Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

Subtitle

Clydebank 1 Rutherglen Glencairn 1

Wednesday 25th May 2016 - McBookie.com West Region Super League Division One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Clydebank 1

David Dunnachie keeps a close watch on Clydebank's tricky winger Mark Burbidge.

Glencairn's hopes of maintaining their record of always finishing in the top half of the table in Super League Division One were given a boost as they grabbed a deserved point away from home at promotion-chasing Clydebank in the penultimate league match of the season. The result moved The Glens up to 7th place with one game remaining, ahead of Cumbernauld United on goal difference, with United due to travel to title contenders Cumnock Juniors in their final match.

With their eyes firmly fixed on the upcoming Central League Cup quarter final, the management team chose to rest several regular players, including three of the four players who won Player of the Year awards last Saturday being left on the substitutes' bench. Alan Muir, Ryan Docherty, Sean McGuire, Andy Neil and Mark Duffy were all wrapped in cotton wool on the sidelines, although only Neil was not stripped for action if required.

Instead there were starting places for four of the under 21 team, with a first start for midfielder Njabulo Ndlovu in the centre of the pitch alongside u21 captain Ryan Bennett who was making his second start of the season. Paddy Cullen replaced Duffy up front, and u21 defender Anthony Dempsey replaced Neil in defence with Brian Eadie partnering Tony Fraser in the centre. Danny Salah retained his place in the side after his winning goal in the previous game at Kilwinning, but he switched from the right side to the left of midfield. In total there were five changes to the starting line-up from the previous match, with only two outfield players retaining the same starting positions on the pitch.

It was Clydebank's final match of the season, and realistically they needed a win to keep alive their promotion hopes. A crowd of over 700 gathered in the sunshine to watch the action, and the home side were on the front foot in the opening stages. Mark Burbidge threatened on the edge of the penalty area in the opening minute, but Fraser made an important interception to lift the ball into the air and goalkeeper JC Hutchison tidied up with a catch. A long ball from the back almost saw The Bankies get in behind the defence in the 9th minute, but Dempsey did just enough to quell the danger.

There were signs in the 13th minute that Glencairn were starting to find their feet in the game, and Cullen's flick set up the chance for himself to fire a volley which flew high and wide of the far post. Three minutes later Ndlovu won possession and strode forward from midfield, but his attempt at a killer pass aimed for Salah was just a little misplaced and the chance was lost.

The home fans were shouting in anticipation of a goal in the 19th minute when Stevie Young drilled in a low shot which seemed net-bound, but Hutchison made a superb save down low to his right to tip the ball round the post for a corner.

Both goalkeepers were catching the eye at the mid point of the first half, and home no.1 Josh Lumsden had to react sharply to beat away Mark Batchelor's near post glancing header from Bennett's corner in the 23rd minute. The next cross saw Lumsden fumble the ball a little before recovering as David Dunnachie almost got on the end of Bennett's longer cross.

The Glens were giving as good as they were getting at this stage, and the opening goal arrived in the 25th minute to silence the noisy home support. The ball was fed in from the right to Cullen, and his clever head flick set up Ryan Bennett, who held off his marker and fired past Lumsden at his near post. It was Bennett's first ever competitive goal for the first team.

Ryan Bennett (u21s) Ryan Bennett

That wasn't in the script for the home fans, and Glencairn's control of proceedings continued as firstly Kemley fired an angled shot over the bar, and then Lumsden's legs blocked away a low shot by Batchelor. A slipped pass by Batchelor almost set up Salah in the 39th minute, but Lumsden raced out to kick clear on the edge of his penalty area as The Glens continued to create opportunites to add to their lead.

As half time approached, however, The Bankies began to threaten again, with Nicky Little skipping past Fraser into the penalty area but then badly over-hitting his cross. The next ball into the penalty area almost found Young, but the Glencairn defence did just enough to force the ball out for another corner.

The anxiety from the large home support on the terraces was spreading to the pitch, and that was summed up right on the half time whistle as defender Hashim Cole fired in a shot from an impossible position, and the ball flew wildly high and wide and into the trees behind the goal.

Half time : 0-1

Clydebank 2

Mark Batchelor battles for possession with Clydebank captain Phil Barclay.

Both teams stuck with their original teams for the start of the second half, but Clydebank emerged from the dressing room to fresh encouragement from their supporters, and it seemed to give them an energy lift at the start of the second half.

Glencairn still had a threat, though, and they were first to go close as Salah's volley from 20 yards slipped a few inches wide of the post. Clydebank had noticeably upped the tempo, though, and they pulled themselves level in the 49th minute with a stroke of good fortune. Burbidge cut in from the left and fired the ball into the middle, where the ball broke into the path of Nicky Little, and his shot took a deflection and wrong-footed Hutchison as it rolled into the corner of the net.

The home crowd were now noisy again in expectation of an home onslaught, and Hutchison had to react well to beat away the ball at his near post after a shot had taken a deflection and bounced up in front of him. Ndlovu was shown a yellow card for a rash challenge on Clydebank skipper Phil Barclay in the centre of the park, sparking some raised tempers on both sides. Ndlovu injured himself in the process and was immediately withdrawn and replaced by McGuire.

Clydebank continued to press forward, with The Glens' defence continuing to stand strong with Fraser and Eadie resisting just about everything that was lifted into the centre of the visitors' defence. The pace of Burbidge on the left was beginning to show for the first time in the match, and he skipped away from two challenges before trying to square the ball, but once again the Glencairn defence was a match to it. Hutchison saved above his head from Jamie Lyden's header as the home support continued to encourage their favourites.

Something had to be done to change the flow of the game as far as The Glens were concerned, and Willie Harvey's answer was to try to make Clydebank think more defensively by putting on an extra striker. Mark Duffy was introduced up top alongside Cullen, with Kemley withdrawn and Glencairn going to 4-4-2.

Clydebank's first change came in the 69th minute as striker Ryan Holms replaced Young. Cullen should have put Glencairn back in front in the 73rd minute when he found space in behind the defence and tried to lob Lumsden, but his touch was way too heavy and the ball flew well over the crossbar.

Holms went close in the 75th minute as he turned away from Dunnachie, but he pulled his shot across goal and wide of the far post. There were shouts for a penalty for Glencairn in the 81st minute when it appeared that Cullen's heels were clipped, but the referee wasn't interested.

Cameron Haddow replaced Jordan Shelvey for Clydebank with nine minutes remaining, but with time running out Clydebank's efforts at goal became more rushed and lacking in composure. A cross from into the box fell into the path of Burbidge whose goal-bound shot took a deflection and flew wide of goal.

The Bankie's final change came with only two minutes remaining, Gregor Cree replacing defender Calum Gow, but there was to be only one more chance in the game as the clock ticked into stoppage time. The ball broke on the edge of the penalty are to Barclay, who has scored more than once from that area against Glencairn, but this time he pulled his shot well wide due to some determined defending from a sliding challenge by McGuire.

The referee blew for full time after three minutes of stoppage time, and Clydebank were left to hope for results elsewhere to go their way in games still to be played, while The Glens went home happy with their evening's work.

Clydebank :- Lumsden, Vezza, Cole, Lyden, Gow (Cree), Shelvey (Haddow), Burbidge, Barclay, Kasubandi, Little, Young (Holms). (Subs not used - Halliday, Tiropoulos (gk).)

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Dunnachie, Dempsey, Fraser, Eadie, Ndlovu (McGuire), Kemley (Duffy), Bennett, Cullen, Batchelor, Salah. (Subs not used - Alan Muir, Docherty, Thomson (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Andy Neil) Tony Fraser.

Tony Fraser Tony Fraser

Welcome

Latest Glencairn news via Twitter