|3rd September 2016||15:00||Ferrari Packaging Lowland League||2016-17|
|East Kilbride FC||1||Win|
It was a day of disappointment for Shire as they failed to stop the advance of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride at K Park.
The meeting of the league’s two free-scoring teams did not live up to the pre-match billing. Instead it was defences that dominated and, crucially, it was Shire’s who buckled.
Just three minutes into the game the visiting defence wasn’t alive to a short corner routine which allowed East Kilbride to whip in a cross from the left flank for the unguarded Sean Winter to head home. It took Shire some time to settle. It was maybe not surprising given that coach John Sludden was missing centre-half Andy Grant and was forced to play skipper Derek Ure, a midfielder, in the heart of defence. The team also featured trialist Drew Ramsay at left-back making his first appearance of the season.
But the team did start to find its stride. A free-kick 20 yards out just after the quarter hour mark gave Shire their first clear sight of goal but Ure’s effort was just too high.
After half an hour Jamie Glasgow wriggled his way into the box but, despite having the target in his sights, he shot straight at the keeper.
Towards the end of the first period Shire were starting to pile on a bit of pressure. A nice touch from Andy Rodgers gave him a scoring chance but he dragged his shot across the face of goal and wide.
At the other end former Shire trialist Joao Vitoria crossed for Adam Strachan to strike but Darren Dolan made a decent save and Winter shot over from an offside position.
Just before the break Kris Faulds found himself unmarked at the back edge of the box but his shot towards the far post, although accurate, lacked sufficient power and was cleared to safety by the home defence.
Shire were almost caught out again at the start of the second half when Winter found himself clean through on goal but somehow managed to shoot wide of the target.
Midway through the half Shire missed what would turn out to be their best opportunity of the game. Some fine passing play around the edge of the home penalty box sent Glasgow clear. Although the angle was a tight one the Shire striker will perhaps feel he ought to have done better than strike his shot just over the bar, although he didn’t miss the target by much.
A minute later Glasgow was again free inside the box, this time in a much more central position, but his effort was too close to the keeper who saved easily.
Twice Rodgers broke clear of the defence but on each occasion his touch let him down and the opportunities disappeared before he was able even to get a shot away.
The home side was showing plenty of resilience in defence, especially in the closing stages, while Shire continued to pass up promising positions in front of goal. Ramsay got forward and cracked a shot from 20 yards that went narrowly wide.
Towards the end of the game referee Colin Steven gave Shire hope twice by awarding free-kicks on the edge of the East Kilbride box but each time the visitors spurned the chances with attempts which went over the crossbar.
EAST KILBRIDE : McGinlay, Vitoria, Winter, Marenghi(Hughes 72), McBride, Strachan(Millar 61), Capuano, Howie, McLaren(Coll 77), Russell, Gibbons.
SHIRE : Dolan, Murray, Trialist, Faulds, MacGregor, Rodgers, Ure, D. Grant, Sludden(Hogg 73), Glasgow.
|East Kilbride FC|
|A726, East Kilbride, Glasgow G74 2HG, UK|