Clydebank 3
Jeanfield Swifts 1

3 - 1
 Jeanfield Swifts

Saturday, July 22nd, 2023
Holm Park
2:00 PM Kick-off

Lee Gallacher (40)
Aaron Whitehead (o.g.) (90)
Larry McMahon (90)
Shaun Struthers (36)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Robbie Holden

Starting Eleven
Jamie Donnelly
James Grant
Oisin McHugh
Jamie Darroch
Matt Niven
Frazer Johnstone
Lee Gallacher
Nicky Low
Callum Graham
Nicky Little
Alan Kelly
Mark Mitchell 1
Jamie Reid 2
Scott Mollison 3
Aaron Whitehead 4
Kieran Sweeney 5
Pat Brown 6
Olly Hamilton 7
Fraser Smith 8
Jordan Northcott 10
Shaun Struthers 15
Chris Scott 17

Iain Begg
Chris Black
Creag Little
Liam McGonigle
Ben McLernan
Euan MacMillan
Joe Slattery
Larry McMahon
Evan Wolecki 14
Dayle Robertson 18
Chris Dodd 19
Sam Townsley 20
Scott Smith 21
Elliott Scott 22

Creag Little for Jamie Darroch (56)
Liam McGonigle for Lee Gallacher (56)
Joe Slattery for Frazer Johnstone (56)
Euan MacMillan for Oisin McHugh (59)
Larry McMahon for Alan Kelly (66)
Chris Black for Nicky Low (72)
Ben McLernan for Nicky Little (72)
Iain Begg for James Grant (80)
Sam Townsley -> Mark Mitchell (46)
Dayle Robertson -> Olly Hamilton (52)
Chris Dodd -> Shaun Struthers (52)
Scott Smith -> Pat Brown (60)
Evan Wolecki -> Jordan Northcott (70)
Elliott Scott -> Scott Mollison (75)

Nicky Low (7)
Kieran Sweeney (55)
Jamie Reid (89)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Match Report

Clydebank wrapped up the lengthy pre-season run with a 3-1 victory over Jeanfield Swifts at Holm Park this afternoon. There wasn’t a whole lot to choose between the sides in the first half, but a better second half performance saw the Bankies edge the match with two stoppage time goals.

The Jeanies were a decent enough team playing at the same level in the pyramid as the Bankies in the East Region, possibly reminiscent of the more mid-level sides in our division such as Cumnock and Largs Thistle.

Therefore, it was expected to be a test along similar lines to what we might see on a weekly basis in our own league. And, Jeanfield did provide that for much of the game, and despite the scoreline the Bankies still have much room for improvement.

The first half was a bit nip and tuck with not a lot to get the supporters excited. It was quite typical of the Bankies pre-season as a whole with a lot of passing and not a lot of end product. In fact, it took until the 22nd minute before Clydebank had any kind of shot on goal when Frazer Johnstone drove the ball wide from a Calum Graham lay off.

Up until that point, Jeanfield had been the better of the two teams, moving the ball about with a bit more urgency. New signing Jordan Northcott from Brechin looks like a very good acquisition for the Jeanies as he was very threatening down the left wing.

He was the first to have a shot at goal as Jeanfield made good use of the long diagonal ball from the full back on the opposite side of the pitch. On this occasion, after showing good control and dribbling skills Northcott blasted the ball well off target as he was off balance.

It was from a similar long pass that the move for the opening goal started after 36 minutes. The goal was undoubtedly the best passage of play in the half, if not the whole match.

Northcott received the ball on the left wing, and with three precise passes involving Hamilton and Smith, they cut through the Bankies defence and the ball was slid across the six yard box for Struthers, who nipped in front of Darroch and poked the ball home.

Fortunately, the Bankies responded just four minutes later from a 25 yard free kick given after Frazer Johnstone had been up-ended by Sweeney. Lee Gallacher, who otherwise had a quiet game, lifted the ball up and over into the goalkeeper’s left hand corner giving him no chance.

The Bankies subsequently had an opportunity to go into the break a goal ahead when a threaded through ball from Nicky Low took a couple of deflections and found its way to Nicky Little. The forward did well to step inside a defender, but he shot to the keeper’s near post when he may have been better going across him. Mitchell read the situation and saved the ball comfortably.

Clydebank were more purposeful at the beginning of the second half and were unlucky not to take the lead after 53 minutes. Alan Kelly started and finished the move, working a fine one-two with Nicky Little. Taking the ball with his side foot, he curled the ball beyond substitute goalkeeper Townsley only to see it crash off the crossbar.

Calum Graham then found space just outside the box and hit a powerful shot with his left foot, but it was down the throat of the keeper who held the ball well.

A number of substitutions were made and then there was a further delay when Oisin McHugh had to be replaced when he clattered into the perimeter fencing and had to be helped from the field.

This disrupted the momentum that the Bankies had been building and the game went through a period where it almost kind of reset itself. There were a couple of half chances from McGonigle, but they were from unrealistic angles and another strong effort from Graham after Slattery had dispossessed a defender.

The Bankies still aren’t showing enough urgency for me yet, and still seem to be lacking that little bit of creativity and cutting edge to open a team up. We, again, were dominating territorially but some of the football is a bit sterile and I’ve still to truly see us have the kind of momentum behind us where we have the opposition with their backs against the wall and goals look imminent.

The surface at Holm Park definitely allows teams to come and play their own passing game and maybe it nullifies the Bankies ‘home’ advantage to a certain degree, and perhaps that is why we often seem to do better on our travels.

We ended up winning the game with two slightly fortunate goals, but only after Jeanfield had a very good chance to win it themselves.

With just three minutes remaining, a pass was centred to substitute Scott Smith. With one touch he rolled the ball up, and volleyed a beauty towards the goal. Fortunately, it was hit fairly central, but even so Donnelly had to be alert to touch over the bar.

As we entered stoppage time, the Bankies went into the lead through an own goal. Sometimes, bringing a player back to the club can be a backward step, but Chris Black deserves immense credit for his tenacious run as he hit the left hand bye line and thundered the ball across the six yard box.

Aaron Whitehead just could not get out of the way and the ball ricocheted of his shin and flew high into the net.

Chris Black always provided the legs in the middle of the park, and Larry McMahon is another player who fulfils a similar role, and it was he who put the icing on the cake, as his quick reactions added a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

He had seen his shot on the right hand side of the penalty box blocked by the goalkeeper, but the ball rebounded back to him at pace. Despite in the process of falling over, he instantly returned the ball first time into the net.

There were some signs of improvement in the performance today, but for me we still seem a good bit away from our best. I’m not really a fan of such a protracted pre-season run of games. No doubt the coaches find it valuable, and maybe some of these games could have done with being behind closed doors. Fans just want to see their team looking well prepared for the season ahead and it causes concern when things look a little dis-jointed at times.

We got off to a fairly poor start in the league last season after a similar kind of mixed bag pre-season and we can’t afford that again. There is no doubt we had best be ready as Benburb will come to Holm Park next week with a definite style and game plan, and we better be prepared to match them in endeavour if we are to get that first three points.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

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