Kirkintilloch Rob Roy missed a chance to distance themselves from the drop zone with defeat at Troon on Saturday.
Despite taking an early lead, Stewart Maxwell’s side came away from Portland Park pointless with the result dragging them back into relegation contention..
With the strong wind advantage, Troon pressed from the kick off but found the make shift Rabs’ central defence resolute in the initial stages.
The first chance fell to the home side when John Gemmell’s header went narrowly wide.
However as conditions took their toll, Troon were unable to benefit and it was Rob Roy who started to control proceedings.
Good inter-play in the 25th minute was rewarded when Alberto Vezza’s strong run in to the box was halted by a late Dean Keenan tackle and referee Gentles awarded a penalty kick. Lee Gallacher stepped up to blast the ball past keeper Scott Johnstone to give the visitors a well deserved lead.
Troon responded and Roy’s keeper Ian Stewart managed to keep out a Keenan free-kick at the second attempt.
Then in the 35th minute Stewart made a splendid save from Ryan Stevenson to keep the Rabs in front.
However just as it looked like the visitors would go into half-time with the lead, a Stevenson free-kick from the left was caught in the swirling wind and spilled out of Stewart’s hands to land in the net.
The second half began with Troon looking more dangerous and a Stevenson cross was headed over the bar by Jack Sherrie. Stewart then did well to push a Stevenson 20-yard shot.
But the Ayrshire side took the lead in the 59th minute when Steven McCreadie, who was having an outstanding match, hammered an unstoppable shot from just outside the box beyond the keeper.
Rob Roy started to come more into the game and Martin McBride’s lay off to substitute Michael Tuohy saw home keeper Johnstone save well.
As the half wore on, and as both teams battled against the conditions, Rabs went all out for the equaliser and Tuohy’s shot from distance shaved the bar.
However, against the run of play, Troon increased their lead in the 81st minute when substitute Scott Chatham sent a low left-foot shot beyond Stewart.
With three minute to go Troon were awarded a soft penalty by referee Gentles, who was having a nightmare of a match, when Fabio Capuano was adjudged to have handled in the box when the ball hit his arm. But justice was done when Stewart dived low to his right to keep out Stevenson’s spot kick.
As play continued the Roy broke immediately upfield and substitute Gary Carroll pounced on a through ball to lash the ball past Johnstone to reduce the deficit.
Rob Roy continued to press and in stoppage time Vezza’s effort was smartly taken by Johnstone to ensure Troon held on to take all three points and leapfrog above Rob Roy in the league table on goal difference.
Sponsor Andy Smith presented the Supporters’ Man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, to Fabio Capuano.