10-man Rutherglen Glencairn controversially lost out 2-1 in their West of Scotland Football League Premier Division survival bid against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.
A huge blow was dealt to Willie Harvey’s team in the opening quarter when Tam Miller was deemed to have handled the ball inside his own box and got sent off.
Robbie Young missed the subsequent penalty for Rob Roy as Mick O’Byrne missed a decent chance with a header in their attempts to pull ahead.
Luke Kelly then stepped up with a headed chance of his own and put Stewart Maxwell’s side into the lead.
Defeat eventually beckoned for the Lanarkshire side during their final home match of the season, as a dubious second penalty was awarded to the away side and Craig Scott finished with aplomb.
With six minutes to go, Fraser Malcolm notched a goal low into the bottom corner but it wasn’t enough despite a late red card for Rob Roy’s Kerr McCormick.
Still sitting 13th in the division and one spot above safety, Glens’ relegation fate is now out of their hands with games spare for 14th and 15th placed Largs Thistle and Glenafton holding games in hand.
Glencairn knew how important this match was and defend Keirin Coleman’s pre-match assessment that it was a do or die clash wasn’t far wrong.
They headed into the game one place above the seven-team relegation zone and with Harvey targeting a points tally of at least 52 for safety, moving off 49 ahead of a final day contest with Pollok was key.
A dangerous challenge awaited them though against a team who had won three of their last four to boost their own survival hopes, sitting 11th after an outstanding 1-0 away win at Auchinleck Talbot
After a scrappy start with no chances for either side, the game turned dramatically on 12 minutes, when a Rob Roy shot hit Miller. Referee Ross Clark deemed it a handball despite furious protests by the home players.
Young stepped up and dragged his effort wide in a big missed opportunity for the away side and it was the only real chance of a dull first half that was largely played in midfield
Jack Gordon on 32 minutes had a chance that it was easily dealt with by Glencairn goalkeeper Matt McGinley, but that was all that really happened in an attacking sense.
Young tried to make up for his penalty miss on 42 minutes but put the ball into the car park, which just about summed up the first 45, but it was a resolute display by Glens.
Quality-wise, things could surely only get better and it almost did on 49 minutes for Glencairn, when O’Byrne’s header at goal was well-saved by goalkeeper Chris Smith.
That was soon punished as a Young free-kick into the box found Kelly all alone in the box and it was all too easy for him to head into the bottom corner.
Callum Scott went close a few minutes later with a powerful effort as all of a sudden the game fully turned in the visitors’ favour.
Young then had it in the net at long last but his effort was ruled out for offside. His team from him were beginning to turn the screw while home boss Harvey’s were on the backfoot.
Scott then somehow missed a chance as the clock approached 65 minutes and it flashed across McGinley’s goal line with a second goal looking to be beckoning.
The game was taken away from Rutherglen 14 minutes from time when referee Clark gave what can only be described as a dubious penalty which Scott finished calmly.
Malcolm got one back four minutes from time as a frantic finish ensued and McCormick was sent off for the away side, but it wasn’t enough as a damaging defeat for Rutherglen’s survival hopes was inflicted.
Rutherglen Glencairn XI: McGinley; Coleman, Shields, O’Byrne, Miller, Schoneville; Pearson, Lone, Mitchell; Cummins, McIlveen.
Subs: Malcolm, Leitch, trialist, Chrystal, Burns, McLellan.
Rob Roy XI: Smith, Walker, Kelly, Henry, Bell, Cairns, Gold, Scott, Young, McPherson, Gordon.
Subs: Gilday, McCormick, Scott, Truesdale, Crumlish, Bryson, McCallister.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.