Clydebank 1
Hurlford United 2
League (WoSFL Premier)

1 - 2
 Hurlford United

League (WoSFL Premier)
Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
Holm Park. Att. 424
2:00 PM Kick-off

Josh Weir (90)
Michael Mullen (42)
Michael Mullen (74)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Darren Henderson

Starting Eleven
1 Josh Bradley-Hurst
2 Adam Hodge
3 Danny MacKenzie
5 Jamie Darroch
22 Creag Little
6 Frazer Johnstone
7 Lee Gallacher
16 Chris Black
9 Ciaran Mulcahy
10 Nicky Little
27 Connor Higgins
Martin McDonald 1
Carter Frew 2
Sam Lidington 3
Craig Reid 4
Chris Robertson 12
Mickey Wilson 6
Marc McKenzie 7
Kris Kerr 8
Michael Mullen 9
Paul McKenzie 10
Jack Whittaker 11

21 Alan Kelly
20 Kyle King
26 Aidan McDonald
15 Oisin McHugh
24 Hamish McKinlay
17 Larry McMahon
19 Josh Weir
Chris Taylor 21
Liam Miller 14
Robbie McCracken 16
Ryan Walker 17
Alex Bell 18
Trialist 19
Ross Love 20

Alan Kelly for Connor Higgins (65)
Oisin McHugh for Danny MacKenzie (76)
Josh Weir for Frazer Johnstone (76)
Larry McMahon for Chris Black (86)
Liam Miller -> Sam Lidington (43)
Trialist -> Marc McKenzie (68)
Alex Bell -> Michael Mullen (86)

Danny MacKenzie (61)
Adam Hodge (88)
Creag Little (90)
Craig Reid (41)
Jack Whittaker (86)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Regan Wallace (Referee)
Elliott Husband Powton & Robbie Fraser (Assistants)

Match Report

A desperately poor second half performance from the Bankies allowed a very predictable Hurlford side to waltz away from Holm Park with the three points and go top of the league with a deserved 2-1 scoreline. Something Clydebank would have done had they won today.

We have watched this same match against Hurlford so many times over the past decade with the same outcome. Darren Henderson’s side are robust, competitive and certainly aren’t going to give you anything for free. They hit the channels and work their backsides off for the second ball. Their style hasn’t altered in all that time. Yet, we can’t seem to be able to find a way to get the better of them.

They do, however, have a great player in Paul McKenzie who was the stand out on the pitch and he worked our backline superbly this afternoon.

As the game wore on it looked like there was only going to be one winner, and Clydebank only finally made any headway once the 90 minutes of regulation time had elapsed.

The defence may have shipped a couple of more goals today, but the players who most disappointed were the three in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Ciaran Mulcahy had a hard shift against a strong Hurlford central defence, but Lee Gallacher, Nicky Little and Connor Higgins offered next to nothing in the second half as Hurlford totally dominated.

To take them in turn: It is just not working for Lee Gallacher at the moment. He was the Bankies best player last season, but things just aren’t going his way. You can see flashes of his skills, but his form has been nowhere near the same level. I think everyone on the terraces is joining in with his own obvious frustration.

It has been a steep learning curve for Connor Higgins at this level. He looks like he can score when presented with a chance, but the rest of his work outside the box needs to improve, and the jury is still out on him.

Then, there is the captain Nicky Little. For one, he has just got to stop trying to shoot from his own half of the pitch. It has always been an issue on what position best suits Nicky. The more you withdraw him, the less effective he is. He was always at his best as a floating forward, and he scored a lot of goals with a bit of freedom. He is not being employed in this role anymore, and at times it has to be asked whether his effectiveness is diminished and what this does to the side as a whole.

It is worth saying that despite this, the Bankies did have chances in the first half that could have made it a different game. Twice the Bankies hit the woodwork, but lady luck wasn’t smiling on us.

The first effort was just after 19 minutes from a corner after a Lee Gallacher free kick from wide on the right forced McDonald to tip the ball over the bar. Gallacher’s dead ball deliveries have still been of a high quality and the near post corner kick was powered into the ground by Mulcahy.

However, McDonald made a superb reflex save on his right hand side to push the ball onto the inside of the post. Unfortunately, Frew was nearest the ball to clear.

Just four minutes later, Nicky Little tried to cut the ball back across the box from the left hand side. A defender cut it out, and Little doing what he does best – reacting instinctively – lashed the ball first time from a fairly tight angle only to see it crash off the top of the far post.

Connor Higgins also had a couple of chances. Early on he charged down an attempted clearance, but he took a heavy touch and he prodded the ball wide of the goal as McDonald narrowed the angle. Just before the half hour, he got his head on a Hodge cross, but it may have been a touch too high and he couldn’t direct the ball on target.

Hurlford had chances too. Most notably a free header from Wilson which looked a goal all the way, but the defender just didn’t connect well enough with the ball and it turned out to be a comfortable save for Bradley Hurst.

The opening goal for the visitors came minutes before the break. A loose ball was pounced on by Mullen, and he lashed it low into the net from the edge of the box via the post. This goal really came out of nothing and punished the Bankies for not taking their earlier chances.

The second half saw Hurlford almost completely control the game territorially. The Bankies didn’t have the wherewithal to break down a side who were now happy to sit in, and there was barely a shot at goal until the 70th minute when Mulcahy headed a corner kick wide of the post.

The Bankies defence had been fairly steady up until this point, but were showing signs of creaking as a couple of mistakes were creeping in. Creag Little slipped and McKenzie who was starting to show his class brought out a save from Bradley-Hurst.

Then the killer second followed as the Bankies lost possession in their own half. From the break the ball was delivered across the penalty box. It evaded everyone, except Mullen who had an easy tap in at the back post.

The Bankies still offered very little in response, until a goal scored in the 90th minute gave brief hope. A good cross into the box from Gallacher on the left-hand wing saw keeper McDonald man-handle Mulcahy to the ground. It would surely have been a penalty, but the loose ball fell for Weir to stroke in to the empty goal.

It was too little too late, though Hurlford were flustered for the first time in the whole of the second half. A point was almost rescued when McDonald tipped a header over the bar from defender turned striker Jamie Darroch.

It was disappointing not to be able to back up the result against Pollok last week, and the better form the team had been showing lately has been curtailed. The left back situation has been resolved now, and Danny MacKenzie had a solid if unspectacular debut. We are badly missing a player in the mould of Joe Slattery - who has hardly played this season. A player who can create and give the attack some impetus could make a world of difference to this team.

We have no game next week due as prospective opponents Kirkintilloch Rob Roy are playing in the Junior cup, so the next action for the Bankies is away at Beith in a fortnight’s time.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at October 22nd, 2022)

2022-23 All Time
League Cups All
Josh Bradley-Hurst (GK) 3 - 1 - 4 -
Adam Hodge 6 - 2 - 371
Danny MacKenzie 1 - 0 - 1 -
Jamie Darroch 612 - 16715
Creag Little 613 - 91
Frazer Johnstone 813 - 511
Lee Gallacher 8 - 3 - 6510
Chris Black 411 - 14114
Ciaran Mulcahy 81324212
Nicky Little 6433202122
Connor Higgins 832 - 103
Oisin McHugh (sub) 4 - 1 - 38 -
Larry McMahon (sub) 7 - 2 - 9 -
Alan Kelly (sub) 7 - 2 - 9 -
Josh Weir (sub) 7332105

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
22nd October 2022
Cambuslang R2-2Petershill
Clydebank1-2Hurlford United
Glenafton Ath0-2Irvine Meadow

League Table (as at October 22nd, 2022)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Hurlford United 8 4 2 2 +5 14
2. Darvel 6 4 1 1 +13 13
3. Kirk Rob Roy 7 4 1 2 +8 13
4. Cumnock 7 4 1 2 +3 13
5. Pollok 7 3 3 1 +5 12
6. Clydebank 8 4 0 4 +2 12
7. Troon 7 4 0 3 -3 12
8. Beith Juniors 7 3 2 2 +1 11
9. Kilwinning Rgrs 6 3 1 2 +3 10
10. Irvine Meadow 6 3 1 2 +1 10
11. Glenafton Ath 8 2 3 3 -2 9
12. Auchinleck Talb 6 2 2 2 -2 8
13. Largs Thistle 8 1 4 3 -6 7
14. Arthurlie 7 3 0 4 +2 6
15. Petershill 8 0 2 6 -22 2
16. Cambuslang R 8 1 1 6 -8 1

Point deductions:
Arthurlie: -3
Cambuslang Rangers: -3