Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v Forfar West End
Larkhall Thistle met East Region North Division side Forfar West End in the third of their pre-season friendlies, the Angus club had reportedly spent a bit of money improving their squad and it promised to be a stiff test for the Jags. Regular striker Graham Gracie was rested in favour of trialist Hugh Kerr and David Reid who had impressed in midweek at Maryhill, retained his place in the right of midfield. Andy Brown returned to centre back and Scot Nicholl started in left midfield.
West End created the first chance of the match when they almost scored from a corner in the second minute, but the header went over the bar. Thistle then had an injury scare in the sixth minute when keeper Alan Colquhoun went down clutching his shoulder but he was OK to carry on after treatment.
The Jags took until the 25th minute to create their first real chance, when Reid rose well to knock down and leave Ross McGeachie clean through inside the box but the keeper came out well to block. Four minutes later Niall Reynolds almost forced an own goal with a cross from the right that the Forfar keeper had to react brilliantly to prevent his own defender scoring from.
Two minutes into added time West End should have scored, again with a header, this time it was powered downwards and went up over the bar.
Half Time: Larkhall Thistle 0 Forfar West End 0
Thistle started the second half looking for the early goal and Kerr produced their best effort of the day after five minutes when he got the ball 25 yards out and cut inside before curling a shot from the edge of the box that came off the inside of the post. It fell for Reynolds but his shot flew past. Minutes later Gracie took advantage of a slip in the visitors defence to go clear but he lobbed the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The game looked to be heading towards a stalemate but Forfar had been having the best of the closing stages and made their pressure tell in the 78th minute. Colquhoun produced a fantastic save from yet another header but from the corner the ball was cut back and the drive left him with no chance.
Two minutes from the end West End sealed the win with a second goal when their midfielder strode forward unchallenged, his shot produced another good save from Colquhoun but the Forfar attack reacted quickest and the rebound was poked home.
A disappointing result for Thistle then, albeit against a decent team who looked well prepared and well drilled. There were some good performances but a lack of a cutting edge up front cost them the game. As well as Kerr and Reid, there were second run outs for trialists Lee Brown and Earl Cooke and Gracie, McKeever, Jack and Schoneville all got some game time.
Full Time: Larkhall Thistle 0 Forfar West End 2
Colquhoun; Reynolds, Brown, Marshall, Duris; Reid, Innes, Canning, Nicholl, ; Kerr, McGeachie. Subs: Gracie, McKeever, Jack, Schoneville, trialists