YOKER ATHLETIC picked up a vital three points against Irvine Meadow at Holm Park on Saturday.
Whe-Ho manager Steven Reilly made three changes from the side which lost at home to Renfrew last week. John Harvey, David Crerand and Greg ‘Tiny’ Maitland came in for Kurtis Roberts, Gary Arbuckle and Mark McManus.
Maitland’s selection was to prove pivotal as he opened the scoring after 12 minutes. The winger linked up well with Crerand before firing a shot from 22 yards that Newman in the Medda goal couldn’t keep out despite getting a hand to it.
Ryan Hynes saw a couple off efforts go close whilst at the other end Marc Wilson produced a fine stop to deny Graham Boyd an equaliser for the visitors.
Harvey almost doubled Yoker’s lead but Newman made a good stop from the full-back’s set-piece effort.
Hynes doubled the lead early in the second when he outpaced visiting full-back McCrea before stabbing the ball home past Newman with only six minutes of the second half played.
Yoker were now fully on top with skipper Gary Bissland and Andy Campbell dominating the midfield battle against Medda’s experienced pairing of McKnight and Carson.
The third and decisive goal arrived with 20 minutes remaining via Maitland. After Andy Rankin’s fine run and effort was saved the ball broke to the Whe-Ho trickster.
He sidestepped Medda skipper Marc McLennan before curling a 30-yard effort high into Newman’s top left-hand corner.
Medda pulled a goal back late on from a Ben Carson penalty after James Ross was adjudged to have handled Jared Willett’s cross.
Reilly and his coaching staff hope that this result can be the catalyst to pick up the points that will ensure they steer clear of the relegation zone.
Assistant Manager Graeme George said: “The boys deserved their win. They were better all over the park and thankfully we got some of the breaks which have gone against us all too often this season.
“Tiny (Maitland) showed what he can bring to the game and it’s important we keep him fit for the rest of the season. His second goal was a superb strike.
“We looked solid. John Harvey’s influence on the backline is immense and it’s important to have his experience in there.
Yoker: Wilson, Bailey, Harvey, Henry, Ross (Carson), Bissland, Rankin, Campbell (Allan), Hynes, Crerand (Roberts), Maitland.
Not Used: Campbell (GK), Arbuckle.