Rob Roy 2 Arthurlie 0: Rabs back on top in title race

Gary McMenamin scored for Rob Roy but was also red carded
Gary McMenamin scored for Rob Roy but was also red carded

Rob Roy went back to the top of the Super League Premier Division table after seeing off a lacklustre Arthurlie side at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.

Two first half goals were enough to seal the three points as Stewart Maxwell’s side took advantage of the fact that title rivals Auchinleck Talbot and Glenafton were otherwise engaged on Scottish Junior Cup semi-final business.

In what was, remarkably, their first home league match since mid-December, Rabs began the match brightly and in the fifth minute an effort from Willie Sawyers effort was spilt by Arthurlie keeper Grant Hay, but the ball was cleared off the line by ex-Rob Roy man Chris Mackie.

Despite their pressure the home side failed to make the breakthrough and it was Arthurlie who had the ball in the net first but Garry Carroll was ruled offside.

However Rob Roy did take the lead in the 25th minute when a Chris Duff header found Sawyers who crashed an angular low shot past Hay.

Lie had an opportunity when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box. Another ex-Rabs man, Ryan Deas, took the kick but failed to trouble Michael McKinven in the Rabs goal.

And Rabs doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute after Sawyers was impeded in the box, skipper Gary McMenamin stepping up to confidently convert.

Before the break, from a Lee Gallacher corner, Danny Boyle rose unchallenged but sent his header over the bar.

A minute later Gallacher should have added a third for Rabs but blazed the ball over the bar when in a good scoring position.

Arthurlie began the second have with Mackie up front in an attempt to add much needed firepower.

But the first chance of the half fell to Rabs as McMenamin’s wind assisted volley from distance went over the bar.

Shaun Fraser’s snap shot was parried by Hay and Sawyers then came close, sending his effort narrowly past the post.

Arthurlie began to push forward, Ryan McKie crossed for Mackie the ball then fell to Josh Graham but McKinven was well placed to make the save.

The visitors thought they had pulled a goal back when Deas sent over a free-kick to the far post where Jordan Chisholm rose to head the ball into the net only to be denied by the assistants offside flag.

Gallacher’s free-kick flashed across the Arthurlie penalty area but could find no takers then, from a Gallacher corner, Kevin Green should have done better when sending a free header past the post from six yards.

With nine minutes remaining McKinven brilliantly tipped a Mackie header over the bar to ensure Rabs remained two in front.

The match ended on a sour note when in stoppage time McMenamin and Jordan Leydon challenged for a loose ball, then clashed off the ball. Confrontation then ensued with players from both sides joining in and when calm was eventually restored, referee Dickinson sent both players off, as they trooped off.

Deas made remarks to the whistler and was also sent off for a second yellow card.