Darvel 2
Clydebank 0
League (WoSFL Premier)


2 - 0


League (WoSFL Premier)
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Recreation Park
7:30 PM Kick-off

Andrew Stirling (27)
Jordan Kirkpatrick (38)

Team Managers
Mick Kennedy Gordon Moffat

Starting Eleven
1 Chris Truesdale
2 Cameron Eadie
5 Daryll Meggatt
6 Ian McShane
8 Andrew Stirling
9 Allan MacKenzie
10 Jordan Kirkpatrick
14 Ross Meechan
18 Chris McGowan
19 Craig Truesdale
20 Ross Caldwell
Jamie Donnelly 1
Adam Hodge 2
Danny MacKenzie 3
Jamie Darroch 5
Creag Little 22
Chris Black 16
Lee Gallacher 7
Larry McMahon 17
Hamish McKinlay 24
Nicky Little 10
Alan Kelly 21

4 David Syme
11 Thomas Reilly
16 Craig Moore
17 Scott Ferguson
21 Lyle Avci
23 Lewis Morrison
Kyle King 20
Coby O'Brien 25
Adam Smith 14
Josh Weir 19
Calum McEwan 18
Connor Higgins 27

Scott Ferguson -> Jordan Kirkpatrick (71) Josh Weir for Hamish McKinlay (67)
Connor Higgins for Chris Black (76)

Allan MacKenzie (51) Creag Little (40)
Adam Hodge (79)
Larry McMahon (80)

Red Cards
Allan MacKenzie (83) None.

Match Officials

Ross Birrell (Referee)
Josh Hay & Gary Robertson (Assistants)

Match Report

Clydebank’s recent good form was brought to an end by big-spending Darvel who returned to the top of the league at Recreation Park tonight by a fairly standard 2-0 result.

The Bankies had some moments in the game but were ultimately beaten by the better side. As well as missing long term crocks Liam McGonigle and Joe Slattery, the Bankies had to do without Ciaran Mulcahy, Matt Niven, Kevin Green and Frazer Johnstone through either injury or suspension.

The squad has been creaking at the seams for a wee while now, and tonight was just a bridge too far against an expensively assembled Darvel side. The Ayrshire squad included David Syme and Lewis Morrison on their bench who cost around £20,000 in transfer fees alone. There are few sides outside of Championship and Premiership level who have the resources that are available to Darvel at the moment.

Ten of the starters for the home side tonight, were in the eleven who famously knock out Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup just over a week ago. This brings into focus the difficulty the Bankies faced.

The one surprise in the Clydebank line-up was the inclusion of Hamish McKinlay as main striker. You could understand the thinking in this decision as he has a lot of energy to chase the ball down which doesn’t seem to be recent starter Connor Higgins’ game at all.

However, this move didn’t work out, and possibly should have been dispensed with earlier. He didn’t have the physicality to compete with Darvel defence, and it is a tough shift ploughing the lone furrow. To be fair he quite often had no real support as the Bankies were passive at times and were forced deep in their own half particularly in first 45 minutes.

McKinlay has not featured in this position for quite a considerable amount of time simply because others do it better. Ciaran Mulcahy was sorely missed as he has shown in the past he can cope in this kind of situation. McKinlay has since been reinvented as a wide player, but he is in the unfortunate situation of others doing that better as well.

By and large Darvel controlled the first half playing a decent brand of possession football. They were constantly recirculating the ball looking for an opening, and patiently waiting. Clydebank defended this very well for the most part and there were few shots at Donnelly’s goal.

However, when they did get through they were clinical, and were rewarded with a two goal lead at the break. The first was just before the half hour when the ball was fed out to Stirling on the left hand side. Hodge probably backed off just too far allowing the forward to rifle a shot past Donnelly with the aid of a deflection.

The second around ten minutes later came when Kirkpatrick rounded a Clydebank player way too easily (Not sure who it was) in the middle of the pitch around 25 yards from goal. He seemed to have acres of space to run into, and he fairly cracked in a swerving shot that Donnelly could do nothing about.

The only other time the Bankies goal come under real peril was from a cross ball right on the half time whistle that evaded everyone and came off the face of the far post.

It wasn’t that Clydebank didn’t have some first half shots at goal, but in order to get a result they needed one of them to go in, but it wasn’t to be.

While the scores were goalless, Nicky Little almost got on the end of a cross ball after nine minutes, but it bounced up too high and he could barely guide it on target. Then, the Bankies forced a series of corners and Jamie Darroch’s placed header was cleared off the line.

Once Darvel took the lead, Nicky Little missed probably the Bankies best chance of the match when he latched onto a Hodge cross in the box. His shot was deflected past keeper Truesdale but struck the cross bar. Little got his head onto the rebound but couldn’t get enough power into it.

Clydebank never truly looked like they could get back into the game at any point of the second half, despite being more competitive. A near post effort from McKinlay that just swept across the goalmouth was about as close as it got.

Darvel had a spell where they hit bar twice in the space of a minute, but even they seemed less adventurous as the match wore on.

With eight minutes remaining Allan MacKenzie was shown a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Nicky Little, and this gave the visiting support a glimmer of hope. Despite a reasonable build-up of pressure towards the end of the match, the Darvel goal remained intact.

Clydebank were always going to find this game a hard task, and it is easy to see why Darvel are favourites to win the league. The disappointing aspect, much like last season, is that the Bankies have now faced five of the other sides in the top seven in the table and have lost all of them. This is the step that needs to be bridged to be genuine title contenders.

The Bankies will now need to dust themselves off, and take their threadbare squad down to Maybole on Saturday and try to progress the club into the next round of the Cup which is a realistic opportunity to win some silverware this season.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at February 1st, 2023)

2022-23 All Time
League Cups All
Jamie Donnelly (GK) 8 - 2 - 50 -
Adam Hodge 11 - 4 - 441
Danny MacKenzie 7 - 2 - 9 -
Jamie Darroch 1224 - 17516
Creag Little 1115 - 161
Chris Black 914114915
Lee Gallacher 14 - 637413
Larry McMahon 1314 - 171
Hamish McKinlay 9 - 525311
Nicky Little 121066211131
Alan Kelly 13442176
Josh Weir (sub) 11354167
Connor Higgins (sub) 14554199

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
1st February 2023
Troon3-0Glenafton Ath

League Table (as at February 1st, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Beith Juniors 16 11 2 3 +23 35
2. Darvel 15 11 1 3 +25 34
3. Auchinleck Talb 12 8 2 2 +15 26
4. Pollok 16 7 5 4 +7 26
5. Clydebank 14 8 0 6 +11 24
6. Hurlford United 15 6 5 4 +5 23
7. Irvine Meadow 14 7 2 5 +2 23
8. Cumnock 16 6 4 6 +2 22
9. Glenafton Ath 17 5 5 7 -4 20
10. Largs Thistle 17 5 5 7 -11 20
11. Arthurlie 14 6 2 6 +1 17
12. Troon 15 5 2 8 -8 17
13. Kirk Rob Roy 14 5 1 8 -1 16
14. Kilwinning Rgrs 13 4 2 7 -12 14
15. Petershill 19 2 4 13 -37 10
16. Cambuslang R 15 3 2 10 -18 8

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