Kilsyth Rangers v Larkhall Thistle – 24th. Feb. 2018

Thistle arrived at Duncansfield with a much depleted squad. Hugh Kelly was at a family wedding , Josh Payne and Graham Gracie were injured with Brian Jack on the bench but nowhere near fit to take part and Craig Forbes was still in Milan. On the plus side Matty Clarke was also fit enough for the bench and Liam Mushett returned to the squad after missing last week’s game. Stewart Thomson replaced Johnny Duncan in goal and young Mark Cuthbertson from the U 19’s was one of the substitutes.

The game kicked off in brilliant sunshine but with a real chill in the air. Not a lot of goalmouth action in the early stages with both defences very much on top. Thistle’s first shot on target came from Mark McKeever which was well held by Kane in the home goal. The visitors were next to try their luck but Stewart Thomson comfortably saved from ex Thistle player Alan McFadden . Div. Reid was then booked for something he said to the referee. Stewart Thomson then had another stop from a shot from ex Pollok hitman Diack. Just short of half – time Ryan Innes was rather harshly yellow carded for a tremendous tackle on Davidson when he clearly won the ball with the referee reacting to a squeal from the Kilsyth player.

Half time 0-0.

The home team came out for the second period in determined fashion but the Jags defence well marshalled by Liam Mushett and Andy Brown stood firm. As in the first half not many clear cut chances were being created by either team . The home team took the lead in 63 minutes when Davidson fire home after a headed clearance fell perfectly for him. Andy Brown sustained a knock in the lead up to the goal and was replaced by Declan Doyle with Billy Robb moving in alongside Liam Mushett. Thistle equalised in 76 minutes with ex Kilsyth man Gary McStay netting with a fine header at the front post from a Div. Reid corner. This was no more than Thistle deserved . A couple  of minutes later the hard working goal scorer Gary McStay was replaced by Matty Clarke . In the remaining 15 minutes both teams strived for the winner and Matty Clarke with a bit of luck could have hit the winner but Kane in the home goal smothered Matty’s attempt.

Fulltime Score Kilsyth Rangers 1 – Larkhall Thistle 1

Todays team; Stewart Thomson, Billy Robb, Andy Brown (Declan Doyle) Liam Mushett, Niall Reynolds, Mark McKeever, Mark Canning Ryan Innes, Div, Reid, Gary McStay(Matty Clarke) Jonny McStay

Subs. not used, Johnny Duncan, Mark Cuthbertson, Brian Jack

Once again the players can not be criticised for lack of effort with everyone giving their all.

Difficult to pick a man of the match with Reggie giving his usual all action performance and Gary McStay with his hold up play and distribution along with his goal having a good afternoon but the Man of the Match award today goes to Liam Mushett who had tremendous afternoon at the back dealing with everything Kilsyth threw at him especially in the air.

This result takes us out of the bottom two four points in front of Maryhill from the same number of games played and  on the same number of points as Shettleston with a much better goal difference and 2 games less played. Next Saturday weather permitting we are at Johnstone Burgh in the Central League Cup.

 

 

 

Larkhall Thistle 1 Shettleston 1 – 17th February 2018

Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v Shettleston
McBookie.com Super First Division

 

This was a game that both teams would have felt they needed to win to give themselves a realistic chance of escaping relegation. Before the game Shettleston were sitting in 12th place on 8 points with Thistle a point and place behind them, 13th on 7 points.

 

The Jags had several players missing, Johnny McStay Liam Mushett and Craig Forbes were all working while Matty Clarke has a knee injury and is out for four weeks. Billy Robb made a welcome return to the defence and Josh Payne was restored to the right midfield slot.

 

The first half hour of the game passed off with hardly an incident to report, a scrappy opening with both teams living up to their billing as relegation candidates and not much football being played or chances created.

 

Hugh Kelly replaced Brian Jack in the centre of midfield after just over half an hour and was one of the few Jags success stories on the day with his calmness on the ball and range of passing.

 

 

Shettleston could have taken the lead before the interval when their striker went clean through on goal with just Johnny Duncan to beat but he maybe tried to be too fancy with his finish and flicked it past the outside of the post.

 

Minutes later the Jags also had a chance to go in with a half time advantage but Ryan Innes’s effort from 20 yards hit the post and went past.

 

Half time: Larkhall Thistle 0 Shettleston 0

 

The second half was only two minutes old when Thistle produced their best moment of the game, Niall Reynolds burst down the left side and put in a cross that missed out the keeper and fell to Gary McStay who laid it back to Innes for a tap-in.

 

After the goal the Jags were on top and could have extended their lead when Graham Gracie hit a good free kick that went just past the post and they had a good spell of possession, dominating the play but without creating any more real chances.

 

The game turned on an incident midway through the half when Shettleston felt they should have had a penalty, the ball hit Reynolds on the arm but the referee indicated that he saw the incident as accidental. Needless to say, Shettleston saw it the other way and it only fired them up with a sense of injustice that saw them take control of the game.

 

It only took five minutes for them to get level but the goal itself was a bit of a sore one for Thistle, a deflected shot from the edge of the box that left Duncan flatfooted, hit the post and in contrast to Innes’s earlier effort went in.

 

Thistle hit back with a Gracie dribble that ended with a shot that was well saved, then a penalty shout similar to the one Shettleston claimed for in the first half was also turned down.

 

The last period of the game saw both teams going for the winner that would have given them a massive boost but it was the keepers who were on top, Shettleston’s hobbled off after a clash with Gracie that resulted in what sounded like a very painful injury, best wishes to him for a full recovery. He was replaced by what seemed to be an outfield player but his performance between the sticks for the last 10 minutes was outstanding, one save in particular from a Canning drive that saved a point for his team.

 

Johnny Duncan also had a fine save from a deflected shot that he had to correct himself and go the other way to reach.

 

All in all a draw was probably the right result on the day with neither team really producing enough quality to win the game.

 

Full time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Shettleston 1

 

Larkhall Thistle:
Duncan; Robb, Brown, Reynolds; Canning; Payne, Innes, Jack (Kelly 32), Reid; G McStay, Gracie. Subs: McKeever, Doyle, Thomson (GK)

 

Booked: Innes

 

MoM: Ryan Innes gave everything as usual and was just shaded for man of the match by Billy Robb who was solid at the back and provided some great out balls.

 

The club are saddened to hear of the passing of lifelong supporter Willie Sneddon at the age of 93.

Willie was a very proud father when his son Alan played for the Jags before moving upstairs to Celtic then Hibs and Motherwell.

Everyone at the club would like to  offer  their deepest condolences at this sad time for the family.

As a mark  of respect there will be a minute’s silence before Saturday’s game.

latest league fixtures

Saturday 10th. February Glencairn Away K.O. 2PM.

 

Saturday 17th. February Shettleston Home K.O..2PM.

 

Saturday 24th. February Kilsyth Rangers Away K.O. 2PM.

 

Saturday 3rd. March Johnstone Burgh Away K.O. 2PM. Central League Cup

Saturday 10th. March Cumbernauld Home K.O.2pm.

League games  unless stated otherwise.

Only 3 games at home in past 13 weeks 

Renfrew Juniors 4 v Larkhall Thistle 3

Thistle started the game without skipper Mark Canning injured and Craig Forbes who was in Milan on a University  course. Good to see Hugh Kelly back on the bench after a long lay – off. This will be abbreviated match report as Ian not at game today.

Many spectators were not even in the ground when the home team scored in 23 seconds with an almost identical goal to th one Renfrew scored when we beat them 4-1 at the same venue in the West of Scotland Cup a lob over keeper Johnny Duncan. The visitors then had an change after Gary McStay was injured and was replaced by Matty Clarke. The Jags were slowly getting their game together and it was no surprise when Graham Gracie equalised with a right foot shot after he had beaten three Renfrew defenders. The visitors were soon in  front Jonny McStay netting from close in. The same player then scored his second after fine play from Graham Gracie and Thistle could have added to their total only for the home team to score just on half time,

Renfrew 2 – Larkhall Thistle 3 half time.

The second half commenced with the home on the front foot and quite honestly Thistle took a bit of a battering in the second half and with some good  saves from Johnny Duncan and stout defending Thistle looked reasonably comfortable with 84 minutes played Hugh Kelly replaced Jonny McStay.

The roof then fell in for the Jags losing two goals in under 5 minutes to lose the game 4-3. Once again the players can not be criticised for effort but individual errors are costing us dear.

 

Team ; Duncan, Brown,  Mushett  ,Reynold ,Payne, Jack, Innes , G. McStay (Clarke), Reid, Gracie, J, McStay(Kelly)

Subs. not used; McKeever , Robb,Thomson (Gk)