Neilston Juniors 2
Clydebank 3
West of Scotland Football League Cup (Quarter Final)

Neilston Juniors 

2 - 3


West of Scotland Football League Cup (Quarter Final)
Saturday, March 18th, 2023
Brig O Lea Stadium
2:00 PM Kick-off

Robbie Halliday (47)
Darren Jones (63)
Alan Kelly (13)
Nicky Little (36)
Nicky Little (46)

Team Managers
Kevin Muirhead Gordon Moffat

Starting Eleven
1 Grant Hay
2 Dom Reilly
3 Lewis Kinnaird
4 Ciaran Friel
5 Euan Clark
6 Robbie Halliday
7 Dylan Fletcher
8 Cammy Haddow
9 Darren Jones
10 Tam McGaughey
11 Dillon Duddy
Jamie Donnelly 1
Adam Hodge 2
Oisin McHugh 15
Jamie Darroch 5
Creag Little 22
Frazer Johnstone 6
Lee Gallacher 7
Nicky Low 23
Connor Higgins 27
Nicky Little 10
Alan Kelly 21

12 Daryl Convery
14 Tommy Lone
15 Reiss Cridge
16 Ross MacKinnon
17 Sam Ballantyne
18 Mitchell Rooney
gk Ross Hamilton
Ikechi Eze 26
Kevin Green 18
Kyle King 20
Hamish McKinlay 24
Larry McMahon 17
Joe Slattery 8
Josh Weir 19

Ross MacKinnon -> Dillon Duddy (46)
Daryl Convery -> Cammy Haddow (69)
Larry McMahon for Frazer Johnstone (59)
Josh Weir for Connor Higgins (72)
Hamish McKinlay for Alan Kelly (81)

Euan Clark (35)
Tam McGaughey (38)
Lewis Kinnaird (51)
Robbie Halliday (59)
Frazer Johnstone (33)
Alan Kelly (69)
Oisin McHugh (80)

Red Cards
Lewis Kinnaird (76) None.

Match Officials

Ross Clark (Referee)
Matthew McAlpine & Howard Wilkin (Assistants)

Match Report

Clydebank know how to put their fans through the mill. Three goals up against lower league Neilston in the West of Scotland Cup Quarter Final and seemingly cruising through to the next round, the Bankies suffered a second half implosion and were lucky to stumble over the finish line by three goals to two.

Had it not been for the incredibly stupid sending off of left back Lewis Kinnaird with fifteen minutes to go the Bankies could have been facing a penalty shoot out or even worse a humiliating defeat. Advancing to the next round is the be all and end all of cup competition, but with a raft of harder games coming up we are going to have to see a huge improvement.

The last time we truly played well as a team was against Arthurlie back in the middle of January. We may have secured some scrappy wins in the intervening period, but the levels we are seeing aren’t going to cut it against better opposition.

The Bankies line up today included Jamie Darroch who was back after his injury lay off, but Danny MacKenzie had now joined the crocks list alongside Ciaran Mulcahy who seems no closer to a return. This meant Connor Higgins retaining the strikers berth ahead of Josh Weir and Hamish McKinlay.

The opening exchanges were rather dull. As the ‘big’ team the Bankies hardly imposed themselves on proceedings and as expected Neilston came out with a lot of energy on a bumpy, difficult pitch.

The best thing to do to take the sting out of the opposition is to score a goal, and once the match began to settle down the Bankies did just that after 13 minutes. The ball was sent out wide to Lee Gallacher down the right flank, and the winger delivered a perfect cross to the back post for Alan Kelly who headed the ball low into the corner for his seventh goal of the season.

This settled the Bankies a little, and they could have went further ahead just 6 minutes later. A long ball over the top bamboozled Clark, and Higgins ran on to it. Under pressure Higgins mishit his shot, but it still had enough on it to beat keeper Hay, though not the post as the ball dribbled just past the goal.

After this, the game became quite bogged down and this seemed to favour the hosts who were competitive throughout the pitch. As this stage, Neilston didn’t look like they had a goal in them and any shots they had were wild long range efforts.

Despite not troubling the goal much themselves, the Bankies doubled their lead from a fantastic Nicky Little free kick after 36 minutes. Alan Kelly had been brought down just outside the box in the act of shooting, and Little curled the resultant free kick into Hay’s left hand corner giving the keeper no chance.

Just on the break Alan Kelly could have put the Bankies in a great position when he missed a great opportunity. He done the hard bit by cleverly beating his marker, but faced with a clear view of the goal he skied the ball miles over the bar.

However, just 38 seconds after the restart, Nicky Little scored the third and put the Bankies into a seemingly unassailable lead. The Neilston defence were caught cold, and when Connor Higgins crossed into the box, he found the unmarked Nicky Little who headed home with ease.

That should have been that, but the Bankies took their eye off the ball and just 90 seconds later the home side pulled a goal back. Fletcher was able to get away down the right wing and he crossed low and hard. Donnelly should have done better than just palm the ball right out into the middle of the penalty area, where ex-Bankie Robbie Halliday was waiting to rattle it into the top corner. In fairness to Donnelly, he almost kept the ball out, but the power of the shot just beat him

Neilston took great heart from this lifeline and really began to take the game to Clydebank. However, at this point the Bankies looked like they might grab something on the break. The best moment was when Nicky Little superbly beat a defender in the box to give himself a clear sight on goal, but strangely rather than shoot he tried to pass inside to either Kelly or Higgins. Neither the two of them seemed to now what the other was doing and they ended up just running into each other allowing the ball to be cleared.

After this, the Bankies weren’t even making many breaks from defence as they were finding it hard just keeping the busy Neilston side out. This was nothing fancy, just getting the ball into areas that the Bankies were finding difficult to defend.

Darren Jones always looked lively, and he turned past the static Creag Little and smashed in a piledriver at Donnelly which he could only divert over the bar.

With just over an hour gone Jones got his reward when he headed home a great Fletcher cross at the back post. The game was well and truly on and we had a proper cup tie on our hands.

Gordon Moffat made changes to try and reverse his sides slide, but in the end it was a Neilston player who probably put the game out his team’s reach. Having already been booked, Lewis Kinnaird made a crazy lunge at Lee Gallacher who was not only 35 yards from goal, but also heading out towards the touchline and away from danger. The ref had no option but to bring out his red card.

Despite this, the Bankies never really regained any kind of control and Neilston came close to forcing a penalty shoot-out twice in stoppage time. Both times it was McGaughey who was the sinner. He should have scored with the first opportunity as he managed to take the ball around the advancing Donnelly, but he stumbled as he ran out of ground leaving the large Bankies support blowing out in relief. The other chance was a header over the bar from a corner in the last action before the ref blew for time.

So, the Bankies go on to face St Rochs in the semi-final which could be quite an intimidating encounter. We should still be heavy favourites, but we are not going to keep getting away with sub-standard performances. Ok the pitch was awkward against motivated opponents, but we need to be doing better in these situations.

We have two midweek games coming up at Hom Park in the coming days. We have fierce rivals Pollok on Tuesday – a side which we have lost our last six home matches against, then we have league leaders Beith on Friday. We have only won once against Beith in the last twelve. This underlines the need to get back to some kind of form or these sequences are only going to be extended.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at March 18th, 2023)

2022-23 All Time
League Cups All
Jamie Donnelly (GK) 11 - 6 - 57 -
Adam Hodge 12 - 71482
Oisin McHugh 716 - 461
Jamie Darroch 1325 - 17716
Creag Little 1419 - 231
Frazer Johnstone 1619 - 651
Lee Gallacher 17 - 1048114
Nicky Low 2 - 3 - 5 -
Connor Higgins 16584249
Nicky Little 1514108218137
Alan Kelly 16483247
Larry McMahon (sub) 1616 - 221
Josh Weir (sub) 14384227
Hamish McKinlay (sub) 11 - 935912

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
11th March 2023
Cumnock2-4Auchinleck Talb
Largs Thistle3-1Irvine Meadow
15th March 2023
18th March 2023
Glenafton Ath2-1Cambuslang R
Irvine Meadow2-0Pollok

League Table (as at March 18th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Beith Juniors 21 15 3 3 +29 48
2. Darvel 21 13 2 6 +26 41
3. Pollok 24 12 5 7 +19 41
4. Irvine Meadow 22 11 2 9 -2 35
5. Auchinleck Talb 15 10 3 2 +18 33
6. Largs Thistle 23 9 5 9 -1 32
7. Troon 22 10 2 10 -3 32
8. Clydebank 17 10 0 7 +12 30
9. Cumnock 22 8 5 9 -1 29
10. Hurlford United 20 7 5 8 -2 26
11. Glenafton Ath 21 6 6 9 -5 24
12. Kirk Rob Roy 19 7 2 10 -4 23
13. Arthurlie 22 7 3 12 -9 21
14. Petershill 25 5 4 16 -41 19
15. Kilwinning Rgrs 16 4 3 9 -16 15
16. Cambuslang R 20 5 2 13 -20 14

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