2 - 2
2 - 2
League (WoSFL Premier)
Nicky Little (42)
Nicky Little (61)
Reegan Aitken (26)
Jordan Moore (pen 55)
1 Jamie Donnelly
24 James Grant
15 Oisin McHugh
5 Jamie Darroch
4 Matt Niven
6 Frazer Johnstone
7 Lee Gallacher
23 Nicky Low
10 Nicky Little
8 Joe Slattery
21 Alan Kelly
Andy Leishman 1
Ross Barbour 2
Mark Sideserf 14
Danny O'Halloran 3
Stephen Bronksy 5
Kyle Hutton 11
Reegan Aitken 10
Dean Cairns 8
Jordan Moore 9
Ross Caldwell 23
Leon Murphy 7
18 Trialist CG
14 Thomas Collins
9 Callum Graham
2 Adam Hodge
11 Liam McGonigle
17 Larry McMahon
Nathan Baird 19
Aaron Brown 25
Craig Moore 16
Graham Wilson 15
Scott Paterson 22
Andrew Wilson 21
Larry McMahon for Nicky Low (66)
Liam McGonigle for Alan Kelly (75)
Callum Graham for Joe Slattery (82)
Graham Wilson -> Reegan Aitken (80)
Craig Moore -> Jordan Moore (90+2)
Oisin McHugh (54)
Nicky Little (90)
|Stephen Bronksy (80)|
Gary Hanvidge (Referee)
Clydebank were unable to reach the heights of last week, mainly because opponents Darvel never allowed us to, and the two all final score was probably about fair. Nicky Little showed his value to the side with two supremely well taken goals at points when it looked like the game might be getting away from us pegging Darvel back who had twice taken the lead.
The Bankies never really had control of the middle of the pitch, and the passing was a lot slacker than had been on display against Beith last weekend. This allowed Darvel to impose their gameplan on us for long spells, and it was only in the closing stages that we looked like we might sneak a winner.
There were two changes to the side from last week with Jamie Donnelly in goals for the injured Kieran Hughes and Alan Kelly replacing Thomas Collins who was on the bench. Nicky Low who was a doubt was passed fit to play.
It was evident fairly early on that the Bankies just didn’t quite have the levels of intensity that we hoped we would see. Despite Darvel having lost a lot of personnel over the last few weeks, they still have a more than competitive first eleven. With new loan signing Kyle Hutton from Pollok straight in the side, Darvel seized the middle of the pitch and took advantage of the big gaps that the Bankies were affording them.
It was a much more difficult afternoon for the Bankies defence with frontmen Moore and Caldwell more than a handful for Darroch and Niven, ably backed up with wide men Murphy and Aitken who gave Grant and McHugh a hard time.
The first real chance however, came from a huge Leishman punt up the pitch which seemed to outwit the Bankies defence, and striker Jordan Moore mis-hit his shot and Donnelly save the trundler quite easily.
Darvel were exploiting the space between the Bankies midfield and defence and Aitken rattled Jamie Donnelly’s crossbar after 17 minutes with a vicious drive after he was set up by Hutton. The Bankies responded in kind when a Nicky Little effort from the edge of the box deflected off Joe Slattery and clipped the crossbar on its way over.
Nicky Little was looking sharp playing in the main strikers role for the second week in a row and almost gave the Bankies lead minutes later when he latched onto a fine through ball from Grant. Unfortunately he seemed to drag his shot across the goal and it went well off target.
Clydebank were still not closing down the spaces in the hole as Caldwell worked a one two with Moore, but his shot on the turn was weak and straight at Donnelly. The visitors were now looking the more likely and took the lead after 26 minutes.
It was a disaster for Oisin McHugh who completely mis-read a crossball from the left wing to the back post. He totally missed the ball and it fell for Aitken. Jamie Donnelly made a fantastic block from the winger, but the ball ricocheted off Aitken and fell nice for him to shoot into the empty goal.
The Bankies were huffing and puffing with not a great deal of intent, but you can never write us off when you have Nicky Little in your team. With the interval looming he scored a superb solo goal to take the sides into the break level.
It was a great through ball from Niven to start the move off. Little ran onto it and turned inside Bronsky who fell flat on his face, then side stepped keeper Leishman to tap into the empty net for a fantastic goal.
The second half opened in a much more even handed fashion, though Darvel almost regained the lead early on when James Grant was caught sleeping as Murphy nipped in front of him only for his header to slip wide of the post.
Alan Kelly, who was fairly anonymous in the first half started to become more prominent and one of his trademark runs ended with a 25 yard shot which Leishman was happy to see go wide. Gallacher quickly followed this up with a shot from the edge of the box which went a foot over the bar.
It was just as the Bankies were starting to look more likely that they fell behind once again, this time from the penalty spot. It came from another long Leishman punt up the park. These kick outs should really be dealt with better, but Darroch and McHugh were all over the place under pressure from Moore, and the latter was penalised for what looked like a harsh handball. Moore took the kick himself giving Donnelly no chance.
Luckily, the lead didn’t last long. Within five minutes the sides were back on terms thanks to another great finish from Nicky Little. Alan Kelly was the provider with another mazy run and pinpoint through ball that the skipper put away past the imposing figure of Leishman.
I was a bit disappointed to see Kelly substituted later on as he was starting to get some joy down the left wing. Unfortunately, he is always the fall guy when a change in the wide area has to be made. I think he was unlucky in this instance. McGonigle was his replacement and his involvement in the rest of the game was fairly minimal.
For a spell after the equaliser, Darvel had the Bankies under a fair bit of pressure, but apart from one life-saving tackle from James Grant the defence had finally got a grip on proceedings. This gave the midfield and attack the platform to seek a late winner.
The best opportunity came from substitute Callum Graham. He did unbelievably well to wrestle away from two defenders to give himself a clear sight on goal. In these one-on-one situations you almost always criticise the striker if he doesn’t put the ball in the net. And whilst I believe that Graham should still score from the position he was in, you have got to give the keeper all the credit due for a quite incredible one handed stop as the ball was heading for the top corner.
We certainly pushed Darvel back in the last ten minutes or so, but the winning goal remained elusive and a draw was probably the right outcome. Overall, I think we’ve got to be reasonably content with a point given how the game panned out. We could easily have succumbed when we fell behind for the second time, but we found a way to get back in the game, and almost took it over the line.
Unfortunately, we were unable to capitalise on the good work against Beith last week, who cut our lead at the top back to five points due to their win at Pollok. This hands the initiative back to the Ayrshire side, but as we are not even at the halfway stage it is too early to read too much into it.
Best on the pitch for me today for the Bankies was Nicky Little whose two goals set him apart from the rest. Jamie Donnelly was also on good form, apart from one duff kick out – admittedly on his left foot.
Next week we travel to Gartcairn for another difficult away game. The Airdrie based side have splashed out on two of Darvel’s best players and will be another hard test in a sterile environment.
Match report written by Stuart McBay
|2023-24||All Time||All Time|
|Jamie Donnelly (GK)||32||1||-||1||-||55||-||18||-||73||-|
|Larry McMahon (sub)||27||13||-||4||1||42||1||12||1||54||2|
|Callum Graham (sub)||27||13||-||4||2||13||-||4||2||17||2|
|Liam McGonigle (sub)||29||11||2||5||2||53||11||24||7||77||18|
|League results since Clydebank FC's last match|
|11th November 2023|
|Kirk Rob Roy||2-1||Troon|
|11.||Kirk Rob Roy||14||4||2||8||-15||14|