Rutherglen Glencairn injury problems leave boss puzzled after Clydebank pain

Rutherglen Glencairn boss Willie Harvey commended his players for their efforts at Clydebank – but a 97th minute Bankies leveler left him rejected.

Glens were facing off against a side fighting for the title in the West of Scotland Football League Premier Division and were 1-0 down inside eight minutes to a Liam McGonigle goal.

Harry Mitchell’s double and Thomas Miller’s effort handed Harvey’s side three goals but two free-kicks ensured they weren’t to claim a crucial three points.

The first Clydebank set-piece was given for a controversial foul after referee Gary Hanvidge spotted Ross McPherson tumbling to the ground.

Matt Niven scored a header from the cross and more Rutherglen misery was to come.

Paul Byrne was sent off for a last-man challenge as they ran through on goal, with Clydebank winning a free-kick soon after near the dugouts, launching forward for Joe Slattery to net a last-gasp equalizer.

Harvey, who’s side sits 13th in the 20-team league, said: “It’s really hard to take. I can’t say anything bad about my boys.

“When we lost the goal early, I thought we might be in for a long day but we then get in front. Where did seven minutes of injury time come from? I was looking at my watch thinking it was done.

“I can’t fault our players. We worked really hard and we looked a lot more like ourselves. They aren’t fourth in the league for nothing, Clydebank are a decent team.

“The first half I thought Clydebank edged it, then we had better of it in the second half. So it was even, but we are disappointed not to be taking the three points.

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“It doesn’t make it easy. If we want to stay up we have to take points off the teams round about us. We have Glenafton on Saturday and it doesn’t get any easier, with Auchinleck Talbot soon after. It has become that hectic.”

Harvey’s men are back in action tonight, taking on Conference A leaders Arthurlie in the second round of the West of Scotland League Cup.

With mounting injuries, it becomes a side-mission for Glencairn ahead of a trip to Glenafton Athletic on Saturday.

I added: “The cup is a side issue. I need to be really careful what players we use. I have a lot of players out injured and if I pick up more on Wednesday, I might not have a team for Saturday.

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“That’s how bad it is. I may need to bring in under-21s again and I could end up playing with half a team of them on Saturday. That’s where we are at just now.

“They are winning their league and that’s all you need to say about them. It tells you the quality of the players but it isn’t the time of the season to be throwing a batch of them in.

“You may want to bleed in one or two of them but we are needing to bring four or five of them.

“You are putting them up against teams with experienced players. That’s a big, big difference.

“But we will see where we are and cross those bridges when we come to them.

“The cup takes us away from the league but where we are going to go with it I don’t know.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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