Rangers go top of table after 10 men fight back

Nicky Prentice was on target for Kilsyth at Cumnock.
Nicky Prentice was on target for Kilsyth at Cumnock.

Kilsyth Rangers enjoyed a great 3-1 win at Cumnock, despite going a goal down early in the game and then being reduced to 10 men after only half an hour.

A great second half fightback earned them the three points, at what is always a difficult venue to get a result, and now they sit joint top of the table with Clydebank and Largs.

There was a fairly even start to the match on what was a perfect afternoon for football; a couple of decent attempts by Kilsyth’s Paul McBride but neither on target.

Quinn was booked early on for Cumnock and they began to pose a threat after the opening 10 minutes or so with Ronald only stopped from getting through by a very well timed tackle by Reid.

In 17 minutes they stepped up the pressure and, with Kilsyth defenders drawn out of position, Ronald was in the right spot to fire a shot past Carlin for the opening goal.

Rangers battled back and had several shots on goal, none of which seriously troubled Johnstone in the home goal.

But just after the half-hour mark a foul on a Cumnock player out near the touchline resulted in a minor spat, Easton made a remark to the referee which resulted in him immediately being shown a red card and Rangers were up against it, a goal and a man down.

The referee was receiving some choice advice from the travelling fans but it made no difference and by half-time it looked as if Rangers might do well to come away with even one point from the game.

The second half opened with Cumnock looking to put the game beyond Rangers’ reach and for the first 20 minutes or so they kept up the pressure, forcing quite a few corners and making a claim for a penalty which was dismissed.

Resolute defending with Waters, Reid and Hamilton all doing great work, meant that not many shots actually got through to Carlin though.

Then, in 66 minutes, Prentice was fouled just inside the penalty box and Rangers had a chance to level matters.

Joe Barclay made a good job with the spot kick and it was game on with Rangers growing in confidence.

Andreoni came on for Paul McBride and Cumnock also made changes.

With less than 15 minutes remaining Prentice made another great run into the box and fired in a shot which was blocked by the keeper but came back out to him, his second effort was right on target and almost unbelievaably Rangers had taken the lead.

Cumnock attempted to get back into it but when Barclay was again fouled as he made a run into the box it was another penalty and again he made no mistake from the spot to put Rangers in a clear lead with about eight minutes remaining.

Cumnock’s Watt picked up two bookings near the end and it was 10 apiece but too late in the game to alter anything. Rangers had gained a great win and have full popints from their two opening games.

Kilsyth; Carlin, Waters, K McBride, Reid, Hamilton, McGhee, Prentice, Hepburn, Barclay, P McBride, Easton. Subs: Hrenak, Welsh, Nash, Andreoni, Stewart.

Cumnock; Johnstone, Lundie, Crawford, Wood, Murphy, Esplin, Downs, Mongomerie, Ronald, Quinn, Watt. Subs: Lyndsay, Scott, Malone, McIvor, Baker.

Kilsyth’s next game is at home to Shotts Bon Accord on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.