Kilwinning Rangers 1 – Clydebank 1

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BATTLING Bankies remain in the hunt for promotion following a 1-1 draw away to Kilwinning Rangers on Saturday.

Ian Cashmore’s strike a minute before half time put Buffs in front, but Mark Burbidge’s ninth goal of the season ensured Clydebank left Abbey Park with a share of the spoils.

Bankies boss Budgie McGhie made two changes to the side that beat Blantyre, with goalkeeper Josh Lumsden recovering from illness and Jordan Shelvey returning from injury to replace Robert Tiropoulos and Robbie Halliday respectively.

After a hectic fixture schedule, McGhie was also forced into a number of tactical changes that saw Andy Paterson deployed in the centre of defence, while striker Joel Kasubandi was preferred on the right channel as Stevie Young led the line up front.

After a fairly even opening period, Bankies started to take control and could’ve broken the deadlock with ten minutes of the first half remaining. Good work from Jordan Shelvey down the left saw him flick the ball over the advancing Buffs full back, but his shot was wide of the target.

A minute before the interval, it was Buffs who opened the scoring. A shot from the left edge of the area was rebounded into the path of  Cashmore, who tucked his shot under Lumsden to give the home side the lead at the break.

Straight after the restart – Kilwinning had a strong penalty appeal waved away. Scorer Cashmore went down under a challenge from Andy Paterson, with referee Stephen Graham cautioning the striker for simulation as Bankies breathed a sigh of relief.

Five minutes later, Bankies were level. A weaving run from Burbidge saw the winger play a neat one-two with Young, before running through on goal and prodding the goal under Buffs stopper Adam Strain to restore parity as Bankies notched their eightieth goal of the season.

Midway through the second half, Bankies had the chance to add to that tally. A strong run from substitute Ryan Holms saw him cross for Nicky Little, but the top scorer’s diving header lacked power and direction.

Promotion rivals Largs and Cumnock bagged three points, meaning Bankies currently sit second ahead of next Saturday’s penultimate league game with Cumnock.

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