Clydebank 1 – Largs Thistle 1

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BANKIES remain ten points adrift of league leaders Largs Thistle following their 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Mark Burbidge’s first half header gave Clydebank the lead, but Alan Gilbride’s equaliser ten minutes after the restart ensured it ended honours even at Holm Park.

Manager Budgie McGhie made two changes to the side that successfully dumped Premier opponents Kirkintilloch Rob Roy out of the West of Scotland Cup on Wednesday evening, with Calum Gow and Joel Kasubandi replacing Stevie Young and the suspended Phil Barclay.

It was a lively start to the third against first clash, and the visitors had the ball in the net within the opening two minutes. Theesel stalwart James Marks beat Bankies goalkeeper Josh Lumsden, but the raised flag of assistant referee Donnie MacKinnon saw the goal ruled out for offside.

Bankies went in search of the opener, and found it midway through the first half. Good work from lone striker Joel Kasubandi saw him dispossess defender Creag Little, before laying the ball off to Robbie Halliday. Halliday’s subsequent cross was inch perfect for Mark Burbidge, who duly nodded Bankies in front.

Clydebank took confidence from taking the lead, and could’ve had a second moments later when Kasubandi’s header was gathered by Largs goalkeeper Ross Lundy.

At the other end, Kevin Struthers and Marks combined, with the latter scuffing a shot off the inside of the post, with Lumsden on hand to smother the resulting rebound.

Ten minutes into the second half, Largs levelled. Alan Muir’s corner from the left was punched into the air by Lumsden, and Gilbride was on hand to bury the ball high into the net at the second attempt after the young stopper spilled his initial effort.

Lumsden, who has kept ten clean sheets this season, was soon to atone for his earlier error with a goal saving block. Struthers once again fed Marks and, through on goal, Lumsden rushed out to block with his feet.

Twelve minutes minutes from time, Bankies had strong claims for a penalty waved away. A bursting run down the left channel from substitute Jordan Shelvey saw the ball strike the hand of Largs player/manager Bryan Slavin. Much to the dismay of the Clydebank bench, referee Graham Grainger was unmoved.

Bankies continued to press for the winner, and wasted several gilt edged chances in doing so. Alan Vezza’s mazy run saw him evade three defenders, before squaring the ball to Shelvey who shot agonisingly wide.

With minutes remaining, Clydebank squandered the biggest chance of the match. Mark Burbidge latched on to a ball over the top from Nicky Little, and beat both Lundy and Slavin to the ball. With Little and Stevie Young free in the middle of the box, Burbidge opted to shoot from a narrow angle, and the ball hit the side netting. That was the last action of the game, as the final whistle sounded and the points were shared.

It was a case of two points dropped for Clydebank heading into a heavily congested fixture period, commencing with an away trip to Blantyre on Monday night. Shotts are visitors to Holm Park on Wednesday evening, before we take on Auchinleck Talbot at Beechwood on Saturday.

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