3 - 0
3 - 0
League (WoSFL Premier)
Lee Gallacher (10)
Nicky Low (53)
Lee Gallacher (82)
1 Kieran Hughes
2 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
14 Thomas Collins
Owen Stott 1
Victor Emordi 2
Steven Noble 3
Danny O'Neill 4
Scot Rough 5
Robbie Scullion 6
Carlo Monti 7
Paul Frize 8
Ciaran Diver 9
Blair Rossiter 10
Aaron Mason 11
1 Jamie Donnelly
9 Callum Graham
2 Adam Hodge
21 Alan Kelly
11 Liam McGonigle
17 Larry McMahon
18 Trialist CG
Kian Burns 12
Conner McGlinchey 14
Mikey McWilliams 15
Declan Hughes 16
Ryan Monan 17
Andy Monk 18
Jamie Walker 21
Larry McMahon for Nicky Low (65)
Alan Kelly for Thomas Collins (70)
Liam McGonigle for Nicky Little (81)
Callum Graham for Joe Slattery (81)
Conner McGlinchey -> Victor Emordi (62)
Ryan Monan -> Paul Frize (62)
Declan Hughes -> Steven Noble (75)
Andy Monk -> Ciaran Diver (75)
Joe Slattery (20)
Nicky Low (45)
Oisin McHugh (63)
James Grant (67)
Alan Kelly (90)
Victor Emordi (6)
Scot Rough (45)
Aaron Mason (57)
Blair Rossiter (64)
Declan Hughes (88)
|None.||Aaron Mason (71)|
Jordan Curran (Referee)
This game was worthy of being tagged the game of day as the top two in the league went head to head at Holm Park this afternoon. Even though the Bankies ran out handsome three nil winners, this was two really good sides going at it full tilt and both produced a fantastic, exciting game of football which was a wonderful advert for the West of Scotland Premier League.
After last weeks poor showing in the Scottish Cup, the Bankies were a revelation today. All the players contributed at various times, and each will have their own reasons for picking their man of the match. However, there is absolutely no doubt that we are simply a better side when Nicky Low is in it. Our levels and discipline in terms of shape are so much superior with Low pulling the strings.
We were noticeably worse off during his injury lay off, and last week was maybe just too soon on his return. It was unfortunate that he had to leave the field early due to injury, and hopefully it is not too serious. And boy, did we have to be sharp today as Beith showed in long spells of the first half what a good side they are.
After the game had started at breakneck speed, the Bankies took the lead with ten minutes on the clock thanks to a tremendous Lee Gallacher free kick. From 25 yards out he bent the ball into the top left hand corner well beyond the despairing dive of keeper Owen Stott.
This sparked off a sustained period of pressure from Beith, and it was clear to see why they won the league last season and why they are in contention again. They moved the ball about the pitch fluently, and at times the Bankies struggled to clear their lines.
To beat a side like Beith you are probably going to need a bit of luck, and the Bankies were given a massive reprieve after 21 minutes. A free kick was launched deep to the left hand side of the penalty area. The ball was headed across the six yard area and Jamie Darroch stopped its progress. As the ball dropped to the feet of Scullion it looked like a certain goal. However, his powerful shot was straight at Hughes. The keeper still had to be smart to hold onto the ball with players crowding all around him.
It’s doubtful if Beith created another better chance in the game, though Aaron Mason – dangerous as ever – forced Hughes into another save at his near post when the winger had got a lucky break of the ball.
The Bankies rallied in the last fifteen minutes of the half. With Beith chasing down every last ball, the passing had to be quick and accurate, the movement had to be sharp off the ball and the players delivered on all these fronts .
Three times the lead could have been doubled just prior to the interval. Firstly, Joe Slattery went on an Archie Gemmil-esque run through the Beith defence, but unfortunately his cut back was sclaffed weakly by Nicky Little and the keeper was able to save.
Then, Lee Gallacher almost repeated his free kick from earlier but this time the ball went narrowly wide hitting the back support of the goal frame.
Finally down the left wing, Gallacher cut back the ball to give Oisin McHugh an almost identical chance to the one Nicky Little missed just minutes earlier. But being exactly opposite, he hit his shot way too hard and ballooned it over the bar.
The second half didn’t begin with the same intensity, but once again the Bankies scored fairly early on to set the pattern for the rest of the match. It was another beauty of a strike. Nicky Little tapped the ball to Nicky Low around 25 yards from goal. The midfielder stepped inside Paul Frize as if he wasn’t there and then unleashed a thunderous left footed shoot that flew past Stott who could only watch it fly past him into the net.
After that, the Bankies were content to let Beith have the ball and wait for their moments to attack. During this period, top scorer Ciaran Diver managed to carve out a rare chance when he wriggled free to hit a low shot which Hughes dealt with competently. The striker with twenty goals to his name this season would leave Holm Park for the second time this term without adding to his tally.
With twenty minutes remaining, the destiny of the points was assured when Aaron Mason was shown a second yellow card. There were a further nine yellow cards brandished by ref Jordan Curran, but this was never a dirty game and probably speaks more to how games are officiated nowadays. There can be no arguments about this decision, however, as Mason grabbed James Grant by the leg as he tried to get away from him.
The Bankies made a number of substitutions and one of those paid off immediately when Callum Graham touched the ball onto Lee Gallacher who burst through Beith defence and slotted it beyond Stott to make it three.
Alan Kelly and Liam McGonigle, who both came off the bench could also have extended the lead late on. Kelly was denied by the feet of Stott on two occasions and McGonigle also couldn’t find a way past the keeper from a good position. It didn’t matter as the Bankies were well worth their three goal victory in the end.
As a result, the Bankies now find themselves seven points clear of Beith at the top of the table. The Ayrshire side still have four games in hand, but now they have to make those count to overhaul us. The chasing pack also have to make good with their games in hand if they are to get close. There is still a long, long way to go but the hope is the scoreboard pressure will make the others drop points. It is also vital that the Bankies back up this result against Darvel next week. Darvel haven’t had their troubles to seek in recent weeks, but they won today so nobody should be under any illusions that this will be anything but a difficult fixture.
Nicky Low was my man of the match, but really it could have been anyone. The back four and the goalkeeper kept their 8th clean sheet of the season. Slattery was very influential in the middle of the pitch and it was good to see Frazer Johnstone back in the team effectively going about his business. Nicky Little was tireless as the main striker, and I like Thomas Collins on the left side of the attack. He looked the part there before Ciaran Mulcahy left the club. And we can’t forget the two goals from Lee Gallacher, back amongst the goals for the first time since early September.
Match report written by Stuart McBay
|2023-24||All Time||All Time|
|Kieran Hughes (GK)||29||12||-||4||-||12||-||4||-||16||-|
|Larry McMahon (sub)||27||12||-||4||1||41||1||12||1||53||2|
|Alan Kelly (sub)||-||9||1||4||3||36||9||14||6||50||15|
|Callum Graham (sub)||27||12||-||4||2||12||-||4||2||16||2|
|Liam McGonigle (sub)||29||10||2||5||2||52||11||24||7||76||18|
|League results since Clydebank FC's last match|
|27th October 2023|
|28th October 2023|
|Auchinleck Talb||1-0||Kirk Rob Roy|
|Glenafton Ath||1-1||Hurlford United|
|4th November 2023|
|Kirk Rob Roy||0-4||Gartcairn|
|14.||Kirk Rob Roy||13||3||2||8||-16||11|