Kilbirnie 1 Rob Roy 0: Frustrating defeat for Kirkintilloch Rob Roy

Rob Roy were unable to find a way past the Kilbirnie defence
Rob Roy were unable to find a way past the Kilbirnie defence

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy’s hopes of a third win in a row were ended as they went down to a single-goal defeat at Kilbirnie.

A first-half goal settled the issue with Rabs unable to come from behind to win, as they had in their previous two matches against Pollok and Kilwinning.

The first chance of the game fell to Lee Gallacher, making his 100th appearance for the club, but his shot was deflected past for a fruitless corner.

Ladeside hit back and Cory Hughes should have done better when he sent a free header off target.

Rabs then had a period of pressure with Joe Slattery’s effort lacking power, giving home keeper Grant Hay an easy save, and then Michael Daly rose to head a Gallacher corner wide.

However Kilbirnie made the breakthrough in the 21st minute when the Rob Roy defence failed to clear the ball in the penalty box, allowing Ryan Hynes time to slot the ball into the unguarded net.

Minutes later Ryan McCreath’s effort from distance was taken low by Rabs’ keeper John Hutchison.

In the 36th minute Rob Roy wasted a good chance to equalise when Daly headed a Gallacher corner wide from six yards.

Kilbirnie responded with McCreath breaking down the right before crossing to Hynes, who hammered the ball well over from close range.

Gallacher wasted a good chance with a poor cut back but there were no further chances created before the half-time whistle blew with the visitors frustrated to be going in a goal down.

Kilbirnie had a good chance to double their lead in the 51st minute when Hynes was sent through on goal but saw his shot blocked by the feet of Hutchison.

Rabs began to play open football and began to create openings. Willie Sawyers’ dangerous cross was cleared by David Anderson and then minutes later Sawyers fired over from a few yards out.

In the 72nd minute Rob Roy had a strong claim for a penalty when Sawyers appeared to be brought down by keeper Hay but referee Gentles turned down the Rabs’ strong appeals, with John Sweeney being booked for his protests.

The Roy continued to attack and from a Sawyers’ lay off, Sweeney fired wide.

But with 11 minutes remaining it needed a brilliant Hutchison save at the feet of substitute Peter McGill to keep the Roy in the game.

As the Rabs pushed forward in the latter stages, Kilbirnie were hanging on to their slender lead and their delaying tactics were angering the visiting support.

In the 85th minute Gallacher sent an angular shot past the far post before another Kilbirnie breakaway resulted in the Roy being reduced to ten men as Hutchison brought down McGill at the edge of the box when the striker was through on goal and was shown a straight red card.

Sweeney took over between the sticks and the defence stood firm to clear the resultant free-kick.

The 10 men continued to press for an equaliser but time ran out and it left the visitors aggrieved at the final whistle to have taken nothing from the game.