Bankies fall to defeat at league leaders Hurlford


Clydebank fell to defeat as Hurlford extended their lead at the top of the league to 11 points on Saturday.

Goals from Jordan Shelvey and Declan Fitzpatrick weren’t enough as Michael Reilly scored a hat-trick, with solitary strikes from Jack Whittaker and Liam Caddis ensuring all three points. 

Bankies boss Kieran McAnespie made two changes to the side that won at Royal Albert, with Jack McClair and Nicky Little replacing Chris Dooley and Hepburn. Captain Alan Vezza filled in at right back while top scorer Little took his place behind the front two.

It was a disastrous start for the visitors, who lost two goals inside the opening ten minutes. Ryan Caddis’ cross from the right was nodded back across goal and the ball sat up nicely for Reilly, who hooked it past Waters from six yards.

Things went from bad to worse just three minutes later when Hurlford doubled their lead. Calum Watt’s cross – again from the right – was flicked on to Whittaker at the back post who made no mistake from close range.

All hope was not lost though, and Bankies hauled themselves back into proceedings at Blair Park midway though the half. Composed play from Fitzpatrick saw him work the ball to Steven Higgins, who in turn slipped the ball through for Shelvey. The striker burst away from his man and calmly slotted the ball past Ally Brown in the Ford goal.

The hosts should’ve added a third earlier than they did when Reilly outpaced Darroch at the back and drove towards goal, with Waters blocking the well struck effort with his feet as Bankies went in at the break 2-1 down.

But just after the half hour mark, Hurlford restored their two goal cushion. Whittaker sent his free kick deep to the back post and the ball was headed back across goal for Reilly to slide in and grab his second of the game.

McAnespie resorting to make a half time substitution for the third time in four games, with Del Hepburn replacing Jack McClair in left midfield.

With just over an hour played, the Caddis brothers combined as Hurlford extended their lead to four. Ryan cut inside from the left and sent a fizzing shot towards goal, which Waters spilled into the path of Liam to slot home.

Five minutes later, Bankies pulled a goal back. Liam Rowan’s free kick wasn’t cleared by the Ford back line, and defender Declan Fitzpatrick was on hand to place his first Bankies goal beyond Brown from 12 yards.

However less than two minutes later, Bankies conceded a fifth and final goal of the game that was to end any hopes of a comeback. Ryan Caddis curled a right footed strike towards goal, but Waters appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball and tipped the ball straight into the path of Reilly, who duly tapped in for his hat-trick.

Next up for Clydebank is the visit of Beith to Lochburn Park. Kick off next Saturday is 1:45pm.