Ashfield welcomed Ardeer Thistle to the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium for the first time in 6 years and were determined to continue their 100% record in the West Region Division 2. Paul Maxwell made a couple of changes to the side that won at Lanark United bringing in young Ryan McLaughlin and John Gaynor was back in defence after missing out last week. Both teams cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges with the `field having the bulk of the possession without carving out too much in the way of clear cut opportunities. The Ardeer back four were coping well with cross balls, corners and long throw-ins and as the home side started to get frustrated it was the men from Ayrshire that started to carve out opportunities themselves with a couple of efforts from outside the box however in the 25th minute ex-Ashfield Centre Kwaku Nyame picked up the ball following a poor clearance and cut in from the left evading a couple of tackles before drilling the ball low and hard into the far corner of the net to put the visitors ahead. Ashfield 0 Ardeer Thistle 1. The `field responded with a number of corners and the Thistle Keeper was kept busy for a period however it was the home side that suffered a further blow following a short passback. Ashfield Keeper John Mullen managed to get ahead of the advancing Thistle forward however was `cleaned out` and following a long period of treatment was unable to continue and was carried into the Dressing Room for assistance. As the Referee brought proceedings to a close, the `field knew they were in a game and would have to up the tempo in the second half. HT:- Ashfield 0 Ardeer Thistle 1.
Just as the crowd were settling back into their position for the second half, Ashfield were back level courtesy of an excellent finish from Keigan Parker. Ashfield 1 Ardeer Thistle 1. This was the start Ashfield wanted and dominated for the next 10 minutes keeping the Thistle Keeper busy however as the half wore on the hard working Ardeer Team broke in numbers when any opportunity arose and on the hour mark got their reward following a break away with the ball eventually being played into Nyame from the right hand side and despite Gary McLenaghan in the Ashfield goal narrowing angles the Thistle forward swept a shot into the corner of the net to the delight of the travelling fans. Ashfield 1 Ardeer Thistle 2. This goal gave the home side a jolt and for the next 20 minutes upped their tempo starting with an excellent equaliser in the 66th minute. Ciaran Friel picked up a loose ball midway inside the visitors half and drove at the back four before playing a lovely pass to Billy Stevenson on the right and the Ashfield forward drove a right foot shot in the far corner of the net to the relief of the home support. Ashfield 2 Ardeer Thistle 2. Ashfield were now on form and Keigan Parker and Billy Stevenson were making an impact in the game going close on a couple of occasions however the `field were in dreamland shortly after when Billy Stevenson was played through. The Ashfield striker still had a lot to do and with the Thistle Keeper advancing guided the ball into the corner of the net from 22 yards out to put the `field ahead for the first time. Ashfield 3 Ardeer Thistle 2. The best was yet to come however with 8 minutes left on the clock. A Keigan Parker cross from the right was headed out by a visiting defender and fell nicely to Ashfield right back Kenny Hadden who from 30 yards volleyed the ball into the top corner of the net to win the game for Ashfield. This was some goal from the Ex-Petershill and Glencairn stalwart. Ashfield 4 Ardeer Thistle 2. The game was still played out competitvely with the visitors pushing forward right up until the Referee brought proceedings to a close. A difficult match for Ashfield who got better as the Match progressed and highlighted that every game in this League is extremely tough. The `field welcome Forth Wanderers to Saracen next Saturday in what will be another competitive game........`mon the `field !!