McBookie Premiership



ABBEY Park boss Chris Strain stated he expected a better response from his side after the Buffs were humbled by struggling Kilbirnie at Abbey Park, writes Stephen Coutts.

It was ex-Buffs player who Liam McGuinness who intercepted from Jamie Whyte to set up David Ramsay to net the only goal and the eventual winner in 14 minutes.

Buffs had been reeling following their 5-0 defeat away to Largs Thistle in the Macron Scottish Junior Cup quarter-finals a week earlier, while Ladeside are scrapping as hard as possible to secure the points they need to try and safeguard their Premiership place.

The home side have been so inconistent throughout the season but are now looking for a strong end to the season with some players fighting for their futures.

Strain said: “I didn’t think we were great and we invited pressure on ourselves and we conceded a goal because we overplayed at the back and it wasn’t the conditions for that. The desire and quality weren’t there and we were looking to do certain things over the piece and there’s no doubt it difficult in terms of motivation for them giving that there’s very little to play for. But they’ve got personal pride and we’re looking for a positive reaction from a personal perspective and we didn’t get what I was looking for.

“There was plenty of endeavour there but there wasn’t any quality and when the chips are down you look for character and it’s a long time until the end of the season now. And at this moment in time we’re semi-professional football team and we got to come here and do the right things and give the right level of applications.”

Buffs blasted straight out the traps with Ryan Nisbet playing through Mark Curragh who outmuscled Mick O’Byrne but when through on goalkeeper Wilton, he managed to fire wide.

McGuinness’s troops weathered the storm and it was his intuition that led to the Blasties goal as he took over Whyte’s ball at the back to find Ramsay who made no mistake.

Just before the break Jon Scullion rattled the bar with a superb free kick that rebounded in front of James Finlay but knocked it back to Buffs keeper Adam Strain.

Lakeside put up a robust defensive performance and despite Curragh being ruled offside on 69 minutes should have added a second late on.

Adam Strain’s clearance was nodded forward by David Anderson to Ryan Hynes who did all the hard work but ran out of steam and put the ball into the keeper’s gloves