Clydebank 1
Stirling Uni 2
South Challenge Cup (5th Round)

1 - 2
 Stirling Uni

South Challenge Cup (5th Round)
Saturday, March 4th, 2023
Holm Park. Att. 438
3:00 PM Kick-off

Adam Hodge (70)
Nicky Low (og 9)
James Berry (pen 56)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Chris Geddes

Starting Eleven
1 Jamie Donnelly
2 Adam Hodge
15 Oisin McHugh
22 Creag Little
4 Matt Niven
23 Nicky Low
7 Lee Gallacher
17 Larry McMahon
24 Hamish McKinlay
10 Nicky Little
21 Alan Kelly
Yan Gromov Godik 1
Matty Burrows 2
Jake Service 3
Marcus Lavery 4
James Berry 5
James Russell 6
Jason Jarvis 7
Ciaran McAninch 8
Ben Maciver-Redwood 9
Cammy McKinley 10
Ben Heal 11

26 Ikechi Eze
18 Kevin Green
27 Connor Higgins
20 Kyle King
25 Calum McEwan
16 Ben McLernan
8 Joe Slattery
Archie Munro 12
Euan McGill 14
Buronbek Mirzasalimov 15
Calum Rae 16
Finlay Bainbridge 17
Jamie Thompson 18
Ben Fry gk

Joe Slattery for Larry McMahon (67)
Connor Higgins for Alan Kelly (67)
Ben McLernan for Hamish McKinlay (86)
Euan McGill -> Jake Service (46)
Finlay Bainbridge -> Cammy McKinley (74)
Jamie Thompson -> Ciaran McAninch (86)

Nicky Little (35)
Larry McMahon (43)
Jamie Donnelly (56)
Creag Little (90)
James Russell (26)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Jordan Curran (Referee)
Scott Bunting & Nathan Deane (Assistants)

Match Report

Clydebank exited the South Challenge Cup after losing out to the University of Stirling by the odd goal in three at Holm Park this afternoon. Over the piece there wasn’t a massive amount in it, but the Uni side probably did enough to earn their passage into the quarter finals.

Both sides had their chances throughout, however the Bankies were always chasing after falling behind to an unfortunate own goal early on in the match. No doubt, the Bankies will feel they could have turned the game around had they taken their chances. Likewise, Stirling will be of the opinion that a second goal would have taken the game out of their hosts reach, which is how it panned out in the end.

Clydebank still have several players missing including the influential Jamie Darroch in defence. There is no doubt that Darroch’s organisational skills are missed in the back line. Danny MacKenzie was cup-tied, and other absentees were Frazer Johnstone, Ciaran Mulcahy, Josh Weir and Liam McGonigle. The one bright light was the name of Joe Slattery making his comeback on the bench after missing the last eight games.

Stirling Uni are riding high in the Lowland League at the moment and they wasted no time in taking the game to the Bankies when Jarvis took the ball on the volley as it dropped from the sky, however Donnelly was untroubled.

Before the match truly settled down, Stirling took the lead with a lucky goal after 9 minutes. A diagonal ball out to the left wing found MacIver-Redwood. The forward powered in to the box and turned inside Matt Niven way too easily and he laid a pass off to McKinley. Jamie Donnelly looked like he had saved the day when he stopped the ball at point blank range, however the incoming Nicky Low couldn’t get out the way of the rebound and the ball ricocheted into the net.

Stirling almost doubled their lead minutes later. They undoubtedly possess great power and skill in the forward areas and it was disconcerting how easily they carved the Bankies defence open at times. It needed another fine stop from Donnelly to keep the deficit at one.

The Bankies began to respond when Creag Little headed a corner kick into the ground, but it bounced up over the bar. Stirling, however, were still posing problems, as McAninch dispossessed Lee Gallacher. From the break, he fed the ball to MacIver-Redwood, but he dragged his shot past the post.

As time wore on, Clydebank became the more dominant side in terms of goals scoring opportunities. Hamish McKinlay should have scored when he stole the ball from the defence. He moved the ball to his right foot, and he should have buried it, but some credit most go to keeper Godik who made a fine save.
From the resultant corner, Matt Niven rose at the near post, and the big man rarely misses from this position, but he sent his header wide of the target.

Lee Gallacher was another sinner when he bore down on goal from an angle. Rather than shooting, he should have looked up for a free man to pass to. There wasn’t an obvious recipient of the ball on this occasion, but when he repeated this exact scenario in the second half, he should have laid the ball off to McKinlay who had an easy finish. Needless to say he missed both chances.

Keeper Godik made sure the visitors lead remained intact at the interval when he made a superb one handed save, diving full length to his right hand side to push away a Nicky Low shot from 25 yards.

Stirling came out of the traps quickly after the break, and the Bankies looked in danger of losing a second and killer goal. In one move, the Uni cut through the Bankies defence like a hot knife through butter as Maciver-Redwood prodded the ball just beyond Donnelly’s far post. As another shot came in from James Berry, the Bankies looked like they might need a change before the found themselves two down.

The margins can be tight in cup football, and Stirling did go two goals to the good and it came just seconds after Lee Gallacher shot instead of squaring the ball for the unmarked McKinlay. Almost immediately Stirling were awarded a penalty when a through ball saw Donnelly collide with Cammy McKinley for a clear spot kick.

Berry put the kick into Donnelly’s right had corner and it was hard to see a way back for the Bankies.

With a two goal lead to protect, Stirling became less of an attacking threat, as Clydebank sought to find a way back into the game. It wasn’t until Slattery and Higgins came on that it looked as if the Bankies were going to be able to unlock the away defence.

Higgins missed an absolute sitter with his first touch of the ball, when a cross from the left, was cut out and fell directly in his path. From no more than six yards he smashed the ball off the goalkeeper.

With men being thrown forward, the Bankies were always in danger of being caught out and Stirling could have went even further ahead when they created an overload down the left wing. Thankfully, the frame of the goal came to the Bankies aid when McAninch’s shot had beaten Donnelly.

Clydebank finally got themselves back into the game after 70 minutes when Adam Hodge cracked a fantastic low drive into the keeper’s bottom corner.

Despite Clydebank pressurising the Stirling goal and creating some excitement, they couldn’t find a way past a resolute Uni defence in the last 20 minutes. Even throwing big Matt Niven up front in the closing stage bore no fruit as the Uni - although panicky at times – held on to their lead.

It was a very decent cup tie, but once again the Bankies failed against a better class of opposition. We simply have to find a way to get past the top sides that we face. I said last week that we had lost to all the top teams in the league this season – Beith, Darvel, Pollok, Irvine Meadow, and Hurlford. We also lost to Spartans in the Cup and now we can add Stirling Uni to that list. This is not an opinion, it is a statement of fact.

We are not a million miles away, but we have to start beating the clubs who was see as our direct rivals if we are going to be challenging to win leagues and the bigger cups that we all aspire to.

We are back in action on Wednesday this week as Cumnock visit Holm Park on league business.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at March 4th, 2023)

2022-23 All Time
League Cups All
Jamie Donnelly (GK) 10 - 5 - 55 -
Adam Hodge 11 - 61462
Oisin McHugh 615 - 441
Creag Little 1318 - 211
Matt Niven 71735911
Nicky Low 1 - 2 - 3 -
Lee Gallacher 16 - 947914
Larry McMahon 1515 - 201
Hamish McKinlay 10 - 835712
Nicky Little 141396216134
Alan Kelly 15472226
Joe Slattery (sub) 8 - 726012
Connor Higgins (sub) 15574229
Ben McLernan (sub) 1 - 1 - 2 -

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
22nd February 2023
Darvel0-1Hurlford United
25th February 2023
Beith Juniors2-0Darvel
Cambuslang R1-2Irvine Meadow
Kirk Rob Roy2-1Hurlford United
Largs Thistle4-0Petershill
1st March 2023
Irvine Meadow1-0Glenafton Ath
4th March 2023
Arthurlie1-2Largs Thistle
Darvel3-1Cambuslang R
Glenafton Ath1-2Beith Juniors
Irvine Meadow0-1Petershill
Pollok6-2Kirk Rob Roy
Troon3-1Hurlford United

League Table (as at March 4th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Beith Juniors 21 15 3 3 +29 48
2. Darvel 20 13 2 5 +29 41
3. Pollok 22 11 5 6 +19 38
4. Irvine Meadow 20 10 2 8 -2 32
5. Auchinleck Talb 14 9 3 2 +16 30
6. Clydebank 16 10 0 6 +13 30
7. Largs Thistle 22 8 5 9 -3 29
8. Hurlford United 20 7 5 8 -2 26
9. Troon 19 8 2 9 -6 26
10. Cumnock 18 6 5 7 -1 23
11. Kirk Rob Roy 19 7 2 10 -4 23
12. Glenafton Ath 20 5 6 9 -6 21
13. Petershill 24 5 4 15 -39 19
14. Arthurlie 19 6 2 11 -8 17
15. Kilwinning Rgrs 15 4 2 9 -16 14
16. Cambuslang R 19 5 2 12 -19 14

Point deductions:
Arthurlie: -3
Cambuslang Rangers: -3