Kirkintilloch Rob Roy beaten by single goal at Irvine Meadow

Rob Roy went down at Irvine Meadow in their opening match of 2020
Rob Roy went down at Irvine Meadow in their opening match of 2020

A new decade began with a familiar story for Rob Roy as they suffered another defeat at Irvine Meadow on Saturday, reports Neil Anderson.

The Kirtkintilloch side were punished for a defensive mistake in a dour game, out of which they should have taken a point.

The first attacking move came from the Meadow - sitting third in the Premiership table - when Eddie McTernan ran in to the Rabs’ box before the ball was cleared.

The Roy responded and in the eighth minute, after Michael Tuohy was fouled by Colin Spence outside the penalty box, Martin McBride’s free kick came to nothing and then a minute later Ewan MacPherson fired over the bar.

There followed a period of scrappy play, with both defences on top and neither keeper being tested as both teams adapted to the conditions.

Alex Cassells’s long ball freed MacPherson but he fired high and wide and Rob Roy’s chance to take the lead was squandered.

Meadow’s Andrew McLaughlin then sent in a fine free-kick from an angle but it soared high over his team mates and to safety.

A Cassells effort from 25 yards was well off target and then, a minute before the break, Jordan Currie-McLean’s deflected shot went straight at home keeper Paddy O’Neil to bring a dire first half to an end.

Rabs started the second half with more intent and Cassells’s effort was easily taken by O’Neil before Scott Forrester’s header from a Tuohy corner drifted wide.

Then Tuohy’s 25 yard free-kick was safely handled by O’Neil.

However, with 20 minutes remaining the Ayrshire side took the lead when Jared Willet’s free kick in to the Roy’s goal mouth was missed by keeper Matthew Kerr, giving Neil Slooves a free header in to the vacant net.

Minutes later Rob Roy were denied what looked a stonewall penalty when Cassells was pulled down in the box as he ran in on goal.

To make matters worse referee Hanvidge decided to book Cassells for diving, a decision which infuriated the Rabs’ support.

McTernan then had a chance to finish the game as a contest but fired over the bar from ten yards out.

In the final minute a free kick from substitute Ian Gold found Forrester in the box but he fired over the bar, resulting in all three points remaining in Irvine.

An undeserved defeat was a sore one to take for Rob Roy.

Sponsor Willie Sawyers nominated Danny O’Halloran for the Supporters’ Man of the Match Trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker.

Rob Roy: Kerr, Walker, Hayes (Burns), Forrester, O’Halloran, Tuohy, Currie-McLean, McBride, McInally (Gold), Cassells, MacPherson (Mackenzie).

The defeat keeps Rob Roy rooted to the foot of the Premiership table after just two wins and 13 defeats from their 15 games so far.

Three teams go down and Rabs are now 13 points adrift of fourth-bottom Benburb who took a point from a 1-1 draw with Pollok.

Rabs travel to Benburb this Saturday, but in the West of Scotland Cup.