GREENOCK Wanderers failed to get off the bottom of the table as Ardrossan ground out a battling performance to deliver a serious blow to the Fort Matilda team's survival hopes, writes John Dyer.

The Ayrshire men kept grinding away and secured the points despite Wanderers' dominance in the set scrum which they were unable to transfer into a winning situation.

A very cold and windy afternoon at Memorial Field saw Ardrossan decide to play with the wind in the first half.

Wanderers got off to a bright start and had the first opportunity to get on the scoreboard, but into the wind Michael Frizzle's attempt fell well short and allowed the home side to make a long relieving kick.

Wanderers were pressing on Ardrossan's line but lost the ball in the tackle and again allowed them to hoof a huge kick into Wanderers' half.

In the home team's first visit to Wanderer's half, a slick handling move by their backs and a kick through resulted in a converted try to Ardrossan completely against the run of play after 10 minutes.

The home side were continuously pushed off scrum ball by Wanderers but they were unable to turn this advantage into meaningful passages of play in the search for points.

Again the visitors got into the home side's 22 but again lost the ball, allowing Ardrossan to put in another lengthy relieving kick.

In a rare visit to Wanderers' half the Accies were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which was duly converted to make it 10-0 after 25 minutes.

Leigh Tyley made a good break deep into Ardrossan's 22 but again the ball was lost.

The home side lost their number 14 for deliberately killing the ball and was yellow carded in the 35th minute.

Grant Sweenie's men finally broke through the dogged defending of Ardrossan as scrum-half Andrew McDougall made a fine break and Jack McDaid was on hand to scamper over for a converted try under the posts to reduce the lead to 10-7 at half-time.

The large support from Greenock could realistically be optimistic with the half-time score and with the strong wind at their back Wanderers were in a good position.

However, Ardrossan started the second half very strongly and only some strong defence by Wanderers kept the home side from scoring.

Forward Dylan Campbell was replaced in the second row as a result of these charges.

Wanderers finally got out of their own half and a rare handling move by the backs got the ball to Smith on the wing, but the ball was dropped in the tackle.

The Accies fought their way into Wanderers' 22 and were rewarded by an unconverted try by their hooker to make it 15- 7 seven minutes into the second half.

Frizzel added a penalty after 10 minutes to bring the score to 15-10.

The hosts continued to dominate the half with a series of sorties into Wanderers' half and in the 13th minute their stand-off ran between the posts to score a converted try to make it 22-10.

Ardrossan were now very much in the ascendency and despite some hard hitting runs by Louie Hoodless and captain Callum Robb they remained in total control and any moves towards Ardrossan's line were thwarted by their own poor decision-making to make the opponent's task very easy.

Frizzel, having been subbed, on his return had a determined solo run and Martyn Knapton was on hand to score an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 22-15.

The Greenock men were now in charge of a losing bonus point after 28 minutes of the second half.

A penalty by Frizzel brought Wanderers closer to Ardrossan at 22-18. From the restart Wanderers' winger touched the kick which gave them territory deep into the half and Ardrossan took advantage.

After keeping control of the ball their hooker barged over the line to score a converted try to make the final score 29-18.

On Saturday Wanderers host Hillhead, who surprisingly lost to Strathmore, but on this form I would not hold my breath as the inadequacies in the Wanderers team are too blatant for all to see.

l Greenock Wanderers are sponsored by MM Search.