BANKIES got 2016 off to a flyer with a 2-0 win over Greenock Juniors earlier today.
First half goals from Mark Burbidge and recent signing Jamie Lyden secured all three points for Clydebank, who now trail league leaders Largs Thistle by just three points.
Bankies boss Budgie McGhie made one change from the side that draw 0-0 with Yoker at the end of last year, with newly-wed Joel Kasubandi replacing Stevie Young as the solitary striker.
On a heavy Holm Park surface, it took fifteen minutes for there to be any notable chances. Graham Mort released Kasubandi, but the striker delayed his shot, allowing the recovering ‘Nock defender to deflect it wide for a corner.
Soon after, Bankies, who haven’t been in competitive action for four weeks, opened the scoring. Wonderful vision from Nicky Little saw the creative midfielder slip a through ball into Burbidge, who nicked it round the keeper before slotting into an empty net for Bankies 700th competitive goal in the junior leagues.
Less than a minute later, Burbidge had the opportunity to double his and Bankies’ advantage, but his right footed drive was deflected wide for a corner kick.
Greenock almost got themselves back into the game, but were to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag. First, Simon McBride’s free kick was touched in by Chris Brown, only for it to be ruled offside. Then, from another McBride set piece, Barry McLaughlin’s thumping header went wide of Lumsden’s right hand post.
Seven minutes before the break, Bankies doubled their lead. Burbidge’s corner was flicked on by Little and found Lyden at the back post, with the defender slamming home his first goal in Clydebank colours.
On the stroke of half time, Mort had the chance to all but seal the game but his effort went high over the bar as Bankies went into the break two goals to the good.
A fairly uneventful second half followed, with only really Nicky Little’s skewed shot causing the Greenock defence any concerns. Tensions threatened to boil over in what was a highly competitive game, but Bankies were to hold on for their eight clean sheet of the season.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Cammy Haddow – a delayed transfer from Harmony Row – made his competitive debut for the club, having impressed during recent friendlies with Beith and Wishaw,
Next up for Bankies is a trip to New Southcroft Park to take on Rutherglen Glencairn, and kick off is 1:45pm. Stay tuned for bus times and details.
Clydebank: Lumsden, MacKinnon, Paterson, Lyden, O’Neill, Vezza, Burbidge, Mort (Haddow, 74), Kasubandi (Young, 78), Little, Holms (Shelvey, 81).
Listen to manager Budgie McGhie’s post match interview below:
Photos courtesy of Stevie Doogan.