Rutherglen Glencairn Blacks got off to a great start against Clyde FC SOF with James O’Hara’s second-minute goal putting them on their way to three points and the best possible start in the league.
O’Hara grabbed another and goals from Cayden Wilson and Kian McGinley helped their side to a 4-2 victory over Clyde who, despite goals from Rory Campbell and Joseph Mulhern, never really got firing as they would have liked in the match.
Flying out of the blocks from the opening minute, Glencairn won a corner thanks to O’Hara’s running down the right. Kenzie Lee’s ball into the middle was nodded on by Wilson, then McGinley, before landing at the feet of Joseph Walker who shot over the bar.
It was a sign of things to come though and the trouble was being caused down the right wing again. McGinley’s ball over the top was chased down by O’Hara who elected to shoot early, catching the goalkeeper out and nestling the ball in the bottom corner.
There was constant pressure on the Clyde defence in the early stages, Lucas Whyte making two good blocks to prevent Glencairn attacks, and the second was inevitable. Again, it began with O’Hara making space on the right wing. He passed to Walker who teed up McGinley for a shot that was blocked and the rebound fell to Wilson who placed it neatly in the bottom corner.
It was a deserved lead for Rutherglen but Clyde replied instantly with the perfect response. Straight from kick off they found lone striker Campbell with a through ball one-on-one with Tyler Simpson who made a good save with his legs but Campbell picked up the rebound and slotted home to reduce the deficit.
Walker had a couple of chances to put daylight between the sides again, almost capitalising on a slip at the back but shooting just wide, then running onto a lofted ball from O’Hara but Whyte showed great pace and strength at the back for Clyde to hold him off and allow his goalkeeper Sikander Khan to shepherd the ball back into the box and pick it up.
Inevitably it was O’Hara who got the third for Glencairn. The main outlet down the right wing for everything his side were doing, he sprung to life again to get on the end of another lofted through ball and showed good balance to round the goalkeeper and was composed enough to finish comfortably.
Two goals behind again and once more Clyde responded in the right way. Only a brilliant covering tackle from Corey O’Neill prevented Campbell from getting another - he went to ground but timed it well and won the ball cleanly.
Campbell was Clyde’s best player of the opening 45 minutes but he looked isolated up-front alone and was not receiving enough help from his midfield. He was holding the ball up as best he could and beating his marker but just needed that little bit more support.
Glencairn were good value for their lead at half-time, with an explosive opening 15 minutes where they scored three goals and perhaps should have had more.