Kirkintilloch Rob Roy grind out vital title win at Largs

Chris Duff (left) got Rob Roy's first at Largs
Chris Duff (left) got Rob Roy's first at Largs

Despite playing well below their best Rob Roy returned from Ayrshire with three vital points after grinding out a 2-1 win over Largs Thistle.

The victory in a scrappy encounter, stretched the Kirkintilloch side’s lead at the top of the West Super League table to five points.

Thistle made the early running, but showed very little danger in front of goal and, with Luke Whelan taking control in midfield, Rabs began to put the home defence under pressure,

Lee Gallacher had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside before Largs had a chance when a decent James Marks effort was well saved by Jordan Brown.

Rabs stepped up the pressure and Gallacher’s low shot was taken by home keeper Ross Lundy before Danny Mackenzie then sent an inviting low pass across a crowded Largs penalty box but found no takers.

From a Chris Duff cross Shaun Fraser’s header was gathered from under his crossbar by Lundy who was again in action minutes later when he made a brilliant fingertip save from a Kevin Watt volley.

Rabs made the breakthrough two minutes before the interval when Duff was upended by Kevin Struthers on the edge of the box, Gallacher sent a low free-kick into the penalty area for Duff to back flick the ball into the net.

The visitors doubled their advantage four minutes into the second half. Duff broke down the left before sending over a perfect low cross for Fraser to guide the ball into the net at the far post.

Thistle pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Kevin Green conceded a penalty kick just inside the box, Substitute Glenn Thomson scored easily from the spot. There was a talking point when, from a drop-ball situation Green’s returned ball to Lundy sailed over the keeper’s head and into the net. Referee Menzies defused a possible incident by ordering the drop ball to be re-taken.

Craig Buchanan squandered a chance to put Rabs further ahead when his header from a Gallacher free-kick drifted wide then Watt dispossessed his marker before bring out a first class save from Lundy.

The Ayrshire side pushed for the equaliser but Rabs held out for all three points to take their tally to 31 to equal their highest Super Premier League points, won in season 2010/11.