Again Ian working away so no video tonight. This was Thistle’ s 5th. game in 11 days then after Saturday no mid week games why all the rush plenty time.
DavidThomson continued in goal with Andy Brown and Josh Payne dropping to the bench.
Thorniewood opened strongly and went ahead in 11mins. through man of many clubs Keigan Parker Thistle equalised 5 minutes later with a shot by Ryan Innes which was cleared by a Thorniewood defender but the referee gave the goal saying the ball crossed the line.The visitors went ahead in 38 mins. with Welsh netting. Not to be outdone Thistle equalised in 44 mins. Niall Reynolds netting from inside the box.
Half Time 2-2.
Not much to write about for second half with Matty Clarke being replaced by Josh Payne then Mark McKeever replaced Gary McStay with both teams huffing and puffing with no real scoring opportunities at both ends. Top league now Thistle 51 pts 3 to play Cambuslang 50 pts 3 to play all away from home Roch 48 pts. with 4 to play with one of them Thistle at Larkhall on a date to be decided.
Team; David Thomson , Niall Reynolds, Liam Mushet ,Scott Nicol, Matty Clarke(Josh Payne ) Hugh Kelly, Brian Jack, Div, Reid, Graham Gracie, Gary McStay( Mark McKeever)
Subs not used Andy Brown,Declan Doyle, Stuart Thomson(gk)
Man of the Match goes to Hugh Kelly for a strong display in the middle of the park.
Thistle were missing Stewart Thomson who did not arrive until after kick off and captain Mark Canning who is working in Berwick for the week.
The first half was a bit of a non event on what was a very bumpy pitch and the home team who were only interested in lumping the ball from one end to the other.
The second half started in much the same fashion but the Vale opened the scoring in 55 mins with a shot from the edge of the box . Dunky reacted a couple of minutes later with Gary McStay replacing Mark McKeever a move which along with the change of Matty Clarke replacing Josh Payne was significant . Within a minute Thistle were on level terms with Div Reid netting across the keeper into the far corner. Ten minutes later the Jags went ahead with Div. heading in a Scott Nicol free kick.
Dunky then replaced Hugh Kelly with Niall Reynolds. Thistle were quite comfortable and held on for three valuable points.
Team, David Thomson , Andy Brown, Liam Mushet,Scott Nicol, Josh Payne( Matty Clarke), Hugh Kelly(Niall Reynold), Ryan Innes, Brian Jack , Mark McKeever (Gary McStay) Graham Gracie
Subs not used Craig Rutherford , Declan Doyle.
A stuffy performance by every player against a team battling to avoid relegation.
With every player giving their all there were many candidates for man of the match but the award goes to Liam Mushet who dealt very well with the aerial bombardment from the Vale.
With St. Rochs drawing 0-0 with the Gow the situation is that Thistle on 50 pts. with 4 to play max 62 pts. Cambuslang also on 50pts with 3 to go max. 59pts. St.Rochs 45 pts. with 5 to play max. 60pts.but have they still to come to Larkhall so somethings got give . This game now Thistle’s last home after the latest fixtures issued date still be decided.
Still a long way to go but we are very much in control of our own destiny and I am sure the players will give it their best shot.
No match report or video as Ian is working away from home. This in effect was Thistle’s game in hand on St, Rochs. Mark Reynolds opened the scoring for the Jags in 10 minutes then 7 minutes into second half Graham Gracie made it 2 . Forth pulled one back 8mins. later. Mark McKeever then added a 3rd. with Graham Gracie scoring his second of the night with 5 minutes remaining. Thistle now sit in 2nd. place with 47pts 3 in front of St. Rochs with both having 6 games to play. Cambuslang still lead with 49 pts with 4 games to play so squeaky bum time approaching for all 3 clubs. Thistle have a heavy schedule with Wishaw at home on Saturday followed by Vale of Clyde away Monday 24th. followed by Thorniewood at home on Wednesday 26th . then away to Neilston Saturday. All to play for but coaching staff and players taking it 1 game at a time.
Team – S. Thomson, Brown. Nicol[Mushet], Reynolds, Payne, Innes ,Kelly [Canning],Jack, Reid, Gracie, McStay [McKeever] ,
Sub. not used D.Thomson [GK] Clarke.
According to reports a good all round performance with every player playing his part.
Petershill Park, Springburn
Rossvale v Larkhall Thistle
Central League First Division
Thistle’s only previous visit to the Petershill Park for a competitive game was the opening fixture of last season when they were hammered 8-2, they were hoping for a big turnaround in fortunes this time out. The teams had played out a hard-fought game in December that resulted in a 2-1 Jags win and more of the same was what was required to keep up the push for the title.
Larkhall manager Dunky Sinclair made a couple of changes from last week’s penalty defeat by Arthurlie, with Scott Nicholl and captain Mark Canning recalled to replace Liam Mushett and Ryan Innes.
A quiet opening 15 minutes saw both sides pay some nice football between the boxes without really creating any goal scoring opportunities.
Thistle took the lead in the 17th minute when Mark Canning pinged a ball out wide that he looked to have overhit but David Reid did well to keep it in and send over a low cross that was finished at close range by Graham Gracie to give the Jags the lead.
Josh Payne has been showing signs of his early season firm in the last couple of games and he made it 2-0 in the 28th minute. Niall Reynolds did well to clear out of defence and from the resulting quick throw Gracie took the ball to the bye line and crossed for Hoff to tap in.
Thistle looked to have put the game to bed when a second from Gracie made it 3-0 just before the interval.
Half Time: Rossvale 0 Larkhall Thistle 3
The second half was less than 30 seconds old when Brian Jack made it 4-0 with a close-range header from a Gracie cross after a throw in on the left was taken quickly by Reid.
Four soon turned to five when Gracie burst through the middle and despite keeper Donnelly’s best efforts to rugby tackle him, managed to scramble it into the empty net. The keeper was lucky it was a goal or he would have been sent off.
That looked to be very much end of story but Thistle’s bad habit of slacking off when ahead came back, this time with what was nearly a calamatous collapse.
The first signs of a blip in the perfect day came in the 75th minute when Rossvale had a free kick that dropped on the penalty spot and took a strange bounce, landing at McDowell’s feet who swept it into the net from his position on the deck.
It looked like a consolation goal and when McGrath added a second six minutes later it was still nothing more than a bit of a annoyance that 5-0 had turned to a less impressive 5-2. The manner that he strolled through to get his shot away left a question mark about the defence though and Thomson, although he had been excellent didn’t cover himself in glory with his attempt to save it.
Possibly the big turning point of the game came minutes later when Thistle captain Mark Canning was sent off for swearing at the referee. A decision that angered the bench, players and supporters given that the referee had just booked the home keeper for the same offence. Being a man down against a fit young side who are used to pinging the ball about on their artificial surface was always going to take its toll.
Gracie should have restored the four goal advantage a minute later with a point blank header from a corner on the right, but instead it was Rossvale who pulled another one back. The manner that the goal was scored must have triggered off alarm bells as the home side took the ball from deep in their own half and passed it right the way through to Seaton who backheeled it in after drawing Thomson off his line, a move than spanned three quarters of the length of the park without a challenge from a Thistle player.
Things started to get really bad though right on the 90 minutes when Niall Reynolds capped his own personal game of two halves with an own goal, heading in from a cross. Neilly had been outstanding in the first hour of the game and was heading for man of the match before the late defensive collapse.
Thistle hung on by the skin of their teeth in the end after a frantic last two minutes that saw them survive a penalty claim then a header that Rossvale should have equalised with right at the death.
A game that should have been out of sight with the best win of the season turned completely sour and the Thistle fans trooped out almost dejected at the end. It was a bizarre experience coming away from what was in reality very good away win feeling like you had lost.
Full Time: Rossvale 4 Larkhall Thistle 5
Website man of the match: Graham Gracie again, no real contest here. Involved in all of the goals scoring three and setting up the other two.
Lat minute postponement at St Roch’s, no official word but presumably the rain that fell after the early inspection caused the match ref to call it off.
People turning up minutes before the kick off so a lot of folk still thought it was on, a bit frustrating especially for those of us who travelled in but hopefully the Thistle players and committee managed to hear in time and avoid the trip.