WHITLETTS VICTORIA 0 - IRVINE VICTORIA 3
Both sides paid their respects to James Longair with a minutes silence before the match, a man who was a loyal followers of Whitletts Victoria for many years and who’s son Graham played for both clubs with distinction.
Even this early in the season this was a key match for both clubs who both harbour ambitions of playing Championship football next season but in reality this proved too comfortable a victory for the visitors.
Whitletts had an early chance when Craig Harvey turned inside a defender but couldn’t get his shot away.
The home side were doing most of the attacking play without finding a way through the Irvine defence. Neither keeper however had been greatly troubled before Irvine the lead in the 16th minute.
An attempted shot from distance looked to be harmless until a slight deflection saw it fall into the path of Kevin Adam and the big striker swivelled to fire first time past Stevie Douglas from 12 yards.
Irvine took a grip on the game and were keen to add to their tally but when it arrived in the 26th minute it was a moment keeper Douglas will want to forget as he allowed a Ryan Singleton free kick wide right to squirm through his grasp at his front post.
The home were dealt a further blow minutes later when Josh Sloan limped off to be replaced by Declan Milligan, forcing manager Neil Duffy to change his system. Whitletts first shot in anger came on the half hour after a run by Mbanje Munyaradzi but his 20 yard drive flew wide of the target.
As half time approached the home side had the greater share of possession and applied some pressure without troubling the Irvine defence.
Early in the second period Whitletts were given a lifeline 12 minutes into the second period when referee David Milton pointed to the spot after Fraser McNab brought Harvey down inside the box. Harvey himself stepped up to take the kick but for the second successive match failed to find the net as Chris Lamb dived to his left to make the save.
And Whitletts misery continued further when Irvine made it 3-0 in the 66th minute when Singleton scored his second of the game as he raced unchallenged into the box to fire low past Douglas. Whitletts almost pulled a goal back instantly when Milligan got on the end of a Ewart cross only for his header to come back off the face of the crossbar.
Louis Kerr tried his luck from distance while Milligan brought out the best in Lamb forcing the keeper to save at full stretch at his near post.
A deflected Ewart cross tested Lamb again at his near post but in reality Irvine Vics held on comfortably to take the points and leave manager Neil Duffy with some hard work to do on the training ground ahead of next weekends trip to Ardrossan.
Whitletts Victoria 1.Douglas 2. Anderson Y13 3. Lawrie 4. I. Kerr 5. Buchanan 6. Sloan (Milligan 28) 7. Munyaradzi (Ogsten 81)8. Boyd 9. Harvey 10. L. Kerr Y75 11. Ewart
Subs (not used) 15. Mullen
Irvine Victoria 1. Lamb Y79 2. Craig 3.McNab 4. Young 5. Bonner 6. Davidson Y90 7. Mears 8. Singleton (Wilson 78) Y74 9. Adam 10. Adams Y29 (Ablorh HT Y69) 11. Hamilton (Smith 66)
Subs (not used) 12. Wilson 13. Scott 16. Burt
Referee: David Milton