A Wullie Duncan hat-trick, alongside goals by David Donnelly, Chris Gordon, Conor Meechan and Jack Heron left the Ants fans in seventh heaven at the full time whistle as Doyle and McDonald’s side ran out 7-1 winners against a Newmains team, who to their credit kept fighting to the end despite the scoreline.
The Ants dominated from the first whistle and almost took the lead after only a minute but Milarvie was inches away from connecting with Gordon’s cross and Duncan couldn’t get any power behind his effort on the turn then McLaughlin set Duncan clean through on Orr but he was forced wide as he tried to round the keeper and Milarvie’s cross was blocked for a corner. From the corner the Ants took the lead when McLaughlin found the head of DAVID DONNELLY and the big centre half made it two in two in the league with a powerful downward header. Newmains then had their first effort on goal but McCreadie didn’t catch his shot right under pressure from Conway and Wallace held easily.
The Ants almost doubled their lead in the 13th minute when Wallace’s goal kick found on loan Darren McLean who fired a shot at goal but the onrushing Orr did well to block and the ball was booted upfield, Donnelly controlled the ball well and passed to Gamba, his first time pass let McLean get a great cross in but Duncan couldn’t keep his header down. Duncan then had another great chance when McLean knocked down a Gamba free kick but his attempted volley went wide. McLean then had a great chance to score but Orr produced a great one handed save to deny the debutant a goal. Duncan was causing the visitors all kinds of problems but couldn’t find a way past Orr. The two time Ants top goalscorer was not to be denied though and got his name on the scoresheet in the 17th minute. Conway’s through ball was only half cleared by the Newmains defence and Gordon headed the ball to Meechan who found WULLIE DUNCAN rushing in to slam the ball past Orr and double the Ants lead. In the 34th minute the Ants all but wrapped up the game, McManus sent a lovely ball forward for CHRIS GORDON to run onto and his quick thinking first time shot from fully 30 yards caught Orr out and bounced under the keepers perfunctory dive and into the empty net to make it 3-0. Right on the stroke of half time WULLIE DUNCAN grabbed his second and the Ants fourth when McLaughlin sent him through on goal, he beat Orr to the ball and headed home from 6 yards to send the Ants in 4-0 at the break.
The second half was a case of more of the same and with only 16 seconds on the clock it was 5-0. McLean sliding a neat pass through to CONOR Meechan and the flame haired midfielder sent Orr the wrong way to further increase the Ants lead with a fine finish. A minute later a long ball from Wallace sent McLean through but he couldn’t get his shot on target. Not that the Ants fans had to wait much longer on the sixth goal when WULLIE DUNCAN capitalised on Orr’s inability to hold a shot with a lovely finish for his hat-trick and the Ants sixth after only 50 minutes. Newmains almost grabbed a consolation after 62 minutes but Dillon McLaughlan’s effort hit the top of the crossbar and went over.
The Ants had maybe taken the foot off the gas a little, as is normal when your six goals to the good and a general malaise overcame them at times but they still posed a threat whenever they went forward and almost grabbed a seventh when Meechan’s long diagonal found Duncan unmarked at the back post, the striker then unselfishly tried to pass to Gordon but his pass was cut out and the chance was gone. McLaughlin then went close when he got on the end of a Meechan cross that had been partially cleared but he leant back slightly and fired over the bar. The Ants then had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the 72nd minute when sub Donaghy found Gordon in the box, he was scythed down by Howson from behind but much to the Ants strikers annoyance the man in the middle waved play on. Credit to Newmains they kept working hard and started to come into the game a little more when good work between McLaughlan and Anderson saw the latter have an effort at goal which drifted wide. In the 77th minute Newmains grabbed a consolation when a cross into the box by Fitzpatrick was headed into his own net by ADAM DOUGAN, to be fair it was a cracking finish that gave Wallace no chance, flying into the top corner.
The Ants seemed a bit more fired up by that and they regained their six goal advantage when Dougan atoned for his earlier own goal by setting up JACK HERON for his first league goal of the season with a drilled finish from the edge of the box in the 88th minute to put the lid on a 7 star performance making it 7-1 on the day.
Next up for the Ants is a trip to Saracen Park to face their old friends Ashfield, with Doyle and McDonald hoping they can pick up from where they left off this week.
Ants Website Man of the Match – A number of candidates could have got the nod but it’s got to be WULLIE DUNCAN for notching a hat-trick