?This was the first League game of the Season for the `field however it was also Ashfield`s first `Senior` Match in their 134 year history and were greeted with a lovely, but cold day in Ayrshire. It was a shame that supporters were not permitted as this game, as in previous games between the teams was full of entertainment, end to end action and the usual controversy however as the dust settled the home side will be delighted with securing the points and it would have been a long drive home for the Ashfield Team pondering `if only`. Paul Maxwell had to `tinker` slightly with the starting line up ahead of the Match but for some reason the visitors were `not at the races` for the first 15 minutes before getting into their usual stride and where they may have got away with it against different opposition, Muirkirk are a well organised outfit who started on the front foot and found themselves 2 goals ahead after 10 minutes. The opening goal after just 5 minutes found impressive striker Gavin Hay power his way into the box from the left before despatching a strong shot which the Ashfield Keeper managed the parry out however the ball broke to Ex-Ashfield striker Gavin Goodall who made space for himself before driving the ball in between defenders on the line to put the home side ahead. Muirkirk 1 Ashfield 0. Worse was to follow 4 minutes later when Ciaran Friel was short with his headed passback and the lively Hay nipped ahead of the `field keeper before tapping the ball into an empty net. Muirkirk 2 Ashfield 0. The `field knew they had to up their game and gain ground and this they did well. After the 20 minute mark the visitors began to find their feet and began to dictate play, utilising the flanks well and were unlucky in the 20th minute when the `field had a strong claim for a penalty. Shortly after it was the home side that had a strong claim however the Referee waved the home side`s protests away. On the half hour mark after some good play at the edge of the box, Baz Hepburn was upended with the home side appealing that the infringement was outside the box, however Referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Callum Graham stepped up however was thwarted by a tremendous save from the home keeper to the anguish of the `field. The `field continued to press before half time however found the home defence in dogged fashion and chances were at a premium. ? HT:- MUIRKIRK 2 ASHFIELD 0 ? ? It was important for the `field to make a good start to the half and after a succession of corners pulled a goal back in the 48th minute in strange circumstances with Baz Hepburn`s corner kick finding the net to the delight of the players and Ashfield Management Team. It was `game on` now and Ashfield pressed hard throughout the second half however found the Muirkirk keeper in excellent form making some excellent saves from Callum Graham & Baz Hepburn. A couple of changes were also made with Michael Giblin and young Nicholas McLaughlin replacing Mark McManus and Ryan McManus who had put in excellent shifts. As the visitors surged forward at every opportunity the home side in the last 15 minutes began to hit effectively on the break and a couple of last gasp interventions particularly by Sean Doherty and the Keeper ensured the `field stayed in the game. The last 5 minutes plus saw the `field have a number of corners on the bounce and there was certainly a couple of good old `stramashes` in the box but the home side held firm and after 3 minutes of injury time the Referee brought proceedings to a close. ? ? FT:- MUIRKIRK 2 ASHFIELD 1 ? Man of the Match:- A number of good performances in the Black and White hoops however Colin Leverage kept on pushing the team forward and seemed to be everywhere in the second half. ? Attendance:- Closed Doors ? Ashfield Team:- Trialist, C Friel, D Leverage, A Cairns, S Doherty, C Leverage, B Hepburn, M McManus, C Graham, L Crerand and R McManus. Subs:- R Dakhill, S Wilson, C Beedham, M Giblin, J Brown, N McLaughlin and M Sideserf ?