A DIP in form saw Rabs topple from the summit of the Super League Premier Division on Saturday.
Rob Roy................... 2
PLAYING like Brazil at one end will take you top of the table.
Defending like Dukla Pumpherston at the other will see you resoundingly punished.
And so it proved on Saturday as a worryingly inept Rabs performance against a skilful, organised Ashfield outfit saw the Kirkintilloch club replaced at the summit of the Super Premier Division table by last year’s champions Irvine Meadow.
That Rob Roy’s start to the season has been nothing short of exceptional is not in doubt.
That Saturday’s defeat was conceded in such a manner leaves definite cause for concern for Jimmy Lindsay’s men.
A well-taken double from Chris Hall – the first a smart volley after Stephen Robertson had initially saved well from Tony Chalmers and the second a simple tap-in after rounding Robertson from Jamie Coll’s precise through ball – had Rabs two goals behind after just 17 minutes.
Willie Easton reduced the deficit minutes later with a controlled sidefoot volley from Mick Fulton’s cross, but Rob Roy almost immediately lost a third goal when Alistair Martin showed a tremendous burst of speed to get ahead of his man and confidently sidefoot home at the far post from Paul Maxwell’s excellent low cross.
The physical gap between Rob Roy’s defensive four and midfield four was vast and was clinically punished by the Glasgow club.
Minutes before the interval, an awful error from Rabs’ Alan Lindsay saw Hall seize upon the ball and head for goal before clipping into the path of Shaun Fraser to easily convert.
Each first-half Ashfield goal stemmed from direct balls played in behind the all-too-easily penetrated Rob Roy rearguard and being at the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline at half-time left the Kirkintilloch club with a mountain to climb.
Ashfield were unlucky not to further add to their tally immediately after the re-start when both Maxwell and Jim Smith came close.
Maxwell was not to be denied the goal his commanding performance deserved though. Hall pounced upon McAleenan’s carelessness in his own penalty box on 58 minutes to square for his strike partner to convert.
The link play of Ashfield’s front two of Hall and Maxwell was crisp, sure and precise – constantly working their central defenders – but at the other end, far too many times the ball bounced back off the disappointingly ineffective David Gormley and the leaden Chris Mackie.
To their credit though, Rob Roy kept pushing to the end and reduced the deficit with a drive from Fulton which zipped into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
The damage, however, had been well and truly done.
GOAL RUSH: Rob Roy are pictured scoring their first goal against Ashfield.