RHU Amateurs’ Greater Glasgow Premier League team suffered last-gasp agony as a bizarre late goal saw them fall to a 3-2 home defeat against their St Patrick’s FP counterparts last Saturday.

Illness, injury and work commitments meant boss Sam Gemmell had to make six changes to the team that had lost 7-0 to St Pat’s Central Scottish AFL team in the Scottish Amateur Cup seven days previously – but the team gave him the response he was looking for, with Ross Jeffrey dispatching the ball into the corner of the net after a good pass from Paul Cavana with just two minutes on the clock.

With their tails up, Rhu were playing some fine football, but they couldn’t break down a solid St Pat’s defence and had to take shots from outside the box that flew wide of the target more often than not.

The visitors managed to level through a soft goal when the ball was misplaced in midfield and the resulting shot caught keeper Craig Gemmell slightly off his line and dipped in underneath the crossbar.

And the equaliser spurred on the Dumbarton team, who took the lead just before the break when a dangerous ball into the box was controlled well and fired past Gemmell.

The second half was about as entertaining a 45 minutes as the spectators will have seen for a while, with both teams attacking at every opportunity; Rhu almost found themselves further behind after a misplaced pass back to Gemmell was intercepted, but the St Pat’s striker got himself in a fankle and the chance slipped away.

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Rhu continued to press but couldn’t put the visitors’ young keeper under any real pressure, although a goalbound shot from Sibley was well saved low to the shot-stopper’s right.

And the hosts’ pressure eventually paid off when the ball fell to the unmarked Ryan Jones six yards out and he lashed it home to bring the sides level.

But as the clock ticked into the last few minutes, and with a draw looming, disaster struck for Rhu: a through ball looked to be rolling straight into Gemmell’s arms, but a late tackle by a St Pat’s forward saw the ball ricochet off both players, before Maule’s attempted clearance struck the backside of the visiting attacker and rolled agonisingly over the line.

Cue joy among the away team, and consternation among the hosts, who stood in disbelief that the foul on the keeper hadn’t been picked up by the match official.

Coach Gemmell said afterwards: “This was a far better performance from the previous week, with some really good football played.

“The lack of pressure put on the young St Pat’s keeper was a tad disappointing. However you make your own luck in this game and right now it’s the bad variety we seem to turn over.”

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Squad: Gemmell, McKee, Griffiths, Meader, Jones, Maule, McKell, Paterson, Thomas, Sibley, Cavana, Jeffrey, Caldwell, Dods,

Meanwhile, Rhu’s Caledonian League team enjoyed a fine 3-0 win away to Rothesay Brandane in trying circumstances, with both Stewart Fraser and Stewart Maule unavailable due to Covid.

With Craig Straton in charge, assisted by club captain Gordon Brodie, Callum Smith scored twice and Shaun Wallace once to secure all three points for the visitors.

Keeper William Brown’s superb penalty save was the icing on the cake as Rhu bounced back in style after their own Scottish Cup disappointment of the previous week.

Straton said afterwards: “The boys were up against it, and Rothesay is never an easy place to go to, but they did themselves proud.

“Each and every one of them played as if it was their last game. If I had a check list then every box would be filled with a tick. From the first man to the 14th they listened and they performed.”

This Saturday, September 18, Rhu’s Caledonian League squad welcome EK Harp to the DCF Park in the first round of the West of Scotland Cup – kick-off is at 2pm.

Rhu’s GGPAFL team were given a bye into round two of the competition.