CLYDEBANK put in their best performance of the season to sweep aside Cumnock 3-0 and keep their promotions dreams alive on Saturday.
Goals from Joel Kasubandi, Stevie Young and Nicky Little’s twentieth of the season saw Bankies comfortably leave Lugar with all three points.
Ravaged by injuries with a mere 14 fit players, Bankies were forced into an early substitution when Andy Paterson tweaked his hamstring, and had to be replaced at left back by forward Ryan Holms.
With half an hour played, Bankies took the lead. A surging run down the left channel from Burbidge saw him cut inside Cumnock full back Keiren Wood, playing the ball across goal where Joel Kasubandi was on hand to squeeze the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Graeme Shepherd to open the scoring.
Soon after, Cumnock had vociferous appeals for a penalty kick waved away. From Wood’s shot, the ball struck the arm of Mark Burbidge from point blank range, but referee Will Wilson was unmoved.
After the restart, Bankies burst out of the traps and began to exert their authority on the game. Mark Burbidge, operating on either flank, was instrumental and should’ve got a goal of his own – instead lashing his effort into the side netting.
The home side were then awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Nicky Little was deemed to have halted a promising Cumnock attack. Josh Watt’s effort up and over the wall went a whisker wide as Cumnock looked to draw level.
With ten minutes of the second half played, Bankies doubled their advantage. Yet another bursting run down the left saw Burbidge cut the ball back to Stevie Young, who easily struck the ball past Shepherd as Bankies took full control of proceedings at Rosebank Park.
The visitors had chances aplenty to extend the two goal lead. A sweeping counter attack saw captain Phil Barclay drive out of midfield, passing to Kasubandi whose quick feet created space for Shelvey, but his shot was wide of Shepherd’s right hand post.
Midway through the second half, Bankies all but sealed three points with their third goal of the afternoon. Burbidge was, for the third time, the provider – his corner was met by the head of Nicky Little who glanced in his twentieth goal of the season.
A late Largs comeback means they cannot now be caught, with Cumnock and Kilwinning required win to all their remaining matches to deny Bankies a top three finish should they take all three points from their final league game, at home to Rutherglen Glencairn on Wednesday evening. Kick off at Holm Park is 7:30pm, and U12s go free.