Kilsyth Rangers beaten by Arthurlie in opening league match

Kilsyth manager Kevin McGoldrick
Kilsyth manager Kevin McGoldrick

Kilsyth Rangers went down 3-2 in their opening Championship fixture of the season at Arthurlie on Saturday, reports John Ferguson.

It wasn’t the start Rangers were hoping for in their league campaign but Arthurlie always provide stiff opposition and, aided by a couple of penalty awards, they just got the verdict on the day.

Otherwise it was a very decent performance and results will follow if they maintain this form.

The match saw a pretty even start with both teams testing one another and a few chances coming at both ends.

But just before half-time John Higgins went off injured and was replaced by Martin who was barely on the field a minute when he was unlucky enough to be in the way of a shot from an Arthurlie striker.

It struck his upper arm and a penalty was given which was pretty harsh as he could do nothing to avoid it. Jamie Docherty put it past David Tait and Arthurlie were ahead.

Worse was to come though, Jon Tully made a clumsy challenge to provide a second opportunity for Docherty, and again he did the business to give the home side a two-goal half-time advantage.

Rangers came out looking for a quick goal to get back into the game and it came along in just four minutes, Nicky Prentice putting in a good ball for Neil to head in.

Rangers were denied a penalty just a couple of minutes later but, then from a free-kick McGoldrick did get the ball in the net and Rangers were back on level terms. It was a real fight now between two evenly matched sides and both had spells of superiority.

It looked to be heading for a draw but eventually Arthurlie pressure paid off when Young managed to force the ball over the line after a bit of a scramble in the Rangers goalmouth.

A very late award of a free-kick to Rangers gave them a chance to once again get back to equality but McGoldrick could not repeat his very fine effort of a few days previously and it sailed over the bar.

Beaten, but certainly not disgraced, Rangers must begin to pick up points in their next couple of matches, at home to Gartcairn tonight (Wednesday) and away to Neilston next Saturday.

Kilsyth then host local rivals Kirkintilloch Rob Roy in the last 16 of the Sectional League Cup at Duncansfield next Monday.