Kilsyth Rangers still on high despite losing top spot

Kilsyth Rangers have made their best start to a season for years
Kilsyth Rangers have made their best start to a season for years

Kilsyth Rangers secured a fourth straight with a 3-2 success at Kilwinning Rangers on Saturday.

But the victory wasn’t enough to keep them top of the Super League First Division table as a two-goal win for Clydebank at Shotts gave them the edge on goal difference.

But despite losing top spot Kilsyth have still enjoyed their best start for many years.

It was never going to be an easy game for Kilsyth at Kilwinning although they do have a good record there in recent times.

Major improvements had taken place at Abbey Park since Kilsyth last visited and with the recent fine weather holding up everything was in place for a good afternoon’s entertainment.

And it turned out to be a pulsating match which was full of good football, with Kilsyth coming from behind and deservedly gaining the victory late in the game with another stunning strike from Nicky Prentice.

Both teams went all out for an early goal and Boylan had the first real chance for the home side but Andy Carlin made the first of many fine stops.

Prentice came close at the other end and Agnew was posing a few problems in the Kilsyth defence for the home side.

The best chance so far fell to Boylan again but he missed what was really an open goal.

Kilsyth responded with some fine attacking play and Ross Hepburn had a shot go just over.

A goal had to come and it was Joe Barclay who put Rangers ahead after 23 minutes with a strike from about eight yards.

Kilwinning came back with some furious attacking play and just nine minutes later they were level when Hanvey bundled the ball over the line from close in.

A minute later they took the lead, Lewis converting a penalty after David Waters had collided with a Kilwinning player in the box.

They kept up the pressure on Kilsyth and had more good chances; Carlin made another good save from Colman and a Hanvey header came off the crossbar.

But just before the interval Kilsyth were back on level terms when Prentice put over a good corner for Hepburn to hit it home.

It was a great first half with everything the fans could have asked for.

Within a few minutes of the restart Boylan missed yet another sitter and the Kilwinning manager pulled him off to be replaced by Stewart.

The tempo of the game had barely eased and Kilwinning were down to 10 men when Colman was shown a red card for a two footed tackle on Hepburn.

They were still having slightly the better of the play despite this setback and made another substitution soon after when Kemp replaced Hanvey.

But Kilsyth came back and Barclay had a good effort well saved and then missed a great chance when he slipped in front of goal.

Changes were coming thick and fast with Kilwinning making a third, Cashmore replacing Agnew, and Nash and Welsh on for Kilsyth.

However Kilsyth were making their extra man felt and late in the game Prenctice hit a stunning strike from 22 yards high into the net to provide a great finish to a fine performance.

Kilsyth: Carlin, Waters, K McBride, Reid, McLaren, McGee, Pearson, Hepburn, Barclay, Stewart, Prentice. Subs: Hrenak, Hughes, Welsh, Nash, Storey.