IRVINE Meadow co-boss Colin Spence accused Kilwinning Rangers of a “lack of class” after his side suffered a 2-1 defeat at Meadow Park while Buffs boss Chris Strain hit back and said “they should look closer to home”.

In a scrappy first-half the big talking point came after Meadow’s Lee McCrea was shown a straight red for a challenge on Ricky Hanvey with just over five minutes left to play before the interval.

Meadow felt aggrieved not to have had a free-kick seconds earlier and matters were made worse for the home side when David Ramsay opened the scoring for the Buffs before the interval.

However, Meadow bounced back with Connor Boyd equalising just minutes after the break but it would be the Buffs who would take all three-points after they were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes to go which was calmly converted by Carlo Monti.

Meadow finished the game with just nine players as substitute Ryan Carnwath got a second yellow.

Spence told the Times: “I felt it was a 50-50 tackle with Lee. Both went for the ball and having watched it again I thought the Kilwinning boy goes in more forcefully.

“I felt it was a good tackle and the only difference is that their lad rolls about the ground and makes something of it and, again, we are too honest as Lee jumps up to continue playing.

“It is a diabolical decision from the ref.

“I also felt Kilwinning Rangers showed a lack of class. We were down to nine men and we were still the team in the ascendancy.

“The ball went out for a throw-in in front of the Buffs dugout and we kicked a ball on and their management ordered their subs to throw the other ball onto the park so then the ref stopped the game. I have never seen anything like that in my life and it showed a lack of class and sportsmanship from them.

“I have no doubt we would have won that game comfortably if we had 11 players on the pitch.”

Strain responded: “I could not believe some of the shouts coming from the Meadow sidelines. Perhaps that led to the players being too fired up. I don’t see how the referee is to blame and I think they should look closer to home in that respect.

“We were the better team in the first-half regardless of the red card.

He added: “I am delighted to get the victory and it was important to keep the momentum going and that’s now nine points out of nine since our defeat to Largs.”

This Sunday, Meadow host Blantyre Vics while Kilwinning Rangers travel to Beith.