Kilsyth 3 Irvine 1: Rangers book place in promotion play-off

Irvine keeper George Scott denies Nicky Prentice, but Rangers got the win they needed.
Irvine keeper George Scott denies Nicky Prentice, but Rangers got the win they needed.

Kilsyth Rangers got the win they needed on Saturday to ensure they will be involved in this week's promotion play-off for a place in the top flight.

Their 3-1 win over Irvine Vics at Duncansfield guaranteed a third place finish in the Super League First Division for Keith Hogg's side who now face Kilwinning Rangers, third bottom of the Premier Division, in a two-legged decider.

There as still an outside chance that Kilsyth could have taken one of the top two automatic places, but Girvan's 4-1 win at Yoker ensured they will go up with Clydebank.

Irvine Vics were already guaranteed to go down before this final league fixture so it should have been a relatively straightforward task for Rangers to take all three points - and that it is how it looked in the first 15 minutes of this game.

Shots were raining in on the Vics keeper, although with most either just off target, or hitting the woodwork, he really did not have too many actual saves to make.

It was 20 minutes in before Irvine had a shot on goal; a free-kick award gave Ryan Singleton the chance but his effort went wide.

Another one five minutes later and this time Andy Carlin had to tip it past for a corner.

Fans were starting to become nervous as the half progressed and there was still no scoring, but suddenly, and out of the blue, Ian Diack crashed a great 30-yard drive past George Scott to give Rangers a half-time lead.

The heatwave had broken with heavy rain starting just before the interval but it had eased by the time the teams came out for the second half.

Rangers were reduced to 10 men when Scott Upton was red carded for a rash tackle not long into the half.

However a very well taken free-kick by Mark Tyrrell doubled Rangers advantage soon after and eased the tension.

Rangers were well in control of the game and made a couple of substitutions with Andy Davidson and Franny Kelly replacing Scott Davidson and Gary Livingstone.

Soon afterwards a scrambled goal from Paul McBride, when the Vics keeper failed to hold a shot, put the game out of the visitors' reach.

Although Irvine substitute Kieran Hollis did grab a consolation goal quite late in the game, it was job done for the home side.

The play-off with Kilwinning now awaits with the first leg at Duncansfield on Wednesday and the return in Ayrshire on Friday.