Relegation heartbreak for Kirkintilloch Rob Roy

Rob Roy v Shotts Bon Accord
Rob Roy v Shotts Bon Accord

Rob Roy crashed out of the Premier League last week after losing 5-2 on aggregate in a two leg play off against Shotts Bon Accord.

On Tuesday the Kirkintilloch team welcomed Shotts — who qualified for the play-off courtesy of a third place finish in the Super First Division — to Adamslie Park for the first leg.

It was the last competitive match to be played at the famous old ground, which has been sold to housing developers.

But Rabs were unable to sign off with a win, with a missed penalty after 30 minutes the first of several good chances left unconverted.

A goal for Shotts seconds before the half time whistle put the promotion-chasers in the driving seat but Rabs responded by going on the offensive in the second half.

The elusive goal finally came in the 78th minute from Ryan Deas, with the tie ending 1-1 and the play-off on a knife-edge.

The second leg was played at Greenfield Park, in Shettleston, after Shotts’ home pitch was left waterlogged.

Shotts may have been forced to give up home advantage, but they scored the opener in 28 minutes and never looked likely to relinquish the lead from that point on.

Five minutes before half time they doubled their lead, although Rob Roy provided their fans with some hope when a Duff header saw them claw a goal back.

But a third Shotts goal in the middle of the second half effectively ended the tie, with Rabs’ misery compounded by a fourth and final goal in the 72nd minute.

It means Shotts will now play in the Premier next season at Rob Roy’s expense, with the Kirkintilloch team completing what has been a fairly miserable season.

There has been little to cheer for the fans in Stewart Maxwell’s first season as gaffer, although there was little evidence to suggest that relegation was going to be an issue earlier in the year, when Rabs were just a handful of points away from safety with plenty of games left to play.

But the writing was on the wall when they failed to win a single one of their last five league games.

Next season’s priority will be a swift return to the top tier, but they will have to do it without a permanent home.

As plans for a new stadium near Kirkintilloch’s Southbank Marina are furthered, Rob Roy will be groundsharing with Cumbernauld United at the Guy’s Meadow ground.

Rob Roy will play Broxburn Athletic in a pre-season friendly at Albyn Park, Broxburn, on Saturday, August 2. Kick Off 2.30pm.

For full match reports turn to page 63.