Kilbirnie 0 Rob Roy 2: Win puts Rob Roy back on track

Willie Sawyers broke the deadlock for Rob Roy at Kilbirnie
Willie Sawyers broke the deadlock for Rob Roy at Kilbirnie

An improved second half performance at Kilbirnie got Rob Roy back to winnings ways - and back to the top the Super Premier League.

After suffering their first defeats of the season in their previous two outings against Troon and Beith, the Kirkintilloch side were desperate to avoid an unwanted hat-trick of losses to Ayrshire opposition.

They began the match in a positive mood, In the second minute Shaun Fraser was brought down on the edge of the penalty box by Mark Staunton as the Rabs player advanced on goal, Lee Gallacher sent the resulting free kick narrowly past the post.

A minute later Gallacher when in a good scoring position blasted the ball over the bar.

As Ladeside brought themselves back into the contest David Green fired directly at Rabs keeper Jordan Brown and the Rabs shot stopper was again in action in the 20th minute, this time dealing confidently with a 25 yard Ciaran Donnelly free-kick.

Midway through the half Rabs regained control with Chris Duff bringing out a smart save from home keeper Kieran Hughes and the keeper then did well to smother a Willie Sawyers effort at his post.

A Shaun Fraser lob landed on top of the Kilbirnie net then as half-time approached Scott Walker fired a Gallacher cut back wide of the target.

The first chance of the half fell to the Ayrshire side with Adam Forde’s shot cleared off the line by David Barr.

But in the 50th minute Rabs broke the deadlock as Sawyers celebrated his 100th appearance for the club in style.

Duff sent the Rob Roy striker through on goal to slot the ball past Hughes for his 66th goal for the club.

The home side tried to hit back and Brown prevented Ciaran McElroy from equalising with a fantastic double save.

In a match peppered by bookings and bad tempered fouls, Rabs began to dominate and added a second in the 68th minute this time it was Sawyers the provider for Fraser to send a quality finish high into the Ladeside net.

As Rabs pressed for a third goal, substitute Kevin Watt then Sawyers had goal-bound shots blocked by desperate defending.

Rabs had strong appeals for a penalty ignored when a hand appeared to be used to prevent a Jordan McGuire strike from entering the net.

In the final minute Forde was dismissed for picking up his second booking to add to the previous eight Kilbirnie yellow cards.

Next up for Stewart Maxwell's side is Saturday's Scottish Junior Cup third round match away to Glasgow Perthshire.