Rossvale make top flight bow at Cumnock after remarkable rise

Rossvale are ready for their first ever season as a top-tier club (pic by HT Photography)
Rossvale are ready for their first ever season as a top-tier club (pic by HT Photography)

Rossvale kick off their first-ever season in junior football's top flight on Saturday at Cumnock.

It's been a remarkable rise for the club who have only been in the junior ranks for eight years and just two years ago were playing in the West Region's third tier.

But two successive promotions under Gordon Moffat - previously assistant manager at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy under Stewart Maxwell - have propelled Vale into the Premiership alongside Auchinbleck Talbot, Pollok and other giants of the junior game.

However success has come at a price as the Bishopbriggs club have opted to play their home games at Benburb's New Tinto Park on the south side of Glasgow because they felt facilities at Huntershill weren't up to the standards required for the Premiership.

Rossvale warmed for the league campaign with three Sectional League Cup matches which produced a win, a defeat and a draw.

They opened with a comfortable 4-1 win at Maryhill, although they had to back from going a goal down on the half-hour when a wayward shot hit a Rossvale hand and Gerry Dobbs expertly slotted away the penalty.

But Vale levelled before the break as Liam McGonigle’s cross was turned home from 12 yards by new signing Del McNab.

After the break McGonigle waltzed into the box, beating several players on the way, and rounded the keeper to put Rossvale ahead.

Bradley met a McGonigle corner to score Rossvale's third and Chriz Zok completed the scoring from the penalty spot after McGonigle was fouled.

Vale then took on Glasgow giants Pollok at New Tinto Park and were given a taste of what they can expect in the Premiership.

They lost 2-0, but given Pollok rammed in 18 goals in their other two group matches, Vale could be pleased at giving a good account of themselves in a tight game.

Espin put Pollok ahead after 24 minutes from a McCann cross, but the visitors had to wait until the final minute for Dallas to score a second.

In between Rossvale played some fine football, dominating for long spells and bringing out some fine saves from Pollok keeper Lumsden.

With Pollok certain to win the group, Rossvale's final group match against Shettleston gave boss Moffat the chance to rest players ahead of the trip to Cumnock.

The match ended 1-1 - Matt Niven's opener for Vale cancelled out by a last-minute equaliser from Connelly - with Shettleston winning the penalty shootout 5-4 to take the bonus point.