Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup First Round
TROON FC 4
ARDEER THISTLE 1
by Richard Henderson
A STUNNING second half display from Troon blew away their Ayrshire District League counterparts in an entertaining match in the beautiful sunshine.
The hosts fielded new signing, former Ayr United and Hearts legend Ryan Stevenson.
Troon side began the match strongly, but it was a hungry Ardeer who opened the scoring in 14 minutes after some slack defending on the left flank allowed Ryan Morrow to steal in, dodge some tackles in the box and deceive goalkeeper Ally Semple with a clever finish into the net. Similarly, it was against the run of play when Troon equalised in 19 minutes, when a dangerous Ryan Nisbet cross was zipped across the face of goal and the unlucky Jamie Donnelly turned the ball past his own keeper under heavy pressure from Adam Forsyth.
A very entertaining and close contest was then played out for the remainder of the half as the Ayrshire District League side impressed against their Super League opposition. The second half was to prove a different entity, as the Troon side showed the quality in their ranks with some lovely football. That class was evident in 53 minutes when Ross Barbour stepped up and laced a phenomenal 30 yard free-kick past the helpless Paul McCann to give the Seasiders the lead, a lead they were not to concede. As the home side stretched their legs confidently, a beautiful team move through Colin Spence, Ross McCrea and Ryan Stevenson saw winger and man-of-the match Dale Moore through on the left to fire past McCann to make it three.
A double change for Troon with Mark Curragh and Scott Chatham being introduced saw the tempo raised again, and it was no surprise to see the lead extended in 67 minutes as Moore again was through on the left and he this time deceived McCann with a cheeky finish at the near post when it looked like he would seek out Stevenson in the middle.
A very welcome victory for Troon, who look to have the momentum now to fight their relegation threat head on.
ROON FC: Semple, Ure, Armstrong, Barbour, Collins, Spence (Maley 75); Nisbet, McCrea (Chatham 60); Forsyth (Curragh 60); Stevenson, Moore. Subs not used: Muir, Brown.
ARDEER THISTLE: McCann; McKay, Holden (Campbell 70), Donnelly, Robertson (Bruce 70), Maxwell, Morrow, Reid, Munro, Henry, Kennedy (Smith 83). Subs not used: Sewell, Thomson.