Larkhall Thistle 3 Lanark United 2 – 9th August 2014

Sectional League Cup
Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v Lanark United

Thistle got off to the worst possible start in their first competitive match of the season, going a goal down in the fourth minute when Andy Brown lunged into a tackle on the edge of the box and the referee awarded a penalty. There was no real argument and the spot kick was finished well by Jarvie.

Thistle defend a first half corner
Thistle defend a first half corner

Things got worse in 12 minutes when Lanark were awarded a corner and Stillie was left in acres of space in the box, his free header found the top corner. Six minutes later it could have been three with another free header but the Jags managed to escape.

Thistle on the attack in the first half
Thistle on the attack in the first half

Thistle were struggling to get a foothold in the game with midfield powerhouse Ryan Innes missing through holidays, but they fought back well and managed to get a goal back in the 27th minute. Graham Gracie produced his best contribution of the match with a run on the left and a fantastic curling cross that landed right on the incoming Niall Reynolds’s head for him to bullet home.

Reynolds was also involved in the equaliser as well when he made a good run down the right before crossing for Ross McGeachie to slide in and bundle the ball over the line.

Brian Jack chases down Lanark's Hanlon
Brian Jack chases down Lanark’s Hanlon

Three minutes later Thistle took the lead when Brian Jack took advantage of a defensive slip and found himself one on one with the keeper but with a bit still to do, did well to find a gap at the near post and fired his shot home.

Half Time: Larkhall Thistle 3 Lanark United 2

Lanark started the second half the better team and looked likely to equalise but it was the home team that created the first chance with a good ball from Gracie on the left that McGeachie stepped over for Reynolds to shoot but keeper McLenaghan made a good save.

Niall Reynolds keeps a close eye on his opponent
Niall Reynolds keeps a close eye on his opponent

Lanark looked dangerous when a ball through the middle left the Jags defence exposed but Colquhoun came out on top in the one on one. Minutes later the visitors almost scored again with a header that came off the bar and bounced down but despite the frantic shouts from the bench the ball wasn’t over the line. They followed that up a minute later with a curling effort that went just past the post, but Thistle went straight up the park and Gracie should have scored but his tame effort went past the post with the goal at his mercy.

Thistle corner in the second half
Thistle corner in the second half

In 63 minutes McGeachie produced a nice bit of footwork to shift the ball from his right to left foot but choked his shot past the post and 10 minutes later Colquhoun produced a great block from McCrum when the Lanark man looked certain to score.

Thistle should have wrapped it up thirteen minutes from the end when substitute Scott Nicholl burst through the middle before releasing Gracie who ran clear from between the last two defenders but was the victim of a poor offside decision from the referee.

Thistle new boys Ian Cooke and David Reid
Thistle new boys Ian Cooke and David Reid

Colquhoun then produced some great saves to see the game out and secure a valuable opening win.

Full Time: Larkhall Thistle 3 Lanark United 2

Larkhall Thistle:
Colquhoun; Reynolds, Brown, Marshall, Duris; Jack, Canning, Clarke, McKeever; Gracie, McGeachie. Subs: Reid (56), Nicholl (70), Cooke (75), Schoneville, Moss

Lanark United:
McLenaghan; Thomson, Hanlon, Murdoch, Stillie, Renwick, Lawson, McCrum, Jarvie, Miller, Queen. Subs: Hamilton, Johnstone, O’Connell, McMaster, Mailey

Thistle scorers: Reynolds, McGeachie, Jack

Best on the day for Thistle was Alan Colquhoun, who made a string of impressive saves to keep the Jags in front in the second half.

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