Blackburn United’s New Murrayfield Park is one of the better new community facilities in that it actually manages to feel like a football ground and the surface itself looks excellent.
Jordan Marshall’s departure to Glencairn meant Jags manager Dunky Sinclair looked to be trying out a new 3-1-4-2 system for the first friendly of the season – with Hugh Kelly sitting in front of a back three of Burns, Reynolds and Brown.
The game was played at a lively pace with both teams looking more or less ready to go for the new season in terms of fitness but Thistle went behind early on and found themselves 2-1 down with Brian Jack getting the Jags goal.
Thistle dominated possession in the latter stages of the first half but fell further behind after defensive slackness let the home side in to score a third.
Half time: Blackburn United 3 Larkhall Thistle 1
Graham Gracie pulled an early goal back for Thistle after great work from Ryan Innes who won the ball and fired in a shot that the keeper could only parry.
The Jags continued to press for the rest of the game and had a couple of half chances that might have produced an equaliser but in the end it didn’t come and the home side came away with a result that the play didn’t entirely justify.
On the positive side Mark Canning made a return after his long enforced layoff and looked like he’d never been away, he lasted the pace very well and showed he can still ping a pass with most in the junior game.
Full time: Blackburn United 3 Larkhall Thistle 2
Scorers: Jack, Gracie
Larkhall Thistle (rolling subs):
S Thomson, Brown, Reynolds, Burns; Kelly, McKeever, Jack, Canning, Innes, Nicholl, Doyle; Reid, Gracie.