RHU Amateurs are still searching for their first win of the new year after a 6-0 loss at home to Westerlands in the Caledonian League on Saturday – though the match was much closer than the final score suggests.

Rhu were looking to build on their encouraging performance in the previous week's match against league leaders East Kilbride YM, but after some early pressure the hoses suffered a blow in the fifth minute when a poor pass from the right gave Darren Monteith a clear run on goal, and he slotted past keeper William Brown to put the visitors one up.

The home side pressed in search of an equaliser and in the eighth minute James Burns had a good chance to level, but his first shot was blocked and he blasted the rebound high over the bar.

Kyle Sharkey was also put through after a clever run as the chances kept coming for the hosts, but he was unable to find the target.

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Brown produced a terrific double save to keep Rhu in the match before a controversial moment in the 30th minute, when Sharkey went down after being caught by an elbow.

The referee stopped the game and Kyle had to go off to be treated, and while he was on the sidelines Westerlands, who had won the previous encounter between the sides 4-1 at Garscube in November, added a second when Rhu lost possession on the left, allowing Ryan McGregor to run through and skip past one defender before finishing well.

Nathan Teague came on in place of Sharkey, who suffered an eye injury as a result of the elbow clash, but Rhu kept pushing forward and two more half chances fell to the hosts – first Burns saw his shot fail to find the target, before Paddy Scullion blasted wide.

Despite the home team's pressure, they were undone again by a moment of poor play down the right, with Jack Halley seizing possession for Westerlands and crossing for Ewan Dempster to score the visitors' third from a tight angle.

Rhu had most of the play early in the second half in spite of the 3-0 scoreline, but once again they paid a heavy price for poor defending down the right, which this time left Michael Chan unmarked to net Westerlands' fourth with an acrobatic overhead kick.

READ MORE: Rhu lose out to Westerlands after second-half goal blitz

Rhu continued to work hard and to create chances, and during a 20-minute spell in which the hosts were well on top, chances fell to Adam Sharkey, whose shot was blocked by a defender's desperate lunge, and then to Teague, who shot just wide of target.

Skipper Scott Leishman also came close to finding the net, but Westerlands were much more clinical in front of goal, and the visitors added a fifth through McGregor, who finished well despite suspicions of offside.

Westerlands' keeper produced two brilliant saves to deny first Brown and then Sharkey, but Rhu's search for even a consolation goal was to end in disappointment – and the visitors completed their tally late on when a clear push inside the box went unpunished and the ball fell to Jamie Kerr to round off the scoring.

Team: William Brown, Stuart Milne, Thomas Connolly, Jack Gorman, Gary Stillwell, Paddy Scullion, Scott Leishman, Adam Sharkey, James burns, Kyle Sharkey. Subs: Shaun Laird, Kyrian McVey, Nathan Teague.

This Saturday, January 26, Rhu play their first away fixture of 2019 when they travel to face a Stirling University side currently lying second from bottom in the table.