Clydebank 1
Pollok 0
League (WoSFL Premier)

1 - 0

League (WoSFL Premier)
Saturday, January 27th, 2024
Holm Park. Att. 826
2:00 PM Kick-off

Ciaran Mulcahy (64)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Stewart Maxwell

Starting Eleven
20 Kieran Hughes
24 James Grant
3 Danny MacKenzie
15 Oisin McHugh
4 Matt Niven
6 Frazer Johnstone
7 Lee Gallacher
8 Joe Slattery
19 Ciaran Mulcahy
10 Nicky Little
11 Liam McGonigle
Ben Fry 1
Fraser Mullen 2
Sean Burns 3
Scott Forrester 4
Callum Gow 5
Ross Lindsay 6
Marc McKenzie 7
Ryan McGregor 8
Adam Forde 9
Luke Main 10
Andrew Gallacher 11

1 Jamie Donnelly
9 Callum Graham
21 Alan Kelly
22 Creag Little
23 Nicky Low
17 Larry McMahon
16 Craig Truesdale
Evan Maley 12
Grant Anderson 14
Chris Duff 15
Jamie Henry 16
Jay Nelson 17
Darren Christie 18
Jordan Longmuir 21

Nicky Low for Nicky Little (68)
Craig Truesdale for Liam McGonigle (68)
Callum Graham for Ciaran Mulcahy (80)
Alan Kelly for Joe Slattery (80)
Larry McMahon for Lee Gallacher (89)
Evan Maley -> Andrew Gallacher (65)
Darren Christie -> Ryan McGregor (65)
Grant Anderson -> Ross Lindsay (78)
Jamie Henry -> Marc McKenzie (78)

Matt Niven (21)
Joe Slattery (23)
Liam McGonigle (28)
Frazer Johnstone (90)
Fraser Mullen (26)
Ryan McGregor (38)
Marc McKenzie (59)
Luke Main (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Kieran O'Reilly (Referee)
Scott Doyle & Stephen Allan (Assistants)

Match Report

In a match fraught with tension, Ciaran Mulcahy’s acrobatic finish on the rebound was enough to sink Pollok and send the Bankies eleven points clear at the top of the league table as results elsewhere went our way.

It was also the perfect way for Gordon Moffat to celebrate his 150th game in charge of the club. Pollok are the perfect barometer to show the progress made under Moff. Upon inheriting his first squad, his first four games against Pollok were all lost, but coming up to date he has now won three of his last four, and the one reversal was in a penalty shoot-out.

In recent times, we have been used to games against Pollok producing excitement and goals, as we had 17 in three games last season, but Mulcahy’s strike was the only goal in the two encounters against the Southsiders this term. This match still had plenty of drama, but there was not a great deal of chances in the game. The Bankies had the lion’s share of the goal scoring opportunities that did come along, and the big difference was when presented with the big moment we took it.

Reading the after match comments from Pollok fans, they were pulling apart their side, much like we all do when results don’t go our way. It is sometimes difficult not to be negative about your own side, questioning selections, formations, substitutions, and individual performances.

Sometimes you need to see things from the opposition’s point of view to get a true perspective on your own side. Pollok are not as bad as their fans think they are. Maybe for the money spent they would be hoping to be doing better, but they provided strong resistance today, and the Bankies had to show a steely determination to take all three points.

That’s three hard games the Bankies have played since the turn of the year, against Auchinleck, Cumnock and now Pollok. We have recorded two wins and a draw, and while we haven’t overwhelmed any of these teams, we have shown other characteristics that have gotten us over the line.

There is a resolve in the squad that is rarely associated with Clydebank teams throughout our history. Always playing nice football, but not having enough about us when it came to the crunch. It does seem different this time.

Pollok started both the first and second half on the front foot, but it is a testament to our defence that the top scorers in the league have failed to score against us in 180 minutes of football. They also have the top scorer in their ranks in the form of Adam Forde, but he barely got near the Clydebank goal all game.

In fact, it is hard to recall Pollok having many shots at all. Andy Gallacher had an effort from outside the box, hit the side-netting in first half stoppage time, but Hughes in for the injured Donnelly had it well covered. It was only in the closing stages when the Bankies were trying to protect their lead that the Newslandsfield side carried any apparent threat. But even then a deflected shot that went out for a corner was as good as it got.

As far as the Bankies were concerned it was another slow burner start to the game. It took us a while to come to terms with Pollok’s enthusiasm, but once we started to pass the ball about we began to look the more likely of the two sides.

Neither side really created anything in the first 20 minutes, and the only thing worthy of note was a sudden rash of yellow cards with O’Reilly brandishing four in a seven minute period. One of those was given to Liam McGonigle for dissent after his shirt was clearly pulled in the penalty box. It would probably have been a soft penalty had it been given, but there was no doubt that the incident happened.

The goalscoring chances that followed up to the break all fell to either Joe Slattery or Frazer Johnstone. Neither of these two are known for their goalscoring prowess and a series of mis-hits and off target efforts made sure that we headed into the interval goalless.

The second half followed a similar pattern, and once the Bankies began to get the upper hand it looked like if anyone was going to score it was going to be the home side. Bankies supporters are going to have to get used to this tension and nervousness as we move ever closer to the business end of the season.

When the moment came after 64 minutes, there was as loud an eruption from the terraces at Holm Park that I can ever remember. Up to that point, there had been virtually no shots at goal in the second half, but the mixture of pure joy and relief was palpable.

Joe Slattery worked the space well down the right flank, and with time on his side he delivered a top quality cross into the box. Liam McGonigle of all people slipped in between two defenders and was incredibly unlucky to see his header crash off the underside of the crossbar. It was my man of the match, Ciaran Mulcahy who reacted quickest. As the ball bounced up, he acrobatically slammed the ball into the net.

After that, the Bankies could have scored a killer second. Within a minute, Ciaran Mulcahy showed tremendous strength to hold off man mountain Callum Gow, and his cutback was hit straight at the keeper by Nicky Little from the edge of the box.

Then came two amazing stops. Firstly Nicky Low played a top class through ball for Lee Gallacher who timed his run perfectly. He took the ball around keeper Fry, and he maybe just thought his work was done, as he went to tap the ball into the empty net. But he hadn’t counted on Scott Forrester who burst a gut and slid across the goalmouth and blocked the ball for a corner.

Callum Graham can continue to feel justified as being the unluckiest striker in the country if not the world. He has been doing well in recent weeks, and when he collected the ball in the left hand side of the penalty box, he turned a defender opening up the goal for a clear shot. I’m not sure he could have hit it any better, but Fry produced a stunning stop to deflect the ball past the far post for a corner.

Despite rallying in the latter stages, Pollok never really looked like scoring and the Bankies claimed a crucial three points in their quest for the league title.

It is difficult to single out individual players for praise, but I‘m going to give it a go anyway. It is usually the Nicky Little’s, Nicky Low’s and Lee Gallacher’s of the world who take up all the column inches, but I think the ex-Rossvale triumvirate of Slattery, Johnstone and McGonigle deserve to be applauded.

At various times in the past I have thought that Gordon Moffat may have been too loyal to these three players. They all improved the club massively when they first arrived at the club but Slattery has not had his injury problems to seek recently, McGonigle has never truly been a first team regular after a bad injury, and Frazer Johnstone has regular brushes with officialdom.

However, Johnstone is the anchor in the side. His absence was keenly felt at Cumnock last week, and the role he plays is vital to how the rest of the side functions, and he would be one of the first picks every time for me.

Joe Slattery has always been a great player, with great vision to find a pass, but with constant injury problems it made me wonder if he had a long term future at the club. Since coming back from his latest injury he has been excellent, and his assist in the winning goal showed what he still has to offer.

For Liam McGonigle, I’m not sure if he will ever be a regular starter as there is probably more competition in the wide positions than in any other part of the squad. He offers something different to the other wingers at the club, and it was the right choice by Moffat to go with him against Pollok. He has chipped in with some important goals this season and he is a menace and you can tell defenders don’t like playing against him.

For all that, the best player on the pitch was Ciaran Mulcahy. At this level, he is a complete forward. His aerial ability is reminiscent of the great Ken Eadie. He has an unbelievable leap, and his timing and direction of the ball from headers is at another level. He can take the ball into feet comfortably and has great strength which he used to great effect against Pollok. I always thought he maybe didn’t have enough goals in him, but he seems to be adding that to his portfolio as well. We may look back at his return to the club as the pivotal moment of the season.

The important thing is we have won absolutely nothing yet, and you’re only as good as your last game, so this rare praise can easily be revoked. The players have to go out and prove themselves all over again at Beith next week. This fixture was the one that most were looking to as the main match in this run due to the number of games in hand the Ayrshire side have on us. We showed at Holm Park earlier in the season that we can beat the current champions and we are going to need a similar performance to do so again.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at January 27th, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
League Cups All
Kieran Hughes (GK) 13 - 4 - 17 -
James Grant 19 - 51241
Danny MacKenzie 5 - 3 - 26 -
Oisin McHugh 18 - 5 - 831
Matt Niven 183519615
Frazer Johnstone 17 - 4 - 951
Lee Gallacher 1855111628
Joe Slattery 1513 - 8814
Ciaran Mulcahy 95227124
Nicky Little 17756249156
Liam McGonigle 174628420
Nicky Low (sub) 15351365
Craig Truesdale (sub) 3 - 0 - 3 -
Larry McMahon (sub) 18 - 51602
Callum Graham (sub) 19352245
Alan Kelly (sub) 161535815

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
27th January 2024
Arthurlie1-2Kirk Rob Roy
Beith Juniors1-3Cumnock
Benburb0-0Largs Thistle
Darvel2-0St Cadocs
Gartcairn4-3Glenafton Ath
Irvine Meadow1-4Auchinleck Talb

League Table (as at January 27th, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Clydebank 19 12 5 2 +20 41
2. Darvel 15 9 3 3 +16 30
3. St Cadocs 16 9 3 4 +11 30
4. Beith Juniors 14 9 2 3 +15 29
5. Cumnock 20 7 7 6 -5 28
6. Benburb 19 8 3 8 +1 27
7. Pollok 16 7 4 5 +10 25
8. Gartcairn 17 7 3 7 +7 24
9. Auchinleck Talb 15 7 2 6 +6 23
10. Hurlford United 14 6 4 4 +5 22
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 14 3 3 8 -13 12
15. Arthurlie 15 3 2 10 -12 11
16. Irvine Meadow 16 2 2 12 -33 8