THIS result made it back-to-back home defeats for Greenock, as Kilsyth took the spoils in an entertaining game.

Pre-match, manager Martin Campbell had hinted at some changes, and the starting line-up showed two from the side which began against Ardeer the previous week, with Mark Monk replacing Ryan McWilliams in goal, but the other change being an enforced one, with Ryan Craig in for the suspended Barri Stanton.

The match began at a blistering pace, with both sides pressing forward at every opportunity.

Greenock came agonisingly close to getting their noses in front after just seven minutes.

Craig whipped a free-kick into the box, where the ball ricocheted about and fell to Ryan Begley, but the big defender’s shot thudded off the post.

At the other end Kilsyth had a golden chance when the ball fell kindly to Phil Dolan inside the box, but with the goal at his mercy he blasted a wild shot well over the bar.

With play raging from end to end, it was a surprise that it took until the 34th minute for the opening goal to arrive.

Even at that, it was an unusual affair, when Kilsyth keeper Michael Duke and one of his defenders got into a mix-up, and the alert Allan Docherty nipped between the pair.

The keeper did get to the ball first, but in his panic he blasted it off Docherty, and the ball flew high over him and into the net.

Greenock were very much in the driving seat at this point, with Begley lending his support in attack and almost netting with a header which Duke did well to tip round the post.

And just before half-time, Martin Orr came close with a shot which went just wide.

Any plans Greenock had to keep it tight at the start of the second half were blown out the window just two minutes after the restart, when Kilsyth equalised.

A shot was parried by Monk, but fell to Nicky Prentice, who netted from close range.

Now it was Kilsyth’s turn to be in the ascendancy, as Joe Barclay was put through on goal but fired the ball over the bar.

But the visitors did take the lead on 57 minutes, and it was Prentice again, latching on to a through-ball which split the Greenock defence and blasting past Monk.

However, this topsy turvy game took another twist with 70 minutes on the clock, as Greenock levelled.

A scramble in the box saw Craig get in a shot which was blocked, but the ball came straight back to him and he netted at the second attempt with a low angular drive.

A point apiece at that stage looked a fair result, but Kilsyth had other ideas and surged forward to take the lead again on 76 minutes.

Slack marking in the Greenock box saw Christopher Reid get on the end of a corner kick to head home.

There was still time for Greenock to get back on level terms, and Craig Brown had a golden opportunity with seven minutes remaining.

A flighted ball over the Kilsyth rearguard found the striker unmarked and in space, with the Kilsyth defence appealing for offside, which wasn’t given — but somehow Brown managed to steer his header wide of the target. Greenock did have the ball in the net in the dying minutes through Thomas Docherty, but there were few complaints when the effort was chalked off by referee Stephen Graham for a foul on the keeper as Docherty challenged for the ball in the air.

Manager Martin Campbell said: “It was a good end-to-end game, and I thought we merited our lead at half-time.

“At the interval, I stressed the need to keep it tight at the start of the second half and to defend well first and foremost, as we knew Kilsyth would come out the traps flying.

“But then we go and lose a goal almost right away, which put us on the back foot. So once again we were the masters of our own downfall, although I have to credit Ryan Begley, who was one of only a few players today to get pass marks.” GREENOCK: Monk, T. Docherty, Doherty (McLaughlin 62), Begley, McGarrigle, Jamieson, Orr, Craig, A. Docherty, Brown, Munro (Cunning 58). Subs not used: Murray, Gillan, McWilliams.

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