Arthurlie 4 Rob Roy 3: Rabs lose out in another thriller

Action from Rob Roy's match at Arthurlie (pic by Neil Anderson)
Action from Rob Roy's match at Arthurlie (pic by Neil Anderson)

Despite another thrilling second half comeback Rob Roy left Arthurlie empty-handed after letting their opponents back into the game.

Rabs, who came from three down to beat Auchinleck last week, again battled back to overcome a first half deficit only to pay the price for conceding sloppy goals.

In bright, sunny conditions Rob Roy started well with Lee Gallacher an immediate threat. However the home side soon became dangerous with Marc McKenzie prominent and he shot wide when sent through.

The home side made the breakthrough in the ninth minute. Scott Walker was penalised for a late tackle at the edge of the box and from the resultant free-kick, McKenzie sent a lovely curling shot over the wall and into Michael McKinven’s right hand corner.

Five minutes later Arthurlie doubled their lead, when following a free-kick which the Rob Roy defence failed to clear, Michael Daly turned inside the box and shot past McKinven.

At this stage Arthurlie were well on top and came close again with a Chris Lennon drive that went over the bar.

However in the 23rd minute Rob Roy broke well from an Arthurlie corner when Shaun Fraser and Kevin Watt combined down the right hand side with Watt’s final ball unfortunately going behind Fraser and the chance was squandered.

Soon after Stefan Law headed over the bar from a Gallacher cross and Watt had another great run and cross with no takers.

The impressive McKenzie caused the Roy defenders problems with his pace and control as the home side continued to be dangerous on the break.

Nevertheless it was the visitors who had a great chance to reduce the deficit in the 32nd minute.

Gavin Mackie was brought down in the box and referee Graham pointed to the spot. However Kevin Watt shot straight down the middle and keeper Grant Hay saved easily.

Manager Stewart Maxwell had a few choice words with his team during the half-time break and the Roy started the second half with a bang.

They pulled a goal back in the 50th minute when Fraser converted a Watt cross to send the ball high past Hay.

Three minutes later the visitors levelled the score when, after Gallacher’s run and cross, Fraser’s effort was blocked but Mackie was on hand to blast the ball past Hay.

Incredibly the Roy took the lead a minute later when, after a great run across the box, Gallacher’s shot hit the post but Watt was alert and blasted the ball in to roof of the net.

Rob Roy suffered a blow when the injured Gallacher had to be replaced by Andrew Johnstone shortly after.

On the hour mark Jordon Chisholm headed over from a McKenzie cross as the home side tried to get back in to the game but Rob Roy were well on top and dominated the game.

However the match turned after Rob Roy made a double substitution in the 70th minute with Gary Carroll and Joe Slattery coming on for Watt and Mackie.

Within two minutes the home side had equalised. Fraser lost the ball in midfield and Danny Mackenzie was unlucky not to stop the Arthurlie cross which was knocked in at the back post by McKenzie.

Rob Roy responded and Danny Boyle shot wide after a good move between Johnstone and Carroll and Fraser had a shot that went high over the bar.

However it was the home side who took the lead in the 78th minute when a good cross from Lennon on the right hand side deceived McKinven and Daly was free at the back post to head home.

Rob Roy were shellshocked and tried their best to get something out of the game.

’Lie’s Nugent did well to block a Law free-kick. Carroll went close with a header but the home side were again dangerous on the break and in the closing minute McKinven had a great double save from Arthurlie’s star player McKenzie.

Overall, Rob Roy showed a great second half reaction after a slack first half but conceded two preventable goals to throw away a lead that they had done so well to create.