Pre-Season Friendly Programme

The club have arranged the following friendlies.

We have been invited to the Kilbirnie Ladeside Tournament over Saturday 15th. July and Sunday 16th.July the four clubs taking part are the hosts Kilbirnie, Rutherglen Glencairn , Senor club Stranraer and ourselves.

Saturday 22nd. July our annual fixture against Abbey Vale for the Tommy Jamieson Memorial Trophy k.o.2pm. It is our turn to travel to Abbey Vale bus details at a later date.

Wednesday 26th. July home to Premier league runners up Kirkintilloch Rob Roy k.o. 7.30pm

Saturday 29th. July a trip doon to Ayr to play Whittlets Vics k.o.2pm travel details later.

Any  further friendlies will be posted here.

 

 

Neilston 3 – Cambuslang Rangers 4

Thistle were minutes away from being champions with the score 3 each Cambuslang were awarded a penalty in the 2nd. minute of injury time which they duly netted  Straight from the restart the referee then blew for fulltime so Thistle lost out on the title on goal difference. Still been a great season for everyone associated with the club and to get back to Premier set up after an absence of seven was a great achievement for the staff ,players, committee and supporters . Lets hope we can push on next season and reach the super premier . With the real possibility of league reorganisation coming in at the end of next season the top six of the premier first would automatically be promoted to the top league.

The club would like to thank all our sponsors  for their financial support and hope they will continue to assist the club.

Hard work starts now in preparation for next season.

Season 2016/2017 Player Awards

This seasons awards ceremony will be held in the clubhouse on Saturday 10th. June with the presentations being completed in time for everyone to watch the Scotland v England clash from Hampden kick off 5pm. Their will be an Indian buffet during the game. All supporters are welcome to attend.  Lets hope we are also celebrating being champions should Cambuslang not beat Neilston. Irrespective of this result it has been a magnificent season and our sincere thanks go to Dunky, Tam’ John Ross and the players. Some interesting trips for us next season.

Larkhall Thistle 2 St Roch’s 1 – 13th May 2017

Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v St Roch’s
Central League First Division

 

 

Thistle manager Dunky Sinclair went into the biggest game of his time at the Jags with three changes from the win at Lesmahagow. Scott Nicholl was suspended and his driving runs to the 18 yard line and diagonal passes would be a miss after a good game last week. Brian Jack dropped to the bench with Mark McKeever and back came Andy Brown, Hugh Kelly and Gary McStay.

 

A bit of early rain wasn’t enough to put the game in any doubt and the conditions added to what was already going to be a powdrekeg fixture. The rivalry between the teams goes way back in time and with both on 51 points, the winner was assured of promotion to the Super League.

 

The Thistle committee had worked with the police to ensure that the game went off without a hitch and did a great job in organising and segregating the two sets of supporters and the game was played in a safe if somewhat hostile atmosphere, although the noise from both sides made it more of an occasion.

 

The teams have been well matched all season with both having great spells and mini-slumps and it’s often said than on occasions like this it comes down to who wants it most and handles the occasion the best. In the first half that was without question Thistle.

 

The Jags came roaring out of the blocks and tore at the St Roch’s goal from the off. The pressure paid off after just nine minutes when Larkhall took the lead with what was in the circumstances, probably the goal of the season.

 

 

Larkhall won a free kick on the half way line and Canning swept the ball wide to the right edge of the box, Josh Payne knocked a first-time ball back across the area and Graham Gracie took over. He flicked the ball up with his left foot then right foot past the last defender before volleying it in with his left, a truly brilliant effort.

 

The goal settled Thistle and they had a great chance to go further ahead eight minutes later with a fine team move, Kelly played the ball out to Gracie wide on the left and he took it down the wing before delivering a perfect ball into the six yard area for McStay to slide in and connect with, unfortunately the St Roch’s keeper Stark made a great save to deny what looked like a certain goal.

 


Thistle continued to dominate the first half with Kelly and Ryan Innes winning the battles in midfield and Gracie giving the St Roch’s defence all sorts of problems up front. The visitors only had one significant effort on goal in the first half, a shot from just outside the box that Thomson got down well to block.

 

Half time and Thistle well in control although with just a slender advantage.

 

Half Time: Larkhall Thistle 1 St Roch’s 0

 

The second half started well for Thistle and they went 2-0 up within two minutes of the restart.

 

Liam Mushett broke up a St Roch’s attack and launched the ball up the park and the second ball was picked up by Kelly. He played it forward towards Gracie and the St Roch’s defender made a calamatous attempt at heading it away, totally misjudging the flight of the ball. It broke to Gracie and he swept it to the right into the path of the overlapping Canning who took one touch and slotted it low into the corner.

 

 

With the second goal, St Roch’s realised it was now all or nothing and they had to go for it. To their credit that is exactly what the did, they fought with everything they had for the remainder of the game to try and get the draw that they needed. Spurred on by their combative number 8 Daw who sailed close to the wind on several occasions but managed to escape without the referee taking action. He also took the constant barracking from the home fans in good part, smiling and waving five fingers for some reason.

 

Apart from letting off the Daw, the referee was more than lenient towards the visiting keeper who could have seen a straight red for what was an assault on Gracie, but he capped even that with a penalty award for St Roch’s after 57 minutes. The striker was heading away from goal and posed no threat at all, Thomson in fairness didn’t need to lunge in but there didn’t seem to be much contact and the striker took a couple of steps before deciding to go down and try his luck.

 

 

The penalty was converted by Daw and sparked a good spell for the visitors.

 

The pressure was now all towards Jags keeper Thomson but the defence held firm, Andy Brown and Niall Reynolds coping well and Liam Mushett winning every ball in the middle in the air. The situation got even more nervous for Thistle when they brought on substitute Musa, inexplicably left out as he is their top scorer and looked by far their most dangerous player.

 

Matty Clarke came on in the second half for Gary McStay who wasn’t having any luck up front but Clarke’s main duties were defensive and he did well covering on the left side in particular.

 

For all their pressure, St Roch’s didn’t really create many real chances, the best of them was a great run down the goal line from Musa, Thomson did well to block his dinked shot at the end of it and send it out for a corner. It wasn’t all one way though and Thistle threatened on the break with efforts from David Reid and Gracie.

 

Full time came and Thistle had held out for the win that the home supporters would say they deserved, while the St Roch’s fans would argue they deserved a point. There was nothing much between the sides as there hasn’t been all season but one of them had to lose out.

 

Full Time: Larkhall Thistle 2 St Roch’s 1

 

Scorers: Gracie, Canning

 

Website Man of the Match: No failures today and although Liam Mushett was again fantastic in a great defensive display, Graham Gracie just edges him out with his work rate and brilliant goal.

 

Larkhall Thistle:
S.Thomson; Brown, Mushett, Reynolds; Payne, Innes (Jack 90), Canning, Kelly, Reid (McKeever 86); McStay, (Clarke 45), Gracie. Subs: D.Thomson (GK), Stewart, Rutherford

 

Booked: Innes, Gracie, Thomson, Canning

 

*** Video taking a while to upload, expected about 7pm

 

Larkhall Thistle v St Rochs

 

This is the final league game of the season for the Jags in what is basically a game they must win which would secure promotion to the super 1st league and after discussions with the police the following measures will be put in place.

Strict segregation will be in place for this game with visiting supporters being housed on the dugout side of the ground with entry through the gate on that side of the ground. Visiting supporters will be directed along the lane between the houses and the park to reach this gate.

Home supporters will be housed in the enclosure with entry through normal gates.

The clubhouse and the shop will be closed to all supporters.

Lets make sure this vital match for both teams is remembered for all the right reasons and is in keeping with what we expect from junior football.

Lesmahagow 0 Larkhall Thistle 2 – 6th May 2017

Craighead Park, Lesmahagow
Lesmahagow v Larkhall Thistle
Central League First Division

 

Thistle made their way to local rivals Gow with all three promotion contenders level on 51 points at the top of the table and knowing that nothing less than a win would be enough to keep them in with a chance of going up.

 

The Jags made four changes from last week’s starting line-up at Neilston, with David Thomson, Andy Brown, Hugh Kelly and Garry McStay being replaced by Stewart Thomson, Liam Mushett, Mark Canning and Mark McKeever.

 

Lesmahagow have been struggling at the wrong end of the table this season but staged an amazing recovery earlier in the campaign at Gasworks Park to come back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 so this was never going to be a pushover.

 

So it proved in a goalless first half that was lacking in any real quality from either side and equally any sort of real chances being created. In contrast to a lot of games this season where Thistle have either scored or conceded early on, it was 20 minutes into the game before the Jags produced their first real scoring chance when Graham Gracie was put through on the keeper but showed the keeper too much of the ball and allowed him time to block.

 

 

Shooting downhill towards the pavillion end in the first half, Thistle had a lot of the ball in their own third but their attacking efforts all came from the full backs punting long balls forward. Mark Canning was in the holding role in midfield and saw a bit of the ball but his forward passes were off the mark and the game passed by the other central midfielders Jack and Innes.

 

Lesmahagow were even less effective going forward and it took them 35 minutes to muster their first shot on goal, an effort that went high and wide. Larkhall countered that by coming closest to scoring when Payne delivered a ball from the left and Mushett’s close-range flick went just past the post.

 

Just on the half-time whistle Brian Jack nearly put Thistle ahead from the best move of the first half. Canning passed down the right channel to Gracie who took the ball forward and crossed for Jacko who had burst a gut to get himself in front of the goal but couldn’t get a full foot on it and the Gow keeper managed to block and scramble it clear.

 

Half Time: Lesmahagow 0 Larkhall Thistle 0

 

It was a more determined looking Larkhall side that came out for the seond half after a half-time reminder of what was at stake. Twelve minutes into the half they nearly went ahead but the Gow defender managed to beat Gracie to head it clear from almost on the goal line.

 

The play was all uphill towards the Lesmahagow goal by now as the search went on for the first goal but the turning point came midway through the half with a double substitution. Garry McStay and Matty Clarke came on to replace Mark McKeever and Brian Jack and it was the kind of substitutions managers dream of as Thistle took the lead less than a minute later.

 

David Reid has been hot and cold in the last few weeks but he’s always capable of producing a telling moment and after a one-two with Scott Nicholl he fired in a tremendous cross from the left, Ryan Innes threw himself and sent a diving header past the keeper.

 

 

Three minutes later the referee gave a foul for Gracie’s challenge on the Gow keeper although there looked to be no real offence committed. The ball broke and Gracie put it in the net but the goal was disallowed.

 

The goal was just what Thistle needed and they settled, dominating the rest of the game. The second goal came with five minutes to go and it was no more than Thistle deserved. McStay – who once again looked a cut above in the time he was on the park – took a quick throw on the right and set off Josh Payne, his cross for once found Gracie in space in the middle and he got a strong header on it which the keeper did very well to palm up into the air. Ryan Innes reacted first and stole in to nod the ball into the net from two yards.

 

Hugh kelly came on for Reid for the last few minutes of the game.

 

In the other games, Cambuslang had a good 4-0 win at Rossvale but St Roch’s went down 4-2 to the league’s form team Wishaw, leaving the picture a bit more clear going into the last fixtures. Thistle play St Roch’s next week and are three points ahead but one goal worse off so a win would guarantee promotion but a draw would mean any win for St Roch’s in their final fixture would see them finish above Thistle.

 

Cambuslang’s vastly superior goal difference means a win in their last game would make them champions, a draw would guarantee that they were promoted but a loss could see them miss out altogether depending on how Thistle and St Roch’s finish.

 

 

Full Time: Lesmahagow 0 Larkhall Thistle 2

 

Website man of the match: Solid defensive display all round with Liam Mushett justifying his selection with a towering performance at the heart of it.

 

Larkhall Thistle:
S. Thomson; Reynolds, Mushett, Nicholl; Canning; Payne, Jack (McStay 68), Canning, Innes, Reid (Kelly 86); McKeever (Clarke 68), Gracie. Subs: Stewart, Brown, D. Thomson

 

Lesmahagow:

Scorers: Innes (2)

Booked: Reid