Rangers take another step towards Super

Johnstone Burgh 1 Kilsyth Rangers 2

Stagecoach West of Scotland League, Central District First Division

ANOTHER step on the way back to the Super League successfully negotiated.

It sounds close, but in reality it was almost a walk in the park for Rangers. Apart from a late rally by Burgh when they pulled one back, they were never in the hunt. With Neilston and St. Anthony’s both dropping three points on Saturday, it has become virtually a two horse race for the title, Thorniewood still hanging on in there.

An early goal once again gave Rangers the start they were looking for. Joe Barclay put in a ball which keeper Docherty could only knock out and Flannery, following up, netted from six yards.

It was really all Kilsyth for most of the first half. They were producing some very nice football and Docherty was kept busy, making some amends for his earlier mistake. At the other end, Duke had only one save of any note to make.

Approaching half-time it seemed Rangers would only have one goal to show for all their undoubted superiority, but with just three minutes to go Flannery was again involved in a three-way tussle for the ball with the keeper and a defender. He came out tops with a brilliantly taken goal, perhaps one of the best he has scored all season. He was booked for overly exhuberant celebrations but left the field at half-time to a standing ovation from the Kilsyth support.

Rangers took up where they had left off, and it seemed only a matter of time before they went further ahead.

Burgh had made changes though and had brought on Ross, who was closely marking Flannery. Ten minutes in and they were involved in a bit of pushing and shoving when the Burgh man had fouled the Kilsyth striker. The referee ran up and showed Flannery another yellow for his part in the scuffle, and it was no more than that, followed by the mandatory red, whilst ignoring the initial foul by the Burgh player.

Nevertheless Rangers continued to dominate the game to the extent that it was only going into the last quarter that the home side gained their first corner of the half.

Rangers had made several changes as the half progressed, bringing on Dolan, then McAteer and Paul Hamilton, but as the game entered the final five minutes Burgh’s extra man was beginning to have an effect and they scrambled in a goal with about four minutes remaining.

Rangers went straight upfield from the restart and Hamilton was fouled in the penalty box as he was ready to shoot. A penalty it was and Burgh were also down to ten men. McAteer stepped up to the mark, but his attempt from the spot was well saved by Docherty, who had had a good game after his early wobble. Rangers stay clear leaders with five games remaining and the winning post almost in sight.

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

JOHNSTONE BURGH: Docherty, Miller, Hendren, Perrie, Hamilton, Lennon, McGarry, Chalmers, Brolly, Kelly and Dinnem. Subs: Wozencroft, Smith, Ross, Yule, Gallacher, Marr and Wilson.

Game this Saturday is at home to Neilston, kick-off 2pm. No midweek fixture.