McBookie Super League Premier Division
KILWINNING RANGERS 1
AILING Buffs crashed to defeat at Dunterlie Park with the defeat meaning they will seal a play-off spot at best while local rivals Kilbirnie Ladeside survive.
The hard pitch wasn’t ideal for playing passing football and the first 40 minutes saw the ball in the air for most of the time.
'Lie had the best of the play but although Kilwinning looked dangerous on the break, neither side really threatened.
That was all to change in 40 minutes, however. A ball into the home penalty area saw the Arthurlie defence claim twice for pushes but play raged on and when the ball landed at the feet of Ben Lewis around the penalty spot and he hit a low shot that took a wicked deflection going sending the ball into the bottom left hand corner with Grant Hay caught helpless as he dived to his right.
This sprung 'Lie into life and two minutes later Ryan McKie ran down the right before whipping over a ball to the near post which saw Ryan McGregor time his run perfectly to head home the equaliser. Just before the break the Buffs should have regained the lead when the ball broke to Liam McGuinness eight yards out but his weak effort rolled wide.
In 53 minutes, Kilwinning attacked and a great ball to the back post looked destined to find Bryan Boylan but Kieran Brennan blocked.
Five minutes later Smith knocked the ball down to Ryan Deas and ex-Meadow midfielder turned his opposing number inside out before trying to curl an effort to the back post but although the ball went narrowly wide, Buffs goalie Adam Strain looked to have it covered.
Arthurlie were on top now and in 59 minutes, Eddie McTernan played the ball back to Brennan who clipped it to McGregor who in seeing Strain rush from his line lopped the ball over the advancing keeper and although it took, what seemed, an age to drop it did before bouncing into the net to put Arthurlie ahead.
Five minutes later the game was over when a ball inside found Smith who fed Deas andhe waited until McTernan raced past him before rolling the ball perfectly into his stride. McTernan took one touch before firing a great left foot shot past the helpless Strain.
Two minutes later Deas played Smith in but the but his attempted lob went just over the bar.
Ryan McNeill blocked an effort from McGuinness and Carlo Monti hit an effort just wide from the edge of the penalty area but it wasn’t to be.
In added time Kilwinning had their last chance when a deep cross saw Brennan try to usher the ball out but Findlay Frye somehow wrapped his foot around the home defender's body and got the ball over to the back post where Monan looked sure to score but Hay made a sublime save to deny the Buffs substitute from point-blank range.