RHU Amateurs’ search for a first Greater Glasgow Premier AFL win of the season goes on after a 3-1 loss to in-form Erskine on Saturday.

Not for the first time this season, the Rhu squad was hit with late call offs which forced the coaching staff having to change plans and tactics for the rematch against an Erskine side which had won easily on the sides’ previous meeting just seven days before.

Heavy overnight rain forced a change of venue to the all-weather surface at Hermitage Academy, but the late change of venue didn’t faze Rhu, who looked up for the challenge in the opening stages, with an early foray down the left wing by the impressive Caldwell setting Jones up for an early strike, but his shot cannoned of the centre half and rolled clear.

But the hosts were hit by a hammer blow when Erskine opened the scoring with a dubious penalty: a long, high ball was challenged in the air by Conroy and Dods, with the Erskine centre-forward falling to the ground after the challenge and the referee, to the hosts’ amazement, pointing to the spot.

Undeterred, Rhu took the game to Erskine with Jones and Walker up front coming close on a couple of occasions.

Caldwell once gain slipped his marker and the desperate tackle on him by the defender should have been punished by a red card but the official deemed a yellow card to be sufficient – and from the resulting free kick Paterson had the keeper leaping to his left to palm the ball to safety.

Half time came with the home side well in the game, and the second half was a good contest with goalscoring chances at a premium.

However, just as the Rhu lads were beginning to get a toe hold on the game, they lost a second goal when a cross into the Rhu box was headed back across goal and the arriving Erskine midfielder found himself on his own to head the ball past Hawkes.

McFall was introduced to bring some fresh legs to the team and it was from young Liam that Rhu got back into the game: Paterson slid a pass inside the full back which McFall pursued and took the ball to the byline before knocking it across the face of the goal.

The ball bounced off the arm of an Erskine defender, earning Rhu a penalty of their own which Ryan Jones converted to reduce the deficit.

The hosts pushed forward in search of an equaliser and were putting Erskine under some concerted pressure – but once again as Rhu looked like they were beginning to take control it was the visitors who found the net against the run of play.

A through ball looked as it was being covered by both keeper Hawke and Captain Callum Dods but obviously each thought the other was dealing with it and the Erskine centre took advantage of the mix up to poke the ball into the net.

With time running out Paterson had a long range shot crash off bar with the keeper well beaten, leaving the hosts to rue their missed opportunities – and leaving the Rhu coaching staff disappointed with the result, but definitely not with the team’s performance.

Coach Sam Gemmell said: “Given that once again we were hit with a lack of players to make up a full squad and then late call offs on the day the boys did very well.

“Erskine would have expected an easy game considering their victory over a depleted team the previous week but the lads involved worked their socks off.

“However the main problem is consistency, not regarding the game displays but more to do with the fact that since the season started back in August every game has a had a different starting eleven.

“You can train as hard as you want through the week but if you can’t manage to put the same team out every week then the players don’t get used to each other’s strengths and weaknesses and you can’t find the consistency you want.

“It’s not just an issue with the Glasgow team as the same affliction has affected the Caley side this season.

“It’s up to us as coaches to try and put out the strongest teams we can but it would be nice if the playing roster would stay the same for two or three weeks.”

Rhu’s Caledonian League team had a free week last Saturday.

This Saturday, March 19, Rhu’s Caledonian League squad play host to Rothesay Brandane at the DCF Park, while the club’s Greater Glasgow side head to the south side of Glasgow to face Eastwood Parkmount A.

Both of this Saturday’s matches kick off at 2pm.