THE Gordon Brodie era for Rhu Amateurs’ Caledonian League squad is well under way – and despite defeat in the new man’s first home match in charge, the squad showed signs that they’re up for turning around a winless run that stretches back to September.

After defeats away to Finnart and Doune Castle in his first two matches in the hotseat, Brodie led his team out on home turf on Saturday for the first time.

Brodie’s wife Laura and the couple’s two younger children, Blair and Ruairi (above, inset), were among the spectators as Rhu faced league leaders St Joseph’s – but the hosts and their boss found it a no less challenging afternoon as the visitors eased to a 3-0 win to maintain their two-point advantage at the top of the First Division standings.

This Saturday, January 29, Rhu’s Caley League squad are back on the road, this time with a journey to Bannockburn to take on Milton.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Rhu's Caledonian League squadRhu's Caledonian League squad

Posting on the club’s Facebook page, a club spokesperson said: “With the work rate, commitment and effort being shown by the current squad, everyone is up for the challenge of turning improved performances into results.”

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MEANWHILE, Rhu’s Greater Glasgow team slumped to a disappointing 4-0 defeat away to mid-table Cambria on Saturday.

Geraint Meader returned at centre half after serving a one game suspension and Alex Rennie started in centre midfield, but Rhu were unable to find any rhythm early on and found themselves pressed back from the off. 

Cambria, by contrast, showed greater desire and energy, and combined with superior movement and ball retention the early signs were ominous for Rhu - though no clear cut chances were created in the opening exchanges.

The hosts did, though, take the lead on 15 minutes when a disputed free kick on the right was whipped into the Rhu penalty area and bundled in from six yards – a slightly fortuitous finish but an almost undefendable set piece.

Rhu tried to fight their way back into the contest but struggled to make any headway against a resolute Cambria defence; a speculative curling shot from Dougie Black and a Ryan Jones free kick did provide some work for the home keeper but an equaliser would have been against the run of play.

Cambria’s right winger was causing trouble down Rhu’s left flank and just before the half hour mark he was able to exploit a through ball played in behind the Rhu defence to slot past Gemmell and double his team’s advantage. 

Worse was to follow for the Rhu men as a third goal was conceded shortly before the interval: a cross field pass set Cambria’s lively right winger free and he outpaced his marker before cutting the ball back to an onrushing teammate who had the relatively simple task of side footing in from close range.

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The Rhu management team used the interval to make two changes introducing Caldwell and Maule to the action and changing to a more aggressive formation to try and work their way back into the game.

The changes helped stem the flow of Cambria attacks, though Rhu continued to struggle to make any opportunities of their own. Ten minutes into the second period Cambria missed a glaring chance from a back post header where it looked easier to score than.

Rhu were dealt a serious blow when Ross Jeffrey went down off the ball having twisted his knee trying to make a quick turn and run. Having used up their available subs Rhu were left to see out the final 20 minutes with 10 men.

Matters didn’t improve as with the advantage of an extra man Cambria won a series of corners. From one of these they scored their fourth when another fine delivery was dispatched with a clinical front post header.

Rhu suffered another injury setback when skipper Danny Johns, who had had a fine game despite the scoreline, was forced off with an ankle knock reducing the Ardenconnel men to nine for the last 10 minutes. To their credit the nine men battled to the final whistle and prevented the home side from adding to the score.

After showing signs of improvement in recent weeks this was a disappointing display from Rhu compounded by the injuries to Jeffrey and Johns which look likely to deprive Rhu of their services for a crucial relegation battle at home to Westerlands this Saturday, January 29. Kick-off is at 2pm at the DCF Park.

Squad: Gemmell, Johns, McConnell, Meader, McKell, Dods, Rennie, Livingstone, Derek, Jeffrey, Jones, Griffiths, Caldwell, Maule.