ARDENCAPLE FC’s 2006 team returned to winning ways after two successive defeats with a hard-earned 3-2 win on Saturday away to OLM.

Caple travelled to Barrhead expecting a difficult game against an OLM side who had proved a tough nut to crack in the teams’ previous clash.

But Caple made the early running, despite facing a stiff breeze on a big and heavy grass pitch, and created two similar early chances, as Godwin was released down the left flank, first by Shields and then by Poirier, but on both occasions Godwin’s powerful shots were superbly saved by the home keeper.

OLM were playing nice tidy football themselves but were kept at bay by the Ardencaple midfield and defence, while Cooke and Murray forced the home keeper into another couple of fine saves with shots on target.

But 10 minutes before half-time it was OLM who opened the scoring, when Caple’s defence couldn’t deal with the hosts’ first corner of the match, and the home centre-forward gave O’Rourke no chance from close range.

With the wind at their backs in the second half, however, Caple soon had OLM pinned back, and they deservedly levelled when Dorizon’s cutback from the right was passed into the net by Cooke from 10 yards.

Ardencaple kept pressing, and Murray and Godwin had further shots saved by the home keeper, who was having an inspired game – but Caple captain Shields had different ideas and he hit an unstoppable shot from 20 yards high into the net to give Caple the lead.

And with 15 minutes to go it was Cooke who reacted quickest to make it three, snapping up the rebound after Murray’s low drive was saved.

OLM pulled one back from the penalty spot in the last minute when Caple’s defence again failed to clear their lines from a rare foray forward by the hosts, but there was too little time for OLM to complete a fightback and Caple saw out the win after a decent performance which just needed more ruthlessness in front of goal.

This Saturday, March 16, Caple host Pollok at Hermitage Academy in the last eight of the West Region Cup. Kick-off is at 10.15am.