Clydebank 2
Largs Thistle 3
League (WoSFL Premier)

2 - 3
 Largs Thistle

League (WoSFL Premier)
Saturday, February 24th, 2024
Holm Park. Att. 579
2:00 PM Kick-off

Nicky Little (pen.) (43)
Callum Graham (87)
David Ramsay (8)
Jamie Martin (35)
Scott Adam (46)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Stuart Davidson

Starting Eleven
20 Kieran Hughes
24 James Grant
3 Danny MacKenzie
5 Jamie Darroch
15 Oisin McHugh
23 Nicky Low
7 Lee Gallacher
8 Joe Slattery
10 Nicky Little
16 Craig Truesdale
14 Thomas Collins
Joe Wilton 1
Sean McLeod 2
Laurie McMaster 3
Ryan McCreath 4
Cory Hughes 5
Stuart Faulds 6
Jamie Martin 7
Liam Lapsley 8
Will Sewell 9
Scott Adam 10
David Ramsay 11

1 Jamie Donnelly
9 Callum Graham
2 Adam Hodge
6 Frazer Johnstone
21 Alan Kelly
22 Creag Little
11 Liam McGonigle
Darryl Duffy 12
Blair Devine 14
David McGrath 15
John Cumming 16
Craig Forbes 17
Matt Johnston gk

Adam Hodge for James Grant (59)
Alan Kelly for Craig Truesdale (59)
Frazer Johnstone for Joe Slattery (59)
Callum Graham for Nicky Little (59)
Liam McGonigle for Lee Gallacher (71)
Darryl Duffy -> Jamie Martin (69)
Blair Devine -> Scott Adam (69)
David McGrath -> Cory Hughes (79)
John Cumming -> Liam Lapsley (82)

Lee Gallacher (44)
Frazer Johnstone (83)
David Ramsay (48)
Scott Adam (69)
Stuart Faulds (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ross Birrell (Referee)
Peter Laing & Paul Salina (Assistants)

Match Report

The slow motion car crash that has been unfolding over the past few weeks is now gathering pace as the Bankies season is now unravelling in the most graphic of fashion. It isn’t just the highly damaging final result, but the manner of the defeat which is the most alarming.

Largs Thistle were good value for their 3-2 victory at Holm Park this afternoon, but a third loss in a row for the Bankies where they have barely laid a glove on the opposition has left our title aspirations on life support.

Gordon Moffat made a number of changes to the line-up as he sought to find not just a winning formula, but a team who can put on a performance. Quite frankly, the displays of late have been awful and we have looked more like an already relegated team who have given up, rather than one fighting for a league title.

The squad look bereft of confidence and there is no fluidity about our play whatsoever. The lack of movement in attacking areas, the delay in making passes, and the pedestrian pace against any team who sits in against us is becoming excruciating to watch at times. There is the distinct lack of a leader who can drive the team forward in difficult moments.

There was also no nervous tension on the terraces this afternoon as there had been in recent matches. The excitement of a possible title challenge has been replaced with a “we’ve been here before” feeling of resignation.

I can understand judgment calls such as leaving Adam Hodge out of the starting eleven. The two full backs have been doing fine, even though our record with Hodge in the side has been exemplary this season, and he was playing the best football of his Bankies career prior to his latest injury. A strong case can also be made for including the off-form Nicky Little and Lee Gallacher due to their past performances.

What I can’t understand however is why Frazer Johnstone didn’t start today. Anyone who was at Barrfields earlier in the season saw Largs batter us for the first half hour, and we needed some steely resistance in that area of the pitch which Johnstone provides. We had Low, Slattery and Truesdale and we were just too light-weight and over-run in the first half. One side were pressing and closing down the spaces, and the other wasn’t,

It was no surprise that Largs got the opening goal after just 8 minutes following a period of dominance. A thorn in our side in the past, David Ramsay made a clever near post run and was rewarded when a low cross found him and he diverted the ball past Hughes.

It took the Bankies 32 minutes before an effort on goal came along when Nicky Little made a poor connection with a header from a Lee Gallacher free kick, and the ball squirted wide of the goal.

Largs were always the better side, but whenever the Bankies were in possession the play slowed down and we were passing the ball about the back four with no real purpose and it generally ended with Jamie Darroch trying to play a 50 yard world class pass into the channels with no willing runners.

The fear was that the Bankies lack of punch could leave us in an insurmountable position if Largs scored a second. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before it came. The diminutive Jamie Martin, who had already been winning headers all over the pitch, scored the goal with a fine curling effort from 25 yards, though it may have taken a deflection on its way in.

Just before the interval, the Bankies were given a lifeline when a clear penalty was awarded after Jimmy Grant was hacked down from behind in the box. Nicky Little put the ball away for his first goal since November.

The break gave Gordon Moffat the chance to reset his side knowing that if they could score the next goal the game could be turned around if they got their act together. However, within a minute of the restart a disaster from goalkeeper Kieran Hughes restored Largs two goal lead and any plans went out of the window.

Not for the first time this season, Hughes was caught in possession of the ball at his feet. It was a head in hands moment as Scott Adam robbed him and rolled the ball into the empty net. When goalkeepers make mistakes like this it can be catastrophic. When they do it more than once you have a problem. I’ll leave that there.

The only surprise thereafter is that it took almost fifteen more minutes to make any changes with an almost unprecedented four substitutions being made in one go. It didn’t really make much difference as the die was cast at this point, and Largs were more than happy to hold on to what they had earned.

With three minutes remaining the Bankies did pull a goal back when Callum Graham smartly headed home at the near post from a Liam McGonigle corner, however any further scoring looked likely to be down the other end due to Jamie Darroch being thrown into the attack. Substitute Blair Devine squandered the best chance when he was one on one with Kieran Hughes. The Bankies keeper displayed the strengths he does have by saving the shot well on his right hand side.

So, where does that leave us? The only other rival also playing today, St Cadocs, also lost but they are not really the main threat. Pick any one from Beith, Darvel and the massively in-form Auchinleck Talbot to catch us with all three of these sides having five games in hand and a points differential ranging from six to twelve.

It is possible that all three could trip up on their way to closing the gap, so we are not entirely dead and buried. With a journey to Darvel next week, anything less that a win may well put that final nail in the coffin. At the moment, it’s hard to see where a win is coming from against anyone, never mind Darvel who have possibly been the best side we’ve faced this season.

It's just a shame that just as we arrived at the business end of the season, we have collapsed in on ourselves and let every one down in the process.

When it comes down to it, though, we do have a dressing room full of good players and a good manager to guide them. We can only hope they can work it out before it is too late.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at February 24th, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
League Cups All
Kieran Hughes (GK) 16 - 4 - 20 -
Danny MacKenzie 8 - 3 - 29 -
Oisin McHugh 21 - 5 - 861
James Grant 22 - 51271
Jamie Darroch 1014 - 20017
Joe Slattery 1813 - 9114
Craig Truesdale 610 - 61
Lee Gallacher 2155111928
Nicky Low 18351395
Nicky Little 20856252157
Thomas Collins 16464228
Adam Hodge (sub) 1114 - 763
Frazer Johnstone (sub) 20 - 4 - 981
Liam McGonigle (sub) 204628720
Alan Kelly (sub) 191536115
Callum Graham (sub) 22452276

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank FC's last match
17th February 2024
Auchinleck Talb3-0Benburb
Hurlford United3-4Glenafton Ath
Kirk Rob Roy0-3Beith Juniors
Largs Thistle1-0Irvine Meadow
St Cadocs1-1Darvel
24th February 2024
Arthurlie3-0St Cadocs
Clydebank2-3Largs Thistle

League Table (as at February 24th, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Clydebank 22 12 5 5 +17 41
2. Beith Juniors 17 11 2 4 +18 35
3. Cumnock 22 9 7 6 -3 34
4. St Cadocs 19 9 5 5 +8 32
5. Darvel 17 9 4 4 +14 31
6. Benburb 22 9 3 10 -1 30
7. Auchinleck Talb 17 9 2 6 +12 29
8. Gartcairn 20 8 5 7 +8 29
9. Largs Thistle 19 8 4 7 0 28
10. Pollok 18 7 5 6 +9 26
11. Hurlford United 16 7 4 5 +6 25
12. Troon 19 5 5 9 -9 20
13. Kirk Rob Roy 19 5 3 11 -20 18
14. Arthurlie 17 4 3 10 -9 15
15. Glenafton Ath 17 4 3 10 -16 15
16. Irvine Meadow 19 3 2 14 -34 11