle


Girvan Youth
Troon Thistle
Under 17's CAYFA League
17 January 2015
With one goal having decided recent matches between these two teams, another close encounter was anticipated on a crisp afternoon in Maybole.  Both teams lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, signalling intent to take the game to the opposition, however despite attacking formations, it was defences which were very much on top early on, with little by the way of goalmouth action.  In addition, both midfields were cancelling each other out and the usual creativity of McAvoy for Girvan and Russell and Murphy for Troon was stifled.
The first real chance fell to Troon after an uncharacteristic slip in the Girvan defence let Curragh in behind, however his square ball which would have allowed Storrie a simple tap in was cleared.
At the other end, Girvan had a claim for a penalty when Kelly broke through the middle and clashed with Abercrombie in the Troon goal, however the referee ruled it was accidental with both players committed for the ball.  Abercrombie came off worst with a knee injury and was replaced in goals by Smith.
Troon had more enforced changes as the half wore on with further injuries to Toner and Storrie depriving them of two of their most consistent performers, however the last action of the half almost saw them take the lead after Curragh ran from deep, only to be thwarted at his feet by Ross as he was about to shoot.  Defences still very much on top at half time.
Half Time : Girvan Youth 0-0 Troon Thistle 
The early part of the second half was similar to the first, with both teams continuing to cancel each other out.  Gradually Girvan began to get a better control of the midfield and threatened on a couple of occasions with headers from Hamilton and Smith, the latter being their first clear sight of goal after about an hour’s play, but the effort was too high.  That should however have been a warning to the Troon defence.
At the other end, Curragh twice found himself behind the Girvan defence after being set up by Miller, however his first effort slipped past the post and his second was blocked and the score remained goalless.
Further 2nd half injuries to Troon’s Young and McCall disrupted the team’s consistency which showed during the latter half of the game.
Girvan continued to have more of the ball, with Troon starting to feel the effects of five weeks of inactivity, however they managed to hold Girvan to shots from distance.  Gracie had two good efforts in quick succession both well saved by Smith and Hamilton also tried his luck from distance, with the same result.
Troon then had another great chance after a long cross field run from Miller, with again a simple square pass all that was required to allow Curragh to slot home, however he opted for a chipped cross which was too high and another great chance went begging.
As time was running out, Girvan made the breakthrough.  A needlessly conceded corner was met by Hamilton who headed home and with only a couple of minutes remaining, that looked to be the winner.  Troon could have been forgiven for resigning themselves to a narrow defeat, however they immediately pushed forward forcing a couple of corners in quick succession, although the Girvan defence cleared their lines on both occasions.  A final break however fell nicely to Russell about twelve yards out and he found the bottom corner to equalise with the last kick of the game.
There were some great individual battles across the pitch, however none better than McCulloch in the Girvan defence against Curragh leading the Troon line, which was a fascinating duel.  Best for Girvan were Hamilton who turned in another powerful performance in the middle of the park and McCulloch, and for Troon, their defence played well as a unit in keeping Girvan at distance and Miller made a big impact after coming on as a first half substitute.
Whilst Girvan could point to more possession and Troon to having the better clear cut chances, it would be hard to argue that a draw wasn’t a fair result.  Both teams gave everything and can take a lot of positives from the match.
Full Time : Girvan Youth 1-1 Troon Thistle
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