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.