Clydebank 3 Rob Roy 2: Holders Rabs out of League Cup

Former Rob Roy player Reece Pearson was on target against his old club
Former Rob Roy player Reece Pearson was on target against his old club

Defensive blunders cost Rob Roy dearly as the holders crashed out of the Sectional League Cup at the quarter-final stage at Clydebank on Wednesday.

New loan signing Danny O’Halloran made his debut in central defence in a line up that started with only two of the winning team from last season’s final.

Play was even in the opening minutes as each side tested the other out.

However Rob Roy were caught flat footed in the fourth minute when a long ball from the Clydebank left split the central defence and, with O’Halloran appealing for offside, Ciaran Lafferty ran through and scored with a shot that Steven McNeil partially saved but could not stop going in to the net.

Jordan McGuire had an effort in the eighth minute that went over the bar as the Roy tried to get over the early shock. Five minutes later Stefan Law showed some neat touches as he set up Sean McCall but his cross in to the box found no takers.

However Clydebank were always a danger on the break and McNeil saved well after Lafferty turned the defense and shot on target.

Nevertheless the Roy managed to get back in to the game in the 22nd minute when, after Kevin Watt headed on a throw-in, Alan Vezza brought down McGuire in the box. Gary Carroll stepped up to take the penalty kick and slotted it home to keeper Scott Morrison’s left.

Following a good McNeil save in the 28th minute, Rob Roy broke downfield through Carroll and when he squared it for Kevin Watt to take on the keeper his effort was cleared off the line by the backrushing Andy Paterson.

The Roy were left to rue this great missed opportunity as Clydebank took the lead again four minutes later.

A long clearance from Morrison was misjudged by McCall, which left Josh Watt clear down the left, and his cross was headed home at the back post by ex-Rabs player Reece Pearson.

Bankies' Calum Gow had to be substituted after a head clash with Joe Slattery as both teams contested every loose ball.

In the 34th minute Watt tried a spectacular overhead kick at the edge of the six-yard box but his effort went wide. And as half-time drew close a great move between Law and Watt resulted in Morrison saving Law’s effort.

At the start of the second half Rob Roy pressed for an equaliser straight from kick off and a Danny Boyle header went wide from a Lee Gallacher cross.

However, as in the first half, Bankies were dangerous on the counter attack and Jordan Shelvey hit the bar after a great run by Lafferty.

Clydebank’s Watt was always dangerous on the left hand side and after 53 minutes he turned past McCall and McNeil managed to parry his fierce shot on to the bar. McNeil again had to be alert from the same player in the 68th minute when he this time tipped Watt’s 20-yard effort over the bar.

However it was the Roy who scored next in the 75th minute. Following a ball from Danny Mackenzie, Carroll broke down the left and when his cross was deflected, McGuire was on hand at the edge of the box to drive low past Morrison’s right.

The Rabs' joy though was turned in to despair a minute later.

Following a comfortable save from a Lafferty shot, McNeil took his time with the clearance but only succeeded in finding a Bankies player whose instant header back found Lafferty free in the middle and he shot through McNeil’s legs from the edge of the box to give Clydebank the lead for the third time.

There then followed a 10-minute period of end-to-end attacking as both teams looked for a further goal.

Slips by McNeil, when he let a shot squirm under him and when he chested a ball out, went unpunished and at the other end a Boyle header was tipped wide by Morrison for a corner.

In the final minute a header from O’Halloran went wide and a cross from Slattery went beyond Law as the Bankies held on to claim the victory.

In the end it was a disappointing finish to Roy Roy’s defence of the trophy, and a game in which they will feel they could have done a lot better.