Rossvale clear league leaders after win over Blantyre

Liam McGonigle was on target for Rossvale against Blantyre Vics (pic by Helen Templeton/@dibsy_)
Liam McGonigle was on target for Rossvale against Blantyre Vics (pic by Helen Templeton/@dibsy_)

Central Division 1 leaders Rossvale took a step closer to promotion with a tremendous second half performance against a very good Blantyre Vics team at Huntershill on Saturday.

The Bishopbriggs side came from behind to win 4-2 and got a further boost when nearest challengers Benburb were dropping points in a 1-1 draw at East Kilbride.

The day didn’t start well for Vale as Blantyre went ahead in the first minute. They won a corner in their first attack and from the resulting kick Alan Murdoch found himself unmarked in the box and had the easiest of headers to score the opening goal.

The game went from end to end after this with the strong wind wasting the game but in the 22nd minute the ‘Vale equalised when Liam McGonigle ran through the middle and found Stephen McGladrigan who beat two men, cut into the box and fired the ball past the advancing keeper Scott Law.

More good work between Gary Giffin and McGonigle found the latter’s shot going narrowly.

But just before half-time Blantyre regained the lead when Ross Caldwell chased and caught a ball down at the corner flag that looked as if it was going out for a goal kick.

He then cut in and beat two Vale defenders on the bye-line before crossing for Chris Walker to bullet a header past the helpless Jamie Donnelly.

This brought to a close a first half in which Blantyre were possibly the better of the two teams.

But after their half-time team talk Vale came out and went straight into the attack, looking more like themselves, chasing every ball which they struggled to do in first half.

It resulted in them winning a corner in the 51st minute which Giffin took and he found Liam Crichton whose strong header looped over everyone into the back of the net to make the sides even again.

From the kick-off Blantyre went straight down the right and Donnelly did well to punch the ball clear in a crowded goal area.

Rossvale, for the first time in the game, then went ahead when Donnelly’s goal kick found Crichton just inside the Blantyre half and his header was met by McGonigle who hit the ball on the drop and left the keeper no chance of saving it as it flew past him into the top corner.

Vale kept up the pressure and Giffin was sent through on goal, his speed beating the last man, but Law managed to divert his attempt with his feet and the ball was cleared upfield.

However Rossvale attacked again and as the ball was played in from the wing the keeper took out Giffin in his attempt to get to it.

The referee had no option but to point to the penalty spot and although skipper Jamie Hunter’s effort was saved by Law he managed to somehow squeeze home the rebound.

Vale were now in complete command and almost went further ahead when Giffin’s cross into the box got stuck between Walker’s feet. But he somehow recovered on the line to clear the ball upfield and there was no more scoring

Next Saturday Rossvale get a rest from league business as they play Lesmahagow at Huntershill in the Central League Cup, kick-off 2pm.

The league campaign resumes on Wednesday, April 11, away to East Kilbride Thistle, kick-off 6.30pm.