The Ants pre-season got off to a flier with a 5-1 victory away to Stoneyburn. A number of new faces, led out by Mark McManus put the Fulshie to the sword with a first half performance that seen them put five past the home side keeper without reply.
The Ants thought they had got off to the perfect start when McLaughlin’s free kick was headed home by Gordon but the Ref had blown for offside much to the strikers displeasure. Stoneyburn then had a good chance but the shot clipped the post and rebounded out of play. The Ants took the lead when Wullie Duncan got the first goal after only 10 minutes. Good link up play with Chris Gordon saw the latter’s shot saved by the keeper only for Duncan to be on hand to stroke home. Not to be outdone by his strike partner two minutes later Gordon found the net himself, a wonderful mazy run saw him go past a number of Stoneyburn defenders before rounding the keeper and firing home from a tight angle.
The Ants played some good stuff despite the conditions, using the strong wind to their advantage and beating the home side’s offside trap and in the 30th minute they extended their lead. Duncan this time rounded the keeper, but rather than just fire the ball home he composed himself and with the outside of his boot fired home into the far corner in off the post. The Ants almost made it four two minutes later when Donnelly’s header was blocked on the line and Neossi couldn’t get on the end of the loose ball and the chance was gone.
The Ants didn’t have long to wait for the fourth goal, Duncan this time turning provider putting Gordon in on goal and he made no mistake with another fine finish. Gordon completed his hat-trick in the 42nd minute with a neat finish and the half finished with the Ants 5-0 ahead.
The second half was a tighter affair with Stoneyburn coming into the match a bit more, Wallace making a good save low down to his left from a free kick after only 3 minutes of the re-start. As is the way with these pre-season matches the rhythm was upset with both sides using the half to bring on substitutes with Heron, Williams, Nyame, Brennan and Sichi making their Ants debuts, Duncan, McKay, Gordon, Scanlan and Smith making way.
Heron almost marked his debut with a goal but he never connected properly with his shot yet the ball found it’s way past the keeper only to hit the post and roll back into the keepers arms. Stoneyburn to their credit kept plugging away and got rewarded for their efforts with a goal. Number 7 slotting home after 76 minutes to give the home fans something to cheer about in the howling wind and rain.
A good work out and win for the Ants with a number of the new players impressing on their debuts, their attention now turned to their second friendly on Monday Night away to East Kilbride.
All the best to Stoneyburn for the rest of the season, thanks again for the great hospitality and hopefully the number 5 is ok after he was taken to hospital following a 50/50.