Bankies lose on penalties

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A SPIRITED Bankies side lost out on a West of Scotland Cup semi final place with a loss on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday.

Mark Shankland’s opener was cancelled out by birthday boy Alan Vezza’s diving header, as the ten men of Clydebank, who had Joel Kasubandi sent off, took the tie to penalties. Graham Mort, Stevie Young and Nicky Little were all unsuccessful from the spot, as Talbot set up a semi final tie against Cumnock.

On the immaculate Beechwood surface, Bankies created the first chance of the game within the opening two minutes. Robbie Halliday’s cross from the right found Johnny Allan, but the midfielder’s right footed effort was off target.

Bankies continued to dominate and, on the half hour mark, had the ball in the net. Good hold up play from Kasubandi saw him feed Allan, who shot across goal. Talbot goalkeeper Andy Leishman got a fingertip on the shot, with Ryan Holms lurking at the back post to slam the ball into the net, but the raised flag of the assistant referee saw it ruled out for offside.

On the stroke of half time, only a wonder save from Josh Lumsden ensured the sides went in goalless. Halliday tripped Steven Wilson around 25 yards out, with Mark Shankland forcing Lumsden into a flying, fingertip save.

Within two minutes of the restart, Talbot were ahead. A long ball over the top was flicked on by David Gillies, with Calum Gow only knocking the ball into the path of Shankland, who rounded Lumsden and slotted in the opener.

Then, two cautions in six minutes saw Kasubandi dismissed by referee Chris Graham. First cautioned for petulantly punching the ball away, then for fouling Talbot full back James Latta and Bankies were reduced to ten men.

Despite the man disadvantage, it was the visitors who equalised. Nicky Little’s free kick was met by the diving head of Alan Vezza as Bankies got back on level terms.

As Talbot piled on the pressure, Lumsden put in a man of the match performance to thwart their efforts. First, he was on hand to push away Shankland’s near post effort, before tipping Hyslop’s driven shot over the bar. Then, came a pivotal double save. The young stopper spread himself well to block Love’s initial effort, before tipping the resulting rebound on to the crossbar.

In the last action of normal time, Lumsden was involved again, pushing Martin McGoldrick’s header over the bar as the game ended 1-1, taking it straight to a penalty shootout.

Diving low to his right, Lumsden palmed away Shankland’s driven penalty to give Clydebank the advantage. However Graham Mort’s penalty was saved, Stevie Young dragged his wide of the post and Nicky Little rattled the bar as Talbot scored all three to secure a semi final place.

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