CLYDEBANK’S hopes of automatic promotions were dealt a blow on Saturday, going down 4-1 to league leaders Kilsyth Rangers.
A double from experience striker Ian Diack and goals from Nicky Prentice and Paul McBride saw the visitors extend their lead on the Bankies at the top of the table to seven points.
Bankies boss Budgie McGhie named an unchanged side for the match, also choosing to stick with the 3-4-3 formation that brought a comfortable win against Cumbernauld United the previous week.
Midway through the first half, Kilsyth opened the scoring. Latching on to a clever ball over the top, Prentice fired the ball past Bankies stopper Josh Lumsden at the near post.
Robbie Halliday had the only reach chance of note in the first half, forcing a great save from Rangers stopper Andy Carlin after a good interchange of passing with Mark Burbidge.
Just minutes later, Kilsyth doubled their lead. McBride got the break of the ball and proceeded to waltz through the Bankies back line, sending Lumsden the wrong way as Kilsyth began to build momentum.
McGhie rang the changes at the interval, replacing Halliday with Cammy Haddow and reverting to a 4-3-3 system, with Jamie Lyden dropping to right back.
However it was to go from bad to worse as Kilsyth doubled their lead within a minute of the restart. Former Bankie Scott Davidson let fly from twenty yards, with Lumsden unable to hold the shot and Diack finishing well from a tight angle.
Six minutes later there was to be at least some respite as Bankies pulled a goal back. Lone striker Stevie Young capitalised on a mistake from Davidson, and taking the ball round Carlin and shooting into the bottom corner.
On the hour mark, Kilsyth restored their three cushion. Ricky Prentice once again caused havoc down the left flank, whipping a great cross in for experienced, but unmarked, striker Ian Diack to stroke the ball home.
Clydebank failed to carve out any further opportunities as the final match of 2016 petered out, and Bankies now head into a winter break – with no games scheduled for either Christmas Eve or Hogmanay – and will hope their form in 2017 will revive their promotion hopes.