Rossvale sunk by late winner at league leaders Kilwinning Rangers

Rossvale manager Dave Gormley (pic: HT Photography/@dibsy_)
Rossvale manager Dave Gormley (pic: HT Photography/@dibsy_)

Rossvale went down to a narrow loss at the hands of the Premiership leaders in their opening game of 2020 at Kilwinning on Saturday.

Vale began the day, and the decade, in fifth place and started well with Joe Slattery and Fraser Malcolm sending efforts over the bar.

Kilwinning were trying to play high to catch Vale offside, but on the half hour Gary Giffin was played in on goal with a pass over the defence and brought out a good save from Adam Strain.

Kilwinning only tested Jamie Donnelly right on the stroke of half time, Carlo Monti cutting the ball back to Ben Lewis whose effort brought out a good diving save from the Vale keeper.

After the break Donnelly comfortably saved a Darren Frye effort before Anton McDowell, just back from long injury, made a good run down the right and found Liam McGonigle whose curling shot was well saved by Strain down at his near post.

As Vale picked up their game Gary McGrath headed Slattery a perfect pass but again his effort went past.

Kilwinning came close when Frye hit the crossbar in one of their few attacks, set up by more good work from Monti, and McCloskey then fired an excellent ball across the Vale box but no Rangers player got on the end of it, much to the visitors’ relief.

The break through finally came with 10 minutes to go when Lewis got the ball at edge of box, turned his man and placed his shot out of Donnelly’s reach.

Soon after he burst through the Vale defence again and laid the ball to Monti who could only hit Donnelly from six yards out.

In the end Vale lost their first game of the new year, although a draw may have been a fairer result; and for a team who has just stepped up to the top league coming away from league leaders thinking they should have got something out of it shows how big a mark they have made.

Next Saturday Rossvale are away again, to a Rutherglen Glencairn side they played at Tinto Park two weeks ago.