The Ants got 2020 off to a flying start as they bounced back from the defeat v Maybole with a 3-1 win over first footers Annbank at McKenna Park. The first half wont live long in the memory of many as shots on goal were at a premium, with neither keeper really making a save and the refs whistle to signal the end of the half possibly the biggest highlight. The second half however was a totally different affair, the Ants came out of the traps in the second half looking for goals and in the 52nd minute they opened the scoring when Robson’s corner found KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI unmarked at the back post and he fired the ball into the net for his tenth goal of the season to put the Ants 1-0 up. The Ants lead lasted only eight minutes though when the Ants could only partially clear from an Annbank corner and the ball eventually found its way to MITCHELL EWING who fired a great strike past the helpless Smith into the top corner to level at 1-1. Ten minutes later the Ants went back in front, Robson nicked the ball from Ross and then found MARK WATT with his pass, the striker turned and then fired a pinpoint accurate low shot past Kerr to restore the Ants lead at 2-1. Both teams had chances and the Ants had Greg Marshall to thank for keeping the scores level with a fine header off the line when it looked like Annbank would level. In the 87th minute a long ball from Littler somehow found Kennedy, who in turn found Watt, he flicked the ball to KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI who grabbed his second of the match and 11th of the season by firing past Kerr to seal all three points and it finished here 3-1 to the Ants.
The Ants ended the decade in horrific fashion following a second half collapse that saw them ship five goals without reply, after ending the first half level at 1-1. It was actually the McKenna Park men who took the lead in the 19th minute when KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI netted his 9th of the season when he prodded home Stevenson’s corner kick to make it 1-0. in the 31st minute Maybole grabbed an equaliser in controversial circumstances when Mr Peacock appeared to play on as Maybole had a shot at goal which was blocked by MacKenzie and then pulled play back after he adjudged that Jordan Banks was fouled by Littler despite it looking like the striker had lost his balance and took a fresh air swipe as Littler got his foot to the ball to clear, ANDREW STEVENSON stepped up and sent Smith the wrong way to level the scoring. The second half was like two different teams had come out but it wasn’t until a mad 5 minute spell just after the hour when Maybole took the lead, Banks squaring the ball to ANDREW STEVENSON to grab his and Maybole’s second goal of the game after 61 minutes. A minute later it was 1-3 when Littler fouled a Maybole attacker whilst the ball looked to be going out of play for a goal kick with a man covering, ANDREW STEVENSON again stepped up and beat Smith from the spot to complete his hat-trick. Within two minutes it went from bad to worse for the Ants as McGrory was shown a straight red card for a late tackle. We didn’t have long to wait for goal number four when MARK DOOLAN fired home from a cross that just evaded Williams to make it 1-4 after 74 minutes and four minutes later it was 1-5 when JAI HOLLAND beat Smith from an angle. JORDAN BANKS got the goal his second half play probably deserved in the 80th minute when he latched on to a long ball, having the freedom of the Ants box as he danced across the six yard box with no Ants player putting in any kind of meaningful tackle then slotting home to put the cherry on the cake for Maybole and giving the Ants a miserable end to the decade and made it 1-6 to the visitors
It was a game of two halves at McKenna Park, both in terms of the football and the weather, the rainy and windy first half goal-less with the Ants having the best of the few chances created and in the calmer drier second half, Forth grabbing two goals to the Ants one go back east with all 3 points in the bag. The first goal coming in the 60th minute when Ferguson found JONATHAN BRANKS with a fine pass with the outside of his boot, the striker, who was possibly offside, turned McGarrigle and then fired past Kelly to give the visitors the lead. In the 68th minute a corner was partially cleared by Littler, but only to JORDAN LYNCH who took a couple of touches to get the ball under control then fired past Kelly to double the visitors lead. The Ants pulled one back in the 85th minute when KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI grabbed his 8th of the season when he dusted himself after being fouled in the box to beat Law from the penalty spot but it was too little too late as Forth held on to all 3 points.
The Ants came back from 3 goals down only to suffer heartbreak in the 92nd minute with a penalty award to the visitors which doesn’t get any easier to view when its bamboozling as to why the spot kick was given. Hurlford took the lead when PAUL MCKENZIE fired home from close range in the 25th minute before LIAM CADDIS grabbed his first a minute later. After 37 minutes it looked to be all over when LIAM CADDIS netted his second and Hurlfords third of the match without reply but credit to the Ants who never gave up and CRAIG PATTERSON reduced the deficit right on the stroke of half time. The Ants fans could sense something special could be in the offing when CRAIG PATTERSON headed home his and the Ants second just after the hour mark, then McKenna Park was sent into raptures as CRAIG PATTERSON nodded home his hat-trick to equalise in the 73rd minute. It looked like we were destined for penalty kicks until the 90th minute when Jonny McKay was somehow adjudged to have handled the ball and Ants hearts were broken as LIAM CADDIS notched his own hat-trick as Patrick was beaten for a fourth time.
With a few bodies back from injury after the free week, it was again a much changed Ants side who faced up against Saltcoats at McKenna Park, with Patrick, Sweeney, McGrory, McLaughlin, Sinclair and Gray all coming into the starting line up with Curran, McGarrigle, Crawford, McIlvaney and Edwards all dropping out, with Edwards having left the club earlier in the week after the Vale of Leven game.
It was a game that Saint’s will feel they should have taken more from on the balance of the chances, but it was two own goals that saw the match drawn, The video below shows the best bits of the match