A Wayne McIntosh double helped Whitehill to a 3-1 home win over East Kilbride on a day when the teams were forced to play the conditions as much as each other.
The forward’s goals either side of a Danny Noon strike gave Welfare a first win in four after Thomas Collins had opened the scoring in spectacular fashion for EK.
McIntosh cheekily reminded manager Mickey Lawson of what he can offer when played through the middle: “He’s been playing me on the left,” he explained.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been doing well and I’ve been saying to him ‘get me back up front with Aaron [Somerville]’, so I was just having a bit of banter with him after my goals, which is always good.”
It was clear early on that the conditions would play a major part in this one, with Whitehill struggling to clear their lines playing into the wind. East Kilbride dominated territory in the first-half but created little clear cut chances. Whitehill managed two half chances on the few forays forward in the opening 20 minutes – Aaron Somerville was denied by a great tackle from Craig Howie before McIntosh headed over from an Andrew Kidd free-kick.
It seemed it would take a mistake or something special to break the deadlock and Thomas Collins certainly produced the latter on 36 minutes. The ball fell to him after a long throw was partially cleared and the striker hit a first-time volley that exploded into the top corner, leaving home ‘keeper Bryan Young with no chance.
EK almost doubled their lead right on half-time when Bernard Coll’s corner caught the wind and was headed off the line by Steven Manson.
Welfare looked to used the wind to their advantage second half and seized the initiative, putting EK under pressure right from the whistle, but could only create half chances.
They were finally level on 65 minutes. McIntosh was fed the ball in the area by Manson and the big striker showed good feet to cut inside and fire low beyond Craig Gordon with his left foot.
Kerr Dodds probably should have made it 2-1 within a minute, but mishit his angled shot into the side netting.
The Ferguson Park, however, side didn’t have to wait long for their second. Sub Danny Noon pounced on a missed clearance and although somewhat sclaffing his shot, managed to get enough on the ball to send it past Gordon with his first touch with 20 minutes to go.
Welfare continued to press and sealed the win on 89 minutes, McIntosh diverting Andy Martin’s near post cross into the far corner.
Manager Mickey Lawson was happy with the victory, but admitted conditions hampered both teams: “The conditions were a joke – the one element you shouldn’t play in is a wind like that. They looked a nice passing side but you can’t see it with the conditions.
“I thought if we got in only one down we’d always have a chance to get back in it second half, so I’m delighted.”
Whitehill Welfare: Young, Martin, Thom, O’Donnell, McKenzie (Dodds 60), McGlashan, Manson (Noon 69), Kidd, McIntosh, Somerville, Sproule.
East Kilbride: Gordon, Home, McLaughlin, Howie, Morris, Lauchlan, Giblin (Hastings 69), O’Hara, Collins, Martin (Diack 69), Coll (Brady 76).