Rob Roy produced their worst display of the season on Saturday as they went down 3-1 to a far more determined Arthurlie side.
As Arthurlie seized the early initiative David Barr cleared a header off the Rob Roy line and Craig Palmer hammered a free-kick into Rabs defensive wall.
Rabs struggled to create much in the early stages and it was no surprise when the Barrhead side took an 18th minute lead, the unmarked Gavin Rushford heading an Eddie McTernan corner past ’keeper Jordan Brown.
Worse was to follow for Rabs three minutes later when Chris Mackie capitalised on a Paul Finnigan defensive error to advance into the penalty box where he was downed by Brown before he could fire the ball into the vacant net.
The referee had no choice but to award a penalty kick and order off the Rabs goalie.
Substitute ’keeper Jon Murdoch took over between the sticks, Lee Gallacher the outfield player sacrificed, and Murdoch duly pushed Gary Carrol’s spot-kick onto the upright and away to safety.
Steven Aitken had a chance for Rabs following a Chris Duff free-kick but the striker was unable to steer the ball into the net from close range.
A McTernan drive flashed narrowly wide as Rabs held on to go in with only a one goal deficit.
But six minutes after the break Arthurlie extended their advantage. Barr was adjudged to have elbowed Mackie in a challenge, the referee pointed to the spot and former Rabs frontman Mackie slammed the ball high into Murdoch’s net.
Rabs pulled a goal back in the 56th minute when Barr headed the ball back into the mix to Reece Pearson who stabbed the ball past Michael White.
Carroll saw a shot cannon off Murdoch’s right hand post before Mackie and McTernan sent efforts over the bar. However the home side added to their tally in the 82nd minute when Rushford headed in a Palmer corner at the far post.
Rabs were awarded a penalty when Aitken was fouled in the box by Gair who was red carded but Duff smashed the penalty against the bar.
In the final minute Rabs’ Barr became the third player to be sent off, for a foul on McGregor.