Beith Juniors 2
Clydebank 1
League (WoSFL Premier)

Beith Juniors 

2 - 1


League (WoSFL Premier)
Saturday, February 3rd, 2024
Bellsdale Park
1:30 PM Kick-off

Evan Dunne (38)
Aaron Mason (79)
Craig Truesdale (87)

Team Managers
Chris Strain Gordon Moffat

Starting Eleven
1 Owen Stott
2 Conner McGlinchey
3 Steven Noble
4 Evan Dunne
5 Danny O'Neill
6 Declan Hughes
7 Carlo Monti
8 Paul Frize
9 Ciaran Diver
10 Robbie Scullion
11 Andy Monk
Kieran Hughes 20
James Grant 24
Danny MacKenzie 3
Oisin McHugh 15
Matt Niven 4
Frazer Johnstone 6
Lee Gallacher 7
Nicky Low 23
Ciaran Mulcahy 19
Joe Slattery 8
Liam McGonigle 11

12 Victor Emordi
14 Kian Burns
15 Mikey McWilliams
16 Docherty
17 Aaron Mason
gk Jamie Walker
Jamie Donnelly 1
Callum Graham 9
Alan Kelly 21
Creag Little 22
Nicky Little 10
Larry McMahon 17
Craig Truesdale 16

Victor Emordi -> Robbie Scullion (64)
Kian Burns -> Paul Frize (67)
Alan Docherty -> Ciaran Diver (78)
Aaron Mason -> Andy Monk (78)
Mikey McWilliams -> Conner McGlinchey (78)
Nicky Little for Joe Slattery (46)
Larry McMahon for Frazer Johnstone (58)
Alan Kelly for Liam McGonigle (72)
Callum Graham for Danny MacKenzie (72)
Craig Truesdale for James Grant (76)

Danny O'Neill (36)
Robbie Scullion (47)
Owen Stott (80)
Joe Slattery (25)
Matt Niven (87)

Red Cards
Danny O'Neill (63) None.

Match Officials

Keiran Trayner (Referee)
Peter Laing & Stephen Clyne (Assistants)

Match Report

Last week I questioned the idea that Clydebank teams of the past were renowned for playing good football, but when it came to the crunch were always found wanting. We were often tagged as ‘always the bridesmaid, but never the bride’. This group of players seemed to be casting that notion aside, however after today’s performance when they collectively failed to turn up until it was way too late, then you start to have your doubts.

Everyone had been looking at the visit to Bellsdale Park to face Beith Jrs as one of the key matches of the season. Last season’s champions have five games in hand, so avoiding defeat was the very minimum needed to make sure the Bankies remained in pole position going into the last third of the season.

You can accept defeat more readily if the players had competed and were just beaten by the better team on the day. This, Unfortunately, was up there with the worst displays of the season, and the fact that Beith extended their lead when they played the last 27 minutes of the game with ten men made it all the worse.

A late rally brought a goal from Craig Truesdale, but the 2-1 defeat was well deserved. The wind and the pitch caused it’s own problems, but you can’t blame that for not being able to find a man from under ten feet away. The short passing was awful all day, and Nicky Little playing his 250th game for the club was the culprit when he gave the ball away and Aaron Mason slammed it into the net from 25 yards with his very first touch after coming on as a substitute.

Lee Gallacher had won the toss and decided to shoot up the slope in the first half, albeit with a very strong wind at our backs. Traditionally it is preferable to shoot down the hill in the second half at Bellsdale Park so the home team had that advantage in the first period.

The Bankies never got to grips with the conditions right from the get go and all the early chances came at the away end. A cross from the right wing just evaded Diver in an early raid as Beith sent out a warning.

Veteran Paul Frize had the first clear shot at goal after 13 minutes when he cut in from the left when he had Kieran Hughes diving to his right to turn the ball away for a corner. Just five minutes later, Matt Niven got himself in a terrible fankle when he mis-judged a high ball in the wind. The ball broke to Scullion in the box, and Kieran Hughes made a terrific save when a goal looked certain.

The Bankies finally had an attempt at goal after 21 minutes from the most direct of routes via a huge Kieran Hughes kick out. It out-foxed the home defence, but Liam McGonigle could only stab the ball over the bar.

This led to a better spell for the Bankies and the joy of putting the ball in the net after 25 minutes was short-lived when Joe Slattery used his hand to score. He was yellow carded for this and after a subsequent foul he was pre-emptively substituted at the break.

With the game in the balance and the first goal all-important, it was unfortunately the home side who took the advantage from a set-piece. A corner from the left was met by the unmarked Evan Dunne – who was playing with the Bankies 20’s just over a year ago – and the ball went in via the post.

The Bankies did respond to the reversal and were unlucky not to equalise through Nicky Low whose long range drive was superbly tipped over the bar by Beith keeper, Stott.

Nicky Little was introduced for the start of the second half, but Beith were making a much better fist of shooting up the slope than the Bankies did, and were making the wind work to their advantage.

Within minutes it could have been 2-0 when Andy Monk was released down the left hand channel and only another fine block from the advancing Kieran Hughes stopped the lead being doubled.

Beith went onto pepper the goals with a whole series of corner kicks, and this led to chaos at times due to the Bankies keeper’s inability to leave his line. It is such a shame as his shot-stopping – as evidenced in this game was excellent.

The Bankies were given a huge lifeline after 63 minutes when Beith were reduced to ten men when O’Neill dived in too hastily and took the legs away from McGonigle for a clear second card.

Beith were performing better up to this point in the game, but it didn’t stop Chris Strain from making two quick substitutions to shore up the defence for the impending onslaught (which never came).

Conversely, The Bankies management team seem to be quite conservative when these situations arise, preferring to give the existing line-up and formation a chance to impose themselves. There is a risk-reward gamble to be made here, and we got it wrong today. There was clear evidence that a change in personnel and/or set-up was required immediately, but we probably waited too long and we ended up paying the price when they scored their second after 79 minutes from the above mentioned error from Nicky Little.

The introduction of Craig Truesdale was the one bright spot and he was heavily involved in the late rally that led to his goal when he pounced on a loose ball from a Lee Gallacher corner with three minutes remaining.

The Bankies could have snatched a draw in stoppage time when a cross from the right wing found Nicky Little at the back post. With the goal gaping in front of him, he first-time volleyed the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score. Matt Niven could also have scored with a header, but he could only direct it into the arms of the goalkeeper and with that the ref blew for time.

As disappointing as this defeat was, it has to be remembered it was our first league defeat since October. Results went our way last week, but not so this week; there is still plenty of time for more twists and turns yet. Yes, we have handed the initiative back to Beith and they only need to win three from five to draw level with us. However, even after they play these games, it is still likely to be incredibly tight and we should be in there with a chance.

What it does mean though, is our margin for error becomes tighter and we can’t afford too many more defeats. We have five at home to play starting with Gartcairn next Saturday. It is vital that we get back on track and continue to apply as much pressure to the teams behind us as possible.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at February 3rd, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
League Cups All
Kieran Hughes (GK) 14 - 4 - 18 -
James Grant 20 - 51251
Danny MacKenzie 6 - 3 - 27 -
Oisin McHugh 19 - 5 - 841
Matt Niven 193519715
Frazer Johnstone 18 - 4 - 961
Lee Gallacher 1955111728
Nicky Low 16351375
Joe Slattery 1613 - 8914
Ciaran Mulcahy 105227224
Liam McGonigle 184628520
Craig Truesdale (sub) 410 - 41
Larry McMahon (sub) 19 - 51612
Nicky Little (sub) 18756250156
Alan Kelly (sub) 171535915
Callum Graham (sub) 20352255

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
3rd February 2024
Auchinleck Talb5-2Glenafton Ath
Beith Juniors2-1Clydebank
Cumnock1-0Irvine Meadow
Hurlford United2-0Darvel
St Cadocs2-2Gartcairn

League Table (as at February 3rd, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Clydebank 20 12 5 3 +19 41
2. Beith Juniors 15 10 2 3 +16 32
3. St Cadocs 17 9 4 4 +11 31
4. Cumnock 21 8 7 6 -4 31
5. Darvel 16 9 3 4 +14 30
6. Benburb 19 8 3 8 +1 27
7. Auchinleck Talb 16 8 2 6 +9 26
8. Pollok 16 7 4 5 +10 25
9. Gartcairn 18 7 4 7 +7 25
10. Hurlford United 15 7 4 4 +7 25
11. Largs Thistle 16 5 4 7 -3 19
12. Kirk Rob Roy 18 5 3 10 -17 18
13. Troon 16 4 4 8 -8 16
14. Glenafton Ath 15 3 3 9 -16 12
15. Arthurlie 15 3 2 10 -12 11
16. Irvine Meadow 17 2 2 13 -34 8