Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Rutherglen Glencairn 1 Clydebank 2

Wednesday 15th April 2015 - Euroscot Engineering Central League Cup Round One

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Clydebank

Ross Ballantyne in first half action.

The Glens tumbled out of the Euroscot Engineering Central League Cup at the hands of Super Premier League side Clydebank, as the traditional end-of-season midweek matches started.

Willie Harvey made three changes to the starting line-up from the previous Saturday's win over Thorniewood United. Thomas Kilmartin replaced Denis McLaughlin up front, Ross Ballantyne came into left midfield to replace the rested Del Esplin, and Andy Neil returned in central defence to replace the ineligible Brian Welsh.

The match took some time to get going and, although the visitors were playing the game at a good tempo in the early stages, there was little in the way of threat to either goalkeeper in the opening minutes. The closest either side came to hitting the target was in the 7th minute when Jonny Boal's cross from the left picked out Graeme Brown at the back post, and his volley flew a yard wide of the near post.

Kilmartin pulled a save out of Clydebank goalkeeper Liam Campbell with a curling free kick in the 15th minute, the stopper diving low to his left to tip the ball round for a corner. The resulting cross was driven in low, and the ball broke into the path of Ballantyne whose shot was heading for the net until Campbell dived to his right to claw the ball away.

Clydebank's early energy hadn't been converted into any serious threat on Glencairn's goal, and Glencairn were more on the front foot as the half hour mark approached. Clever footwork by Kilmartin almost set up Jordan Dalzell for a chance, and then a good passing move involving Dalzell and Ross McNeil almost ended with Kilmartin through on goal, but good defending on both occasions snuffed out the home side's attacks.

The visitors' first serious attempt on goal came in the 33rd minute as David Verlaque's free kick from 20 yards was deflected off the defensive wall and wide for a corner kick. This seemed to give some confidence to the Premier League side and it sparked a spell of pressure. Verlaque again went close with a shot which was deflected off David Dunnachie and saved down low by JC Hutchison, and then a minute later a dipping shot by Scott Davidson dropped narrowly wide of the far post with Hutchison beaten.

Clydebank continued to press as half time approached, and a good defensive block by Andy Neil was followed up on the rebound by a snap shot by Davidson which flew over the crossbar. Glencairn had fallen out of the match at this point, although in a brief attack McNeil headed over from Ballantyne's long throw. Ross Harvie fired straight at Hutchison at the other end on the stroke of half time.

Half time : 0-0

There were no personnel changes at the interval, and The Glens were first to go close in the second half when Dunnachie's shot on the turn flew over the bar from 8 yards. A few minutes later a speculative effort by Dean Muir flew a yard over the bar as Glencairn continued to give as good as they were getting from their higher league opponents.

A long throw by Ballantyne in the 55th minute caused chaos in the visitors' defence, with Sean McGuire seeing three shots blocked as well as Dunnachie's effort being denied, and eventually the ball was scrambled away by the Clydebank defence.

The significance of that strong defending was evident only a few seconds later when Clydebank took the lead. A neat pass released Ian Gold into the penalty area, and his square ball was laid on a plate for Ross Harvie to fire into the net from close range to make it 1-0 to Clydebank.

Davidson tried his luck from distance in the 59th minute after turning away from Boal, and his angled shot brought applause as it dropped not too far off target.

Glencairn were back on level terms in the 64th minute with a well worked and deserved goal. A beautifully weighted pass by Dalzell was just perfect for Ross McNeil to beat the offside trap, and Glencairn's top scorer didn't need to break stride as he slipped the ball past Campbell to make it 1-1, McNeil's 11th goal in 11 starts since signing.

Ross McNeil Ross McNeil

There was an immediate change for Glencairn after the goal, with Kris Irvine replacing Ballantyne on the left of midfield. Clydebank captain Phil Barclay gave a warning of things to come in the 66th minute as he fired a shot from distance narrowly over the crossbar.

The Bankies made a double change in the 69th minute, with Sean Stewart and Scott Walker replacing Kyle Cumming and Scott Davidson respectively. The changes seemed to give Clydebank an immediate boost, as they regained their lead only a minute later. The ball broke on the edge of the penalty area to Phil Barclay, and the former Glencairn midfielder drove an unsaveable angled shot past Hutchison from 20 yards to make it 2-1.

Clydebank could have increased their lead when Stewart pounced on a mistake by Hutchison, but Dunnachie made an excellent block to keep Glencairn in contention. Del Esplin replaced Muir in midfield for The Glens with 15 minutes remaining, and a few minutes later the shape changed to 4-3-3 as striker Denis McLaughlin replaced midfielder Dalzell.

Glencairn pressed for an equaliser, and good link play by Esplin and McNeil set up a chance for Kilmartin to shoot, but Davidson saved down low to his right.

The final substitution of the match came with five minutes remaining, Clydebank bringing on Derek McNab for an eventful final few minutes in place of Johnny Allan.

The Glens refused to give up, and Kilmartin volleyed wide with a couple of minutes remaining after Brown's long throw had been flicked into the striker's path. The last chance came in the 93rd minute when McLaughlin's cross from the left dropped into the path of Neil, and the defender's low shot took a coat of paint off the outside of the post, with many home fans waiting for the net to bulge.

That wasn't the end of the action, however, as the referee flashed two straight red cards in the 94th minute. Clydebank's late substitute McNab dived into a dangerous challenge on Dunnachie, and the big defender reacted angrily to the unacceptable tackle. When the referee had calmed the players down, McNab was shown red for the tackle, and Dunnachie was also given his marching orders for the aggressive reaction.

The referee blew for full time only seconds after the match re-started, and it was an unsavoury end to what had been a competitive match played in a good spirit.

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Brown, Boal, Neil, Dunnachie, Muir (Esplin), Dalzell (McLaughlin), McGuire, McNeil, Kilmartin, Ballantyne (Irvine). (Subs not used - Galloway, Eadie.)

Clydebank :- Campbell, Verlaque, Paterson, Martin, Mort, Allan (McNab), Gold, Barclay, Harvie, Davidson (Stewart), Cumming (Walker). (Subs not used - Irvine, Hamilton (gk).)

Man of the match - (chosen by Stuart Brown) Sean McGuire.

Sean McGuire Sean McGuire

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