Clydebank 2
Benburb 3
League (WoSFL Premier)

2 - 3

League (WoSFL Premier)
Saturday, July 29th, 2023
Holm Park. Att. 474
2:00 PM Kick-off

Jordan Bow (o.g.) (75)
Matt Niven (85)
Declan McDonald (21)
Declan McDonald (31)
Aaron Black (48)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Paul Lovering

Starting Eleven
20 Kieran Hughes
24 James Grant
15 Oisin McHugh
5 Jamie Darroch
22 Creag Little
23 Nicky Low
7 Lee Gallacher
17 Larry McMahon
9 Callum Graham
10 Nicky Little
21 Alan Kelly
Callum Law 1
Robbie Halliday 2
Jason Andrew 3
Jordan Bow 4
Ryan Livingston 5
Ollie Smith 6
Thomas Cruden 7
Ryan McCrone 8
Declan McDonald 9
Aaron Black 10
Jamie Menzies 11

16 Chris Black
14 Thomas Collins
1 Jamie Donnelly
6 Frazer Johnstone
19 Ciaran Mulcahy
4 Matt Niven
8 Joe Slattery
Ally Taylor 12
Jack Purdue 14
Paul Doyle 15
Shaun Fraser 16
Matthew Doherty 17
Euan Clark 18
Grant Hay 21

Ciaran Mulcahy for Nicky Little (53)
Matt Niven for Creag Little (53)
Frazer Johnstone for Larry McMahon (53)
Thomas Collins for Callum Graham (57)
Chris Black for Alan Kelly (68)
Shaun Fraser -> Ryan McCrone (75)
Matthew Doherty -> Thomas Cruden (80)

Callum Graham (35)
Callum Law (4)
Ollie Smith (35)
Aaron Black (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ross Birrell (Referee)
Howard Wilkin & Adam Cairns (Assistants)

Match Report

To call that a shambles would be doing a dis-service to a shambles, so bad were the Bankies in this 3-2 defeat by Benburb in the opening league match of the season. The scoreline also gives a false impression, as the Bens could easily have had five or six, and a major rethink could be needed already.

If you have five spare minutes read the match report from our first home game against Irvine Meadow in the league last season. We were 3-0 down in that game too, and it ended up with same result today. It is like deja-vu, except this time it actually seems worse.

There was some criticism that the match report on the Jeanfield game last week came over as a little harsh, but really a blind man could see this coming. We have had no authority in any of the pre-season games and the performances from many quarters have not been anywhere near good enough.

Benburb came to Holm Park today highly organised, and with a game plan. We already knew that would be the case, But the most significant factor was their desire and motivation. That fire in your belly can take you a long way at this level, unfortunately I couldn’t see anyone in a Bankies shirt with that same will to win.

The torrential rain made this all the worse, which made it difficult to take note notes so you’ll be spared the worst of the debacle as it unfolded.

We did actually have a decent ten minutes at the start of the game when we had a few long range efforts that didn’t cause the Benburb goal any cause for alarm. The one good opportunity came from a Gallacher free kick on the left which Callum Graham headed low forcing Law into a very good save on his left hand side.

However, the Bankies began to lose their battles and were given two warnings before the goal finally arrived. The first came when Nicky Little was dispossessed deep in his own half and Aaron Black charged through on goal, but his finishing let him down when he shot straight at Hughes.

The question has to be asked why Nicky Little was in that position. All too often, he seemed to be deep in the midfield alongside Nicky Low in the early part of the game, with Larry McMahon in a more advanced position. It beggars belief that this is still a consideration after all these years of it patently not working. Budgie McGhie tried it, Kieran McAnespie tried it, Pollok tried it when he was there, and the current management have tried and failed with it.

The second chance was when a long ball caught Creag Little flat footed, and McDonald’s angled drive was saved by the feet of Hughes. Creag Little struggled badly in this game against the strength and movement of the Benburb frontline and he was rightly taken off later in the game.

There was no surprise when the goal came after 21 minutes. McDonald burst through and he hit a decent shot from the edge of the box, but just to add to the names of the under-achievers today, keeper Hughes looked to be out of position to save the shot and it appeared to go right through him.

The sum response from the Bankies to going behind added up to exactly zero, as Benburb continued have the home side hemmed in their own half. Almost immediately, McDonald nearly scored a second from a corner but headed narrowly wide.

The striker did get his second after 31 minutes, and it was another chaotic goal for the Bankies to lose. Not enough care was taken to clear the ball, and the Bens were almost allowed to pass the ball about inside the penalty box, and the final humiliation was when McDonald back-heeled into the net from around six yards.

With the rain now chucking it down the ref brought the half to a close with loud boo-ing from the terraces. You have to go some to get that kind of response in the first game of the season.

Surprisingly, no changes were made at the break and the Bens wasted no time killing the game off. Just three minutes in Creag Little was caught in possession, exposing the defence and McDonald fed the ball quickly to Black on the right hand side and he hit a tremendous strike into the opposite corner giving Hughes no chances.

This forced the Bankies to make five substitutions over the next fifteen minutes and positive contributions from Chris Black, Ciaran Mulcahy, Thomas Collins and Matt Niven began to turn the tide in the home side’s favour.

There were mitigating factors in that Benburb were now in no need to force the issue, and their efforts in the first seventy minutes were catching up with them a bit.

They still could have more goals as Cruden missed a free header from just six yards out and Bow hit the post from a corner kick.

It was in the last fifteen minutes that Clydebank finally started to have a few efforts on goal. Thomas Collins twice had chances. He was completely off target with a volley from a back post corner that he really should have scored with, then he shot on the turn but the ball went over.

The possibility of a grandstand finish gave the Bankies fans an glimmer of hope when they pulled one back via an own goal. A cross from the right was diverted into the goal by Jordan Bow and this did vitalise the players somewhat.

With five minutes left on the clock the leeway was cut further when a Collins pass was deflected into the path of Matt Niven who rifled the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box.

Matt Niven played as a centre forward for the remaining minutes for the umpteenth time, but it was to no avail. With the exception of a Nicky Low shot that went past the post the Bens held out for deserved victory. It would have been a travesty on so many levels had the Bankies stolen a draw.

Despite a protracted pre-season, the team just did not look prepared today. Gordon Moffat spoke recently about being dynamic on and off the ball, but unfortunately that only applied to one team today and it wasn’t Clydebank.

Some of the players have come to the club with huge expectations and they simply have to deliver. Nicky Low has stepped down several levels with a big reputation and great endorsements from fans of his previous clubs. However, we are still to see anything of great note from him from either an attacking or a defending perspective. He is the one guy in the midfield not being substituted at any point. He really has to start showing why that is. The expectation was that he would be making the Bankies midfield tick and he would be dictating the tempo of the game. Can we really say that has been the case?

Callum Graham is in the unusual situation of being one of the few players arriving at the club for a transfer fee. He has scored plenty of goals elsewhere in his career, but I’m not sure if it is because our style of play is not suited to him, but something just isn’t clicking. His performance compared to the other number 9 from Benburb today were so far removed from each other. It has been a difficult start for him, and he will be judged on the amount of goals he scores.

The only saving grace is this is just the first competitive game of the season, so there is time to get this right, but it has to be soon. This report has been harsh, but deservedly so. A crowd approaching 500 were at Holm Park today. They won’t hang around long if we’re not winning, and the almost carbon copy of the Irvine Meadow game from last season is hard to take.

There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves as we travel to Irvine Meadow on Wednesday, and then host Glenafton who beat Darvel today in another shock result.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at July 29th, 2023)

2023-24 All Time
League Cups All
Kieran Hughes (GK) 1 - 0 - 1 -
James Grant 1 - 0 - 1 -
Oisin McHugh 1 - 0 - 611
Jamie Darroch 1 - 0 - 18716
Creag Little 1 - 0 - 342
Nicky Low 1 - 0 - 171
Larry McMahon 1 - 0 - 381
Lee Gallacher 1 - 0 - 9422
Nicky Little 1 - 0 - 228143
Alan Kelly 1 - 0 - 3811
Callum Graham 1 - 0 - 1 -
Matt Niven (sub) 110 - 7412
Frazer Johnstone (sub) 1 - 0 - 751
Chris Black (sub) 1 - 0 - 15015
Ciaran Mulcahy (sub) 1 - 0 - 6117
Thomas Collins (sub) 1 - 0 - 1 -

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
29th July 2023
Beith Juniors1-0Kirk Rob Roy
Darvel1-2Glenafton Ath
Gartcairn1-1Largs Thistle
Pollok1-0Auchinleck Talb
St Cadocs1-3Hurlford United
Troon2-1Irvine Meadow

League Table (as at July 29th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Hurlford United 1 1 0 0 +2 3
2. Arthurlie 1 1 0 0 +1 3
3. Benburb 1 1 0 0 +1 3
4. Glenafton Ath 1 1 0 0 +1 3
5. Troon 1 1 0 0 +1 3
6. Beith Juniors 1 1 0 0 +1 3
7. Pollok 1 1 0 0 +1 3
8. Gartcairn 1 0 1 0 0 1
9. Largs Thistle 1 0 1 0 0 1
10. Cumnock 1 0 0 1 -1 0
11. Clydebank 1 0 0 1 -1 0
12. Darvel 1 0 0 1 -1 0
13. Irvine Meadow 1 0 0 1 -1 0
14. Auchinleck Talb 1 0 0 1 -1 0
15. Kirk Rob Roy 1 0 0 1 -1 0
16. St Cadocs 1 0 0 1 -2 0