KIlwinning 2 Kilsyth 2: Rangers promotion bid falls at final hurdle

Scott Davidson's double wasn't enough for Kilsyth at in their promotion play-off at Kilwinning
Scott Davidson's double wasn't enough for Kilsyth at in their promotion play-off at Kilwinning

Kilsyth Rangers will have to settle for First Division football again next season after their promotion dreams were killed off by Kilwinning Rangers.

A 2-2 draw in the promotion play-off second leg at Kilwinning wasn’t enough to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg at Duncansfield and send Keith Hogg’s side up to the Premier Division at the expense of their Ayrshire opponents.

It was a disappointment for the large contingent of Kilsyth fans who saw their side, already a goal down, make a terrible start and concede another goal with less than a minute gone.

After a move down the left a ball into the goalmouth was forced in by Findlay Frye, to the delight of the home fans.

To their credit Kilsyth made immediate efforts to get back into the game and Scott Davidson forced a corner kick from which a shot came off the crossbar.

There was plenty of action and in 23 minutes Davidson made ground down the left, cut in and fired a low shot into the far corner of the net to pull Kilsyth right back into the match.

For most of the remainder of the first half Kilwinning were feeling the pressure with Davidson being their main tormentor, his move to play in a wide left position was a revelation with Nicky Prentice not being available on the night to play in that slot.

It was all square on the night come half-time but it was looking like the tie was still wide open at this point.

However less than two minutes into the second period there was another shocker for Kilsyth.

Sam McCloskey put in a speculative shot and although initially Andy Carlin seemed to have it covered, the ball somehow escaped his grasp and slipped through to end up in the net.

Kilwinning were once again two goals to the good over the two legs and Kilsyth once again faced an uphill struggle.

But before too long they once again pulled themselves back into the match.

Totally out of the blue Davidson tried a long lob, or shot, from at least 40 yards out which took a bounce over Adam Strain, who was well out of his area and ended up in the net.

It was game on once more with Kilsyth looking for the goal which would give them the chance of a penalty shoot-out.

The home team were not averse to employing some time wasting tactics, particularly their goalkeeper.

The last chance for the goal which would have taken the game to a penalty shoot-out came with a Mark Tyrrell free-kick well into added time, but Strain did well to stop it on the line.

Then it was all over, amid great celebrations from the home players, management and support and disappointment for Kilsyth fans who had seen their side lead the way in the First Division for a large part of the season only to come up agonisingly short.