Nine in a row for Rob Roy

Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell
Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell

In-form Kirkintilloch Rob Roy racked up their ninth straight league and cup win with a 2-1 victory at Kilwinning Rangers on Saturday.

Stewart Maxwell's side maintained their perfect start to the season to retain their place at the top of the Super League Premier Division standings.

It was a battling win in an often bad tempered Abbey Park encounter which saw beleaguered Referee Calum Scott brandish seven yellow cards and a late straight dismissal to home defender Thomas Maitland.

Rabs passed up great chance to take a fourth minute lead when they were awarded a penalty kick after Willie Sawyers was tripped in the box but Lee Gallacher's poorly struck spot kick was easily saved by keeper Chris Strain.

Rangers responded with Bryan Boylan firing the ball over the Rabs bar from the edge of the penalty box.

The Buffs took a 26th minute lead under controversial circumstances when a Ben Lewis free-kick hit the Rabs defensive wall he then shot the rebound well past the post only for the referee to award a corner kick, From the disputed award, and after the protests died down, Ricky Hanvey’s header squeezed into the top corner of the net after Rabs keeper Michael McKinven had flapped at the ball.

With a one goal lead Kilwinning were the more determined side and Maitland came close to adding to their total but his effort drifted wide.

However in the 34th minute Rabs equalised when Danny MacKenzie was fouled out on the left wing, Gavin Mackie sent over a perfectly flighted free-kick for Craig Buchanan to rise at the back post to send his header crashing into the net.

On the stroke of half-time Rabs should have gone ahead when Gallacher was through on goal but the diving Strain managed to get a hand to the ball to divert it to safety.

The first chance of the second half fell to Rangers but McKinven did well to push aside a Boylan drive.

Rabs began to take control and in a good passage of attacking play Gallacher’s shot lacked punch, Sawyers headed a Jordan McGuire cross narrowly wide before Mackie’s 20 yard free kick was cleared by Isaac Kerr then Maitland was forced to head a long Kevin Green clearance behind for a Rabs corner.

With the home defence rocking, Rabs took a deserved 73rd minute lead when clever wing play between substitutes Pearson and Watt freed Mackie on the left to cross into the Buffs penalty box for the advancing Sawyers to send a neat well timed header over Strain and into the empty net.

The Ayrshire side had a couple of late efforts from distance, both sent into orbit but they never looked like breaking down a well organised Rabs defence. To compound to their misery the Abbey Park side were reduced to 10 men in the closing minutes when Maitland was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Reece Pearson.

Rob Roy;- McKinven, Walker, MacKenzie, Green, Buchanan, McMenamin, Gallacher (Watt 66), McGuire (Pearson 68), Sawyers, Duff (McCall 82), Mackie. Unused Subs;- Barr, Brown.