Rob Roy’s failure to take chances cost then them the opportunity to secure their Premiership survival at Clydebank on Wednesday.
Despite matching their opponents for the majority of the game, Rabs went down to a defeat which left them needing three points from their last three matches - all against quality opposition in Hurlford United, Auchinbleck Talbot and Beith - to be sure of staying up.
Before the start of the match a minute’s applause was given in respect to the late Lisbon Lion Steve Chalmers, who began his career with Rob Roy in 1953.
Rabs had the better of the early play with Gavin Mackie’s corner being headed wide for a further corner. And in the 16th minute Willie Sawyers’ clever headed lay off allowed Connor Hughes a chance for a snap shot which drifted past.
On an uneven pitch, play was broken with neither side looking likely to making the breakthrough, which gave the sparse crowd little to enthuse over.
As the half wore on, the Bankies were making inroads towards the Rabs’ penalty box with Jordan Shelvey prominent in most of their attacks. However they found the visiting backline difficult to overcome, with Scott Forrester outstanding in central defence.
On the half hour mark Craig Gordon was forced into a fine save, parrying a Nicky Little goalbound shot to safety; then, a minute later, Jamie Darroch’s effort from the edge of the penalty box sailed narrowly over.
A minute before the break both Sawyers then Forrester had attempts blocked to end a first 45 minutes, which lacked quality football and excitement.
Rabs looked the more dangerous at the start of the second half with home keeper Marc Waters collecting a Mackie corner, and then Mackie’s cross into the Clydebank goalmouth was cleared for a corner kick by Darroch. Minutes later Mackie sent an inviting cross into the Bankies’ goalmouth but found no takers.
It was Clydebank who edged themselves in front in the 58th minute when Alan Vezza at the far post latched on to a corner from the left to fire the ball past Gordon via the upright.
Manager Stewart Maxwell sent on Alex Cassells for Hughes in an attempt to add firepower up front. A minute later Cassells saw his cross headed from the Bankies’ goal line and then Rabs came even closer to equalising when Mackie’s header was headed from his goal line by Darroch.
Clydebank were awarded a penalty kick in the 64th minute when Forrester brought down Shelvey just inside the box. Shelvey took the award himself sending Gordon the wrong way to double his side’s lead.
Rabs had a chance to reduce the deficit but Mackie’s 25 yard powerful strike was tipped onto his crossbar by keeper Waters. At the other end Shelvey fired wide when in a good goal-scoring position before Chris Black’s high shot from the edge of the penalty box was comfortably taken by Gordon.
In the final minutes Rabs made a few forays into the home penalty box with substitute Michael Daly winning many of the aerial duels. However the outcomes could all be classed as powderpuff efforts.