Last night, The Lowland League title favourites got their league campaign off to a winning start as East Kilbride beat Dalbeattie Star 2-0 at Islecroft Stadium.
Ruari Paton was the star man for Kilby as he was the one who did all the hard work to create the first goal before he deservedly got a goal himself in second-half stoppage time as he curled home a free-kick from 25-yards out.
The Star, who were 8-0 losers against Kelty Hearts on Saturday, put in a much better performance yesterday, and although the hosts didn’t create much, they bided their time and waited for one real opportunity, which came on the 77th minute when they were awarded a penalty after David Brownlie was penalised for bringing down Dean Brotherston in an aerial challenge, but Alan Martin made an excellent save to tip the spot-kick onto the post.
Dalbeattie started their better side and made life incredibly difficult for last seasons champions. The first chance didn’t come until the 12th minute when a short corner was played back to Daniel Carmichael, before his cross was put over the bar by Conor Bell, who was in more space that he probably realised.
The opening goal came on the 32nd minute, when Ruari Paton burst down the wing and into the box before he cut it back for his strike partner Craig Malcom, to tap home from six-yards out.
The combination down the left of Paton and Woods was causing the hosts some amount of trouble and it should have been 2-0 just before the interval, when a quick counter-attack was led by Woods. He drove forward played it through for Paton, who curled his effort over.
Half Time- Dalbeattie 0-1 East Kilbride
The visitors started the second-half much better after being far from their best in the first, but that was down to Dalbeattie playing well
The first chance of the second half fell at the feet of Dean Cairns, when a corner found the defender at the back-post, but his shot sailed over.
The dramatic and potential turning point of the game came on the 77th minute, when the hosts were awarded a penalty. Kilby were in complete control, but Brownlie brought down Brotherston in an Ariel challenge. Lewis Sloan stepped up to hit the spot-kick, but Alan Martin made a fine save to deny the 32-year-old.
The game should have been killed in the 90th minute, when Paton went down the wing in arches of space and driving into the box, however he made the wrong decision as he opted to shoot instead of squaring it for Malcom to tap home his second.
The Lanarkshire side eventually got their much needed second goal in stoppage time, when Paton stepped up and fired a free-kick past Parker to seal three points in what was a tricky evening in Dumfries for Kilby.
Full Time- Dalbeattie Star 0-2 East Kilbride.