AN intriguing encounter between two evenly-matched sides ended in a 1-1 draw at Loch Park on Saturday.

A swirling wind caused problems for all 22 players and it is to their credit that they produced some superb football.

Glenafton started off well but found themselves behind after a classic breakaway goal scored by Kilwinning Rangers’ striker Brian Boylan.

It was a sore one for Glens manager Craig McEwan to take, but his troops rallied to level in the second half.

He said: “I thought we started well but, to be fair, the wind played a big part in the game.

“You play to the conditions though and we adapted quite well, keeping them in their 18-yard box for long spells in the first half.

“But they broke on us twice and scored with a very good goal although it was a bad one for us to lose.

“At half-time I said to the players that it was going to be difficult but they were asked to be brave and take the ball.

“They did that and played the ball well, considering the conditions and I thought, in the end, that we were unlucky.”

Despite the visitors having the benefit of the strong wind behind them, it was Glenafton who scored the second half’s only goal, Chris Dallas showing awareness in the box to convert.

The Glens gaffer had mixed feelings when he spoke to the Chronicle after the match.

“Kilwinning are a good side, though, have good players and are riding on the crest of a wave right now.

“They are top of the league and are there for a reason. They do things well and at half-time I was thinking a draw would be a good result for us.

“However, I have come away frustrated, but they are the team everyone wants to catch, much like ourselves last season.

“Is it a good point for us? Maybe I am a wee bit disappointed that we never won the match,” he added.

One matter for concern was Alan Cairns’ sending off after he remonstrated with referee Lloyd Wilson when the official had stopped play to award Glens a free-kick.

Many supporters were equally aggrieved that he hadn’t played the advantage, but the full back’s reaction overstepped the mark.

McEwan said: “Alan Cairns was given a straight red card for what he said to the referee. If what I am told he said is accurate then it will be dealt with internally.”

Back to the plus points and the gaffer praised staff at the club for the excellent playing surface on Saturday.

He said: “Well done to the Glens committee and volunteers who worked hard to get the match played despite all the rain.

“It is a team effort here — we win together and lose together and I am happy with that.”

Next up for Glens is a trip to Girvan for a league match on Saturday, March 24 — Glens won the corresponding home fixture 4-0 on February 17, while Girvan won the West of Scotland tie between the clubs.