Five star Bankies close the gap with Troon win

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Jordan Shelvey scored his first Clydebank hat-trick as Bankies blew Troon away 5-1 on Saturday.

Del Hepburn and Steven Higgins were also on target as Bankies closed the gap on league leaders Hurlford to eight points.

Bankies boss Kieran McAnespie named an unchanged side from the team that beat Kinnoull last week. U19s duo Connor Hamilton and Steven Collins were involved with the first time as Chris Black and Nicky Little remained on the sidelines through injury.

As they have so often this season, Bankies took the lead inside the opening six minutes. Liam Rowan knocked the ball down for Del Hepburn just outside the box, and the winger took a touch before curling a right-footed shot high into the top corner.

Bankies surged forward in numbers and Higgins managed to flick the ball past his man and towards goal, but shot narrowly wide of the post as Clydebank got off to a promising start.

Bankies were in full control of proceedings on an immaculate surface and added a second ten minutes after the opener. McClair’s pass split the Troon backline, and Jordan Shelvey coolly nutmegged goalkeeper Miller to double Clydebank’s lead.

And McAnespie’s men could’ve been out of sight before the break when Higgins clipped the woodwork with an audacious lob that would’ve been a goal of the season contender had it crept under Miller’s crossbar.

As the first half ticked down, Troon had the best opportunity to pull a goal back. Christian Nade flew past Declan Fitzptrick and dragged the ball back to Martin at the back post, but Bankies stopper Marc Waters threw himself across his goal to prevent what looked like a certain goal 

Seven minutes after the restart, Bankies patience was rewarded as they all but killed the game with a third. Good link up play saw McClair and Higgins combine, with the latter spotting the run of Shelvey wide on the right. He brushed off his man before slotting the ball home across the goalkeeper into the far corner.

But within seconds of entering the fray, substitute Dylan Pooler pulled a goal back for the hosts. A well timed run saw him beat the offside trap before shooting past Waters to give Troon a glimmer of hope.

Bankies though, held firm and restored their three goal advantage inside 90 seconds. Higgins picked up the ball on the left side of the box and took a touch before firing low across Miller for his first goal since August.

Two minutes later and Bankies completed their rout with number five. Troon defenders Dean Keenan and Andy Strachan dithered on the ball, and Shelvey was alert to nip in, steal the ball and beatdown on goal. The striker found the bottom corner to register his first career treble. 

The result means Bankies have surpassed last year’s points tally already and now face Glasgow Perthshire in the first round of the West of Scotland Cup. Kick off at Lochburn Park next Saturday is 2pm.