Match Preview: Larkhall Thistle v St Anthony’s

We played St Anthonys in the third game of the season at McKenna Park and came away with a very good 3-2 win in blustery conditions, so this is our first chance of the season to do the double over one of our league rivals.

The Ants were on Scottish Cup duty last week and although they went down 4-1 at home to Irvine Meadow, by all accounts the score didn’t really reflect the game against what is one of the top sides in junior football. Since our last meeting, they have lost their star striker Chris Mackie to Beith, Mackie caused the Jags defence all sorts of problems in the previous game and he will be missed by the Glasgow club.

Thistle’s win against St Roch’s last week brought their terrible run of six defeats in a row to an end. We had of course been badly hampered by a fixture list that saw us play four consecutive away league games, as well as an away Scottish Cup tie at Super Premier League side Cumnock. The only home game was the 5-3 loss in the West of Scotland Cup to Rutherglen Glencairn, also a league above us.

St Anthony’s are in fine league form at the moment and had a great start, but lost their way a bit in the middle. They started the season with three straight wins before our win at McKenna Park started a run of four games without a win. The Ants bounced back though and have now won their last three league games and are sitting second top in the league.
They had a good run in the Sectional League Cup going unbeaten and just losing out to Pollok. They also had a couple of wins in the Scottish Cup before losing to Irvine Meadow last week.

It’s sure to be another hard game for Thistle today against a team who are on a three game winning run in the league.

Some info about St Anthony’s:

Name: St Anthony’s (The Ants)

Founded: 1902 or 1904

Ground: McKenna Park, Cardonald

Manager: James McKenna

Colours: Green and white
Honours:
Central League Division Two Winners: 2002–03
West of Scotland Cup winners: 1937–38
Glasgow Junior Cup: 1918–19, 1921–22, 1940–41, 1945–46
Glasgow Charity Cup: 1917–18, 1918–19, 1922–23

St Anthony’s have had a long and chequered history, beginning life in Moore Park in the shadows of Ibrox before falling on hard times and re-emerging with their move to their present home at McKenna Park. Moore Park was bombed by the Gemans in the Second World War, suffered many burglaries, arson attacks and acts of vandalism but finally fell to the developers in 1999.

In season 2003 – 2004 St Anthony’s achieved what many consider to be among the most remarkable set of results seen in junior football history. The competition was the curtain raiser for the season – the Sectional League Cup and the Ants were in a seven team section that included Super Premier giants Pollok, Arthurlie, Neilston and Johnstone Burgh, as well as Super League Renfrew and Benburb whilst the Ants had just been promoted out of the bottom league. The Ants shocked the junior world by pulling off one of the greatest feats ever – they won all six of the games, a record. They had never even qualified before!

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