Westfield Park, Denny
Dunipace v Larkhall Thistle
Thistle were the visitors to a Dunipace side still very much in the promotion race. Over the years this fixture has been a bit of a bogey to the Jags, with our last win here nearly 15 years ago. As things were to turn out Thistle well and truly buried this theory.
Manager Dunky Sinclair made one change from last week bringing in Graham Gracie with Ross McGeachie reverting to the bench.
Dunipace started very quickly and soon had Thistle under pressure but were not really dangerous in front of goal. The strong wind was in the home team’s favour but they were not really using it to their advantage. After 12 minutes Neilly Schoneville was booked for a challenge on the Dunipace No.9 on the edge of the box but the resultant free kick was wasted by the home team. Thistle slowly grew into the game and it was no surprise when Matty Clarke scored with the aid of a slight deflection after good work by Gracie. The visitors were now in control of the game but despite various chances could not add to their tally and shortly before half-time only a magnificent one handed reflex save from Alan Colohoun prevented an underserved equaliser. The Jags deservedly went in at the break ahead.
Half Time: Dunipace 0 Larkhall Thistle 1
Thistle started where they had left off and Ryan Innes should have at least hit the target when well placed. Graham Gracie was next to try his luck from the edge of the box with a shot that went narrowly past. The Jags were then awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and Scott Nicoll’s well struck shot beat the home keeper for the second goal. The visitors were now rampant and it was no surprise when their total dominance resulted in a third goal after fine interplay between Clarke and Ryan Innes ended with Ryan netting from an acute angle.
This was no more than Thistle deserved and at this stage Ross McGeachie came on for Clarke who has now scored on his last four games. The home team just could not get to grips with the game at all and it was a surprise when the scored from one of their few corners. David McPhee then replaced Andy Brown who had an injury problem. The Dunipace goal did not change the pattern of the game and after Ian Cooke replaced the hard working Hugh Kelly, Gracie capped a fine afternoon’s work by the whole team when he latched on to an attempted headed clearance by the Dunipace central defender to net with an exquisite chip over the keeper for goal number four.
Full Time: Dunipace 1 Larkhall Thistle 4
Thistle Scorers: Clarke, Nicoll, Innes, Gracie
Larkhall Thistle: Coluhoun; Brown (McPhee), Reynolds, Schoneville, Nicoll; Innes, Kelly (Cooke), Marshall, Jack; Gracie, Clarke (McGeachie)
Subs. McKeever, Moss
On a day when we had absolutely no failures it is very difficult to select a man of the match but the vote goes to Hugh Kelly who completely controlled the middle of the park with a display full of energy and purpose which the opposition could not match.