Kilsyth Rangers.................... 1
Irvine Meadow..................... 1
(Meadow won 5-3 pens)
Evening Times Trophy, first round
RANGERS ended their season with a visit from Premier Division winners, Irvine Meadow, and although holding them to a draw over the 90 minutes went out on the penalty shoot-out.
The supposed gulf in class was hardly evident, Rangers more than holding their own, and but for keeper Micheal Dukes having to go off midway through the second half, might well have caused a major upset.
It was a dream start for Rangers. With only three minutes played, McAteer laid the ball off to Kelly, whose shot from eight yards into the roof of the net beat Hewitt.
Meadow hit back with a series of attacks and Fleming was close with a shot just outside the post. With the wind behind them though, Rangers were well on the game and had several good attempts as well.
In the 18th minute though a defensive mistake left Barr in the clear in front of goal and he made no mistake with his finish.
A few minutes later Rangers came close to restoring their lead when McPeake had a header just over.
Barr was very much the main danger to Rangers although ex-Kilsyth man, Micheal Hughes was also prominent up front.
Near half-time Hewitt had to make a fine save from a Gary Livingstone long range effort. All square at the interval was a fair reflection of the game so far.
Now with the strong breeze behind them it might be expected that Meadow would dominate the game, but it hardly proved to be the case. They did have much more of the possesion but Rangers’ defence was solid and shots on goal were very few.
Arouind 20 minutes into the second half Joe Barclay came on for Flannery, who had been very subdued up till this point. Then Rangers were dealt a blow when Dukes had to go off with a recurrance of an injury he has been carrying for some time. Without a keeper on the subs’ bench, Phil Dolan had to pull on the jersey and take his place between the posts. Meadow put on a couple of subs as well, their manager clearly unhappy with his teams performance.
Although the visitors continued to have most of the pressure they had few real scoring chances, and Dolan did make one very fine save when he was tested.
As time wore on it was becoming increasingly likely that it might require penalties to separate the teams, and so it transpired, although without a regular keepeer in place it was always going to be to Rangers’ disadvantage. The first three attempts by both sides were successfully put away. On the fourth round, Meadow scored, but McPeake’s effort was saved by Hewitt. A fifth successful penalty from Meadow ensured their progress to the next stage of the competition, and although beaten, Rangers were a very long way from being disgraced, and can look forward with some confidence to life in the Super League first division.
KILSYTH RANGERS: Duke, Waters, Carr, Doyle, Hogg, Hamilton, Livingstone, McPeake, McAteer, Flannery and Kelly. Subs: Barclay, Dolan and Nimmo.
IRVINE MEADOW: Hewitt, Ryan, Dillon, McDonald, Robertson, Fleming, Swift, McGeown, Barr, Hughes and McGinty. Subs: Adams, Quinn, Milliken and Wardrope.
Paddy Flannery was awarded Rangers’ player of the year award at Saturday evenings function in repect of his goal-scoring achievements this season.