Clydebank 2
Auchinleck Talb 1
League (WoSFL Premier)

2 - 1
 Auchinleck Talb

League (WoSFL Premier)
Saturday, January 13th, 2024
Holm Park. Att. 885
2:00 PM Kick-off

Adam Hodge (45)
Lee Gallacher (62)
Michael Wardrope (58)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Tommy Sloan

Starting Eleven
1 Jamie Donnelly
2 Adam Hodge
24 James Grant
4 Matt Niven
15 Oisin McHugh
6 Frazer Johnstone
7 Lee Gallacher
23 Nicky Low
19 Ciaran Mulcahy
10 Nicky Little
21 Alan Kelly
Aidan Glavin 1
Tarek Abed 2
Aiden Wilson 3
Neill McPherson 4
Neil Slooves 5
Ruaridh Langan 6
Ali Boyle 7
Michael Wardrope 8
Connor Boyd 9
Kyle McAvoy 10
Ewan Thomson 11

9 Callum Graham
20 Kieran Hughes
22 Creag Little
3 Danny MacKenzie
11 Liam McGonigle
17 Larry McMahon
8 Joe Slattery
Jamie Glasgow 12
Chris Henry
Ross Smith
Ross Urquhart
Nathan Lennox
Luke Gillies
Scott Schonevlle

Danny MacKenzie for Adam Hodge (46)
Liam McGonigle for Alan Kelly (63)
Joe Slattery for Nicky Little (63)
Callum Graham for Ciaran Mulcahy (74)
Larry McMahon for Lee Gallacher (88)
Jamie Glasgow -> Ewan Thomson (72)
Scott Schonevlle -> Tarek Abed (81)
Ross Smith -> Connor Boyd (81)

Alan Kelly (20)
Nicky Little (63)
Tarek Abed (81)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Birch (Referee)
Adam Holley & Jack Arbuckle (Assistants)

Match Report

Clydebank underlined their title credentials when Lee Gallacher’s wonder strike gave the Bankies all three points and sent the club seven points clear at the top of the table. The 2-1 defeat of Auchinleck Talbot was every bit as difficult a game as expected, but Gallacher has that little bit of something special within him, and he brought it out today when it mattered.

The Bankies have now won four on the spin against Talbot in the league, which seemed unthinkable a few short years ago. Gordon Moffat and his team have built a formidable squad and have instilled the belief that they can go and win these difficult games.

Auchinleck, despite not having the best of seasons, are still a top side at this level. Arguably the form team in the division having won 11 of their previous 12 games, but this was as big a test for them as it was for the Bankies.

The first half brought a lot of effort from both sides, but a distinct lack of quality. Clydebank looked to get the ball down and pass it, but weren’t able to move it quickly enough, thus allowing Talbot to reset their defensive positions making it incredibly difficult to break them down.

Talbot, for their part looked to go back to front a little more directly at times. They are a tall, side with power in most positions, but where they are lacking from their sides in the past is in the forward positions. The play from both sides generally broke down in the last third leading to a bit of a stalemate.

Talbot had the better of the opening exchanges with a header from McAvoy going straight to Donnelly. This was followed up with a 25 yard shot from Ali Boyle which skipped up in front of the Bankies keeper but he held the ball confidently.

Clydebank had to work their way into the game and their arrival was finally signalled after 16 minutes when Ciaran Mulcahy’s goalbound header was saved by Glavin on his right hand side.

After this, neither side looked like they could make a penetrative breakthrough from open play. Half chances came and went with defences well on top. Wardrope had a chance with a free kick from a good position, but it never really troubled Donnelly despite only being around a foot over the top.

It was only in the closing stages that Clydebank started to get in behind, and from one smart move Nicky Little sent Nicky Low clear in the left hand side of the box. It was really the first clear sight on goal either side had created, but Glavin did well to save the ball with his legs.

With the game seemingly heading to the break goalless, the Bankies unexpectedly took the lead. Lee Gallacher sent a free kick into the box from the left wing, and it was met by the head of Adam Hodge who bulleted the ball with such power that Glavin could only parry the ball into the net. It was only Hodge’s third ever goal for the club, but never a more timely one.

Hodge did not reappear for the second half due to injury, but with the lead the Bankies looked much more composed. However, goal scoring opportunities were still thin on the ground with a Frazer Johnstone effort which sailed over the bar being the only shot of note in the first ten minutes or so.

As the Bankies probed for a second goal, they were hit with a sucker punch as Talbot broke down the left hand side of the pitch. For the first time the Bankies backline were breached, and the ball was sent across to the unmarked Michael Wardrope who sent it back across the goal and into the back of the net giving Donnelly no chance.

At this point, it could have been anybody’s game but a bit of magic just a few minutes later was to decide the outcome of the game. The ball was played to Lee Gallacher around 35 yards from goal. With little happening in front of him, he cut inside the defender and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of Glavin.

Talbot made changes, and went three up top to try and retrieve a draw from the match, and for a while they piled on the pressure with Wardrope pulling the strings. The Bankies defended magnificently, and looking at my notes, I find that Donnelly was not troubled at all, and there were no shots at goal, due in the main to the doggedness of Niven et al.

Once Clydebank had weathered the mini-storm, they began to regain a little control and had a couple of chances to add a third goal. Matt Niven came close with a header, then Nicky Low hit an angled thunderbolt which had it gone in would have rivalled Gallacher’s goal.

Despite there being five minutes of stoppage time, the Bankies did not look like relinquishing their lead, and made a big statement of intent for 2024.

With results largely going our way today, the Bankies were able to increase the gap at the top of the table. It appears to be a four-way race between ourselves, Beith, St Cadocs and Darvel for the title, but others can’t be completely ruled out.

With thirteen games remaining, only five are against clubs in the bottom half of the table underlining the massive task that lies ahead. We have to continue building up the scoreboard pressure on the chasing clubs in the hope they whip the legs from each other.

Every game carries massive importance now, and another difficult task awaits us at Cumnock next week. We have only won there three times in twelve attempts so we need to be on top of our game if we are to keep the current run going.

The best players for me today were Matt Niven and Ciaran Mulcahy who led the line very well. Just behind were Lee Gallacher who improved dramatically after his goal, Oisin McHugh, Frazer Johnstone and Adam Hodge for his first half performance. Considering there have been no competitive games in almost a month, this was encouraging and bodes well once the players get up to full sharpness.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at January 13th, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
League Cups All
Jamie Donnelly (GK) 5 - 2 - 78 -
Adam Hodge 1014 - 753
James Grant 17 - 51221
Matt Niven 163519415
Oisin McHugh 16 - 5 - 811
Frazer Johnstone 16 - 4 - 941
Lee Gallacher 1655111428
Nicky Low 13351345
Ciaran Mulcahy 73226922
Nicky Little 15756247156
Alan Kelly 141535615
Danny MacKenzie (sub) 3 - 3 - 24 -
Joe Slattery (sub) 1313 - 8614
Larry McMahon (sub) 17 - 51592
Liam McGonigle (sub) 154628220
Callum Graham (sub) 17352225

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
29th December 2023
St Cadocs3-1Kirk Rob Roy
Troon0-2Hurlford United
6th January 2024
Auchinleck Talb3-2Troon
Benburb0-2St Cadocs
Cumnock1-1Kirk Rob Roy
13th January 2024
Arthurlie1-2Largs Thistle
Beith Juniors1-1Hurlford United
Clydebank2-1Auchinleck Talb
Irvine Meadow0-3St Cadocs
Pollok1-2Glenafton Ath

League Table (as at January 13th, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Clydebank 17 11 4 2 +19 37
2. St Cadocs 15 9 3 3 +13 30
3. Beith Juniors 13 9 2 2 +17 29
4. Benburb 17 8 2 7 +4 26
5. Darvel 13 7 3 3 +11 24
6. Cumnock 18 6 6 6 -7 24
7. Pollok 14 6 4 4 +9 22
8. Hurlford United 14 6 4 4 +5 22
9. Gartcairn 16 6 3 7 +6 21
10. Auchinleck Talb 14 6 2 6 +3 20
11. Largs Thistle 14 5 3 6 -1 18
12. Troon 16 4 4 8 -8 16
13. Kirk Rob Roy 17 4 3 10 -18 15
14. Glenafton Ath 13 3 3 7 -12 12
15. Arthurlie 14 3 2 9 -11 11
16. Irvine Meadow 15 2 2 11 -30 8