Rob Roy draw a blank as Hurlford hold out

Rob Roy were unable to find a way through the Hurlford defence
Rob Roy were unable to find a way through the Hurlford defence

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy lost by a single goal in their final league match of the season to the strong going Hurlford United side.

Despite more than matching their Ayrshire opponents with some skilful passing play, Rabs lacked the cutting edge inside the penalty box.

Both sides had early chances with United’s Ryan Borris sending his effort over the bar before Rabs’ Chris Duff saw his goalbound shot blocked for a corner.

Against the run of play the visitors took the lead in the 13th minute when the home defence failed to intercept a cross from the left, allowing defender Richard McKillen to send a diving header past keeper Jon Murdoch.

During a period of Hurlford pressure Murdoch did well to save Paul McKenzie’s curling shot then Borris hooked his attempt over the bar.

Minutes later Murdoch made a fine diving save to prevent Stewart Kean extending his side’s lead.

Before the break Rabs began to put the Hurlford defence under pressure. Scott Upton sent a diving header over the bar, Duff brought out a low save from ’keeper Murchie and Lee Gallacher’s volley was deflected for a corner.

Early second half chances fell to Hurlford with substitute Paul Byrne firing over the bar and Paul McKenzie shooting wide of the target.

A clever passing move involving Reece Pearson and Graeme Barbour set Gallacher free inside the penalty box but he was unlucky to see his effort blocked for a corner kick.

On the hour mark Rabs skipper Jon Carter did well to clear a Borris drive off his goal line with Murdoch beaten.

The strong running Duff set up substitute Jordan McGuire’s volley at goal with a neat pass but Murchie was equal to his attempt.

Rabs had plenty of second half possession but failed to make any real impact, although Gallacher did come close to equalising with a 20 yard drive.

In the dying minutes Gallacher made a strong run into the penalty area before being crowded out by the away defence then his 30 yard drive at goal went harmlessly past.