THERE was last-minute heartache for Arthurlie at Dunterlie Park on Saturday as a 91st-minute goal for Hurlford United gave them a 5-4 win in a thrilling tie writes Robert Burns.

Arthurlie deservedly took the lead after 11 minutes. Grant Hay’s kick was flicked on by Eddie McTernan who kept moving and when John Gemmell found him again McTernan cut inside the area before firing home the opening goal.

Just after the 20-minute mark, Robertson and Gemmell clashed in the middle of the park with the recently signed Arthurlie man going down holding his head, referee Garry Doherty waved play on much to the delight of the travelling supporters who berated their former player.

Play raged on with Arthurlie on the attack before the ball was cleared to the edge of the area. Gemmell, now on his feet, strode up and lashed the ball, perhaps out of anger from the previous clash, but not many cared when it flew through a ruck of players and into the net, doubling Arthurlie’s advantage.

Ten first-half minutes were left when Ryan McGregor tried his luck from the edge of the box but his effort was a good height for keeper Brown who took it with ease.

The first half ended with the visitors starting to come into the game, firstly McKillen saw a header come off the top of the bar, then in added time a low cross from McKenzie saw Hay and Graham Girvan combine to scramble the ball away.

Half-time Arthurlie 2 Hurlford 0 Hurlford took control of the midfield and started to cause the Arthurlie defence all sorts of problems after the restart. Five minutes in and the deficit was reduced when McKillen headed home from a McKenzie free kick.

Martin Curren made way for Chris Mackie and Lie switched to a 4-4-2 to try to stem the tide. But Hurlford kept pushing and went close soon after with an effort from when Roberts should have done better with his effort from another McKenzie cross.

Sixty seconds later on the 65-minute mark it was all square when Kean raced through the home defence and showed great composure before flicking the ball past the isolated Hay.

It was one way traffic now and three minutes later Hurlford went ahead, a slip up in defence allowed Martin Brown to race though on Hay and he shot across the keeper into the net.

Arthurlie were all over the place and couldn’t keep hold of the ball in midfield, wave upon wave of Hurlford attacks ensued so when Roberts made it 4-2 it was no surprise but the ease as which he walked through the defence was.

McKenzie flashed an effort wide at one end while Deas shot over from a McTernan pass at the other. Then Kean should have made it five but hit his effort straight at Hay.

The game looked all over with less than 10 minutes to go but Arthurlie staged a quite remarkable comeback. A cross come shot from the left took a deflection wrong footing Brown in goal and as the ball sped across the six-yard line Mackie got there first to stabbed the ball home.

Three minutes remained when a looping cross saw Mackie rise highest and head home the equaliser, sending the home support, and players, into raptures but he took his celebrations too far and he saw red for was shown a second yellow and ultimately a red card.

With the 90 minutes gone, the Arthurlie trialist centre back tried to usher the ball out of play while being harried by Kean, the Hurlford hitman seemed to pull the Lie defender back but to everyone’s bemusement the referee awarded a free kick to the visitors.

McKenzie took the award and flashed a low ball across the six-yard box where Kean was on hand to seal an unlikely win for the Ayrshire side.

Arthurlie: Hay, Girvan, Blakey, Trialist, Gair, McGregor, Deas, Leyden, Gemmell, McTernan, Curren. Subs: Convery, Munday, Mackie, Carroll, and Nugent.