Thistle kicked off with a much changed team from the one that finished against Forfar on Saturday. Darvel started very strongly and within 4 minutes thistle were behind after an error at the back allowed the Darvel no 10 to score with ease . At this early stage thistle were struggling to get to grips with the game and it was no surprise when Darvel increased their lead again after very slack play by the Thistle defence. Thistle started to come into the game more and in 27 minutes Graham Gracie just failed to get enough on a great ball from Mark Mckeever and the Darvel keeper saved easily.David reid then missed a one on one with the Darvel keeper as the visitors started to get a grip of the game. Graham gracie again came close to scoring from a Mark Canning pass but again the keeper saved.With half time approaching David Reid had a great run and shot which went narrowly passed. The Darvel keeper then had a fine stop from Graham Gracie but could not hold the ball but unfortunately Mark Canning fired the rebound over the bar. So Darvel went in at Half-time with a 2 goal lead.Within 2 minutes of the restart they were 3 down after conceding a penalty for trip by trialist Lee Brown. The Darvel n0 8 duly converted. Just prior to being replaced David Reid had a shot which went narrowly over the bar after a fine pass by Scot Nicol. David Reid,Ian Cook, Lee Brown, Neil Schoneville, Brian Jack were replaced Ross McGeachie, Matty Clarke, Ryan Innes Niall Reynoldsand Jordan Marshall. Thistle were still doing the bulk of the attacking and from a Scott Nicol corner Graham Gracie just failed to make contact at the back post.Ross Mcgeachie was next to miss a good chance after Scott Nicol pass and a fine Graham Gracie cross but the striker headed narrowly past the keeper’s left hand post.Thistle were creating chances but not taking them. Niall Reynolds was next to miss after a Graham Gracie cross but the header was saved by the home keeper.With all the pressure Thistle were putting home defence under a goal had to come.Mark Canning started the move with a pinpoint ball to Graham Gracie who crossed into the box for Ryan Innes to score with a header. Darvel were beginning to struggle and Jordan Marshall had a great run and shot which was just off target. Mark Canning then went close with a good drive and Ross Mcgeachie then headed just past the post.The Thistle ‘s second goal was rather unusual in that Mark Mckeever knocked the ball out of the keeper’s hands but it was not spotted by the referee as she had turned her back on the play the ball broke to Graham Gracie who chipped the ball into the empty net from the edge of the box. Darvel were clearly rattled and in the space of a few minutes both Graham Gracie and Niall Reynolds headed against the woodwork from close range.With about five minute left a short corner routine involving Scott Nicol and Graham Gracie resulted in the latter playing in Mark Canning and the captain netted the equaliser. Thistle kept pressing and from an Andy Brown pass Ross McGeachie shot narrowly past. The game finished with the visitors very much on top. After conceding poor goals in the first half Thistle did well to draw level but if they had converted more of what were clear cut chances the final score would not have been Darvel 3 Larkhall Thistle 3. We play our last pre season game at Kinnoull on Saturday before the league start on 9th August against Lanark at home.
Team-Moss,L Brown, A,Brown,Schoneville,Nicol,Canning,Jack, Cook,Gracie, Reid, Mckeever Subs, Reynolds, Marshall,Innes Mcgeachie,Clarke, W.Gracie