Gers looking to Super League

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Kilsyth Rangers 0 Ashfield Juniors 1

D&D Magazines Central League Cup, second round

WITH this defeat by Ashfield, Rangers’ involvement in cup competitions is ended for this season, leaving them free to concentrate on the league games and possible promotion back into the Super League First Division.

To achieve this though they will have to pick up on the performances of the past couple of weeks, their scoring touch seems to have deserted them after a good spell of form which has taken them to joint top place in the table. This has to start on Saturday at Port Glasgow.

Rangers kicked-off facing a stiff breeze and against a strong looking Ashfield side which has registered a series of good wins over them in the past year or so. They did start well, Joe Barclay put a very good ball across goal in the first minute, no takers though. It was fairly even in the opening quarter although neither side was carving out real chances.

Ashfield began to pose a threat thereafter with Hall, in the middle, getting past defenders on several occasions and Duke had to show his mettle to keep a clean sheet. Rangers chances for the remainder of the first half were few but they had done well to keep the bigger, stronger Ashfield out till that point, possibly with the wind behind them in the second half they could improve on that.

In the first minute after the restart they had another good chance, but McPeake managed to blast the ball over from the six yard line. Then just ten minutes in a mix-up between Doyle and Duke left Hall in possession and making for goal with the keeper behind him. The big keeper grabbed his jersey and held him back; the penalty kick award and red card for Duke was inevitable. Tait came on to take his place with Kelly making way for the reserve keeper. He made a valiant effort to save McShane’s kick from the spot but it was well taken to give Ashfield the lead.

The visitors were well in control of the game now and looked like adding to their tally, but Rangers kept themselves in the game with good defending and Tait proving that he was a capable substitute between the sticks. Rangers replaced Joe Barclay with McAteer and he helped pull them back into the game with some good runs into the Ashfield box.

The visitors also made a couple of changes but had dropped out of the game despite their numerical advantage and the last ten minutes were all Kilsyth as they made a great effort to grab an equaliser and take the tie to a penalty shoot-out decider. It was not to be though. Ashfield held on, making it four out of four, over the past couple of years. The bogey will have to be overcome some other time.

KILSYTH RANGERS: Duke, Waters, Carr, Doyle, Hogg, D. Barclay, Livingstone, McPeake, J. Barclay, Flannery, Kelly. Subs: McAteer, McLellan, Dolan, Hamilton, Tait.

ASHFIELD JUNIORS: Prior, O’Boyle, Mangan, Brand, Smith, McShane, Chalmers, Fraser, Hall, Ferguson, Martin. Subs: Gault, Wright, McNeil, Caurley, McCann, Passmore, Woods.

This Saturday Kilsyth are away to Port Glasgow in a league match, kick-off 2pm.

NOTE: For those intending to travel, the game will be played at Battery Park, Greenock, on the seafront, just before entering Gourock.