Lochburn Park, Maryhill
Maryhill v Larkhall Thistle
Maryhill went in to this game still with an outside chance of promotion, while Thistle had nothing to play for but it’s fair to say that for nearly all of the game there was only one team that looked like they wanted to win it.
Jordan Marshall kept his place in central defence and Scott Nicholl came back in at left back with Andy Brown out.
Thistle got off to a great start with David Reid opening the scoring. A good passing move involving Jordan Marshall, Brian Jack and a Graham Gracie cross found Reid who fired them into the lead with a back post header.
Ryan Innes then made it 2-0 with his first of the day, maybe a bit against the run of play. Maryhill missed a great chance to get back into the game ten minutes from the break from a free kick but they squandered a tap in from two yards.
Hill did pull a goal back with the last kick of the half with a scrambled effort from another free kick, not the last scrappy goal the Jags were to concede on the day.
Half Time: Maryhill 1 Larkhall Thistle 2
The second half began with everything to play for with Maryhill having shaded the first half play but finding themselves a goal behind. Larkhall though looked to have put the game out of sight with two quickfire goals five minutes after the restart.
First Ryan Innes showed great determination to follow in on a Schoneville flick-on to beat the keeper to the ball and score from close range, then he followed it up with one of the best Jags goals of the season hitting a tremendous half volley from 22 yards into the top left corner giving the keeper no chance and completing his first hat-trick for the club. Reggie then went down injured after a 50-50 challenge and sounded in some pain, going off to be replaced by Ian Cooke.
It looked like plain sailing for Thistle from that point but there was what seemed a minor setback when Maryhill were awarded a penalty midway through the half for a mistimed tackle which was duly converted to make it 4-2.
There was still no indication of the drama that was to unfold but ten minutes later the home side pulled another goal back after the Thistle defence passed up two chances to clear their lines, leaving Jags keeper Alan Colquhoun somewhat less than amused.
Thistle however stemmed the tide by going straight back up the park and scoring from the kick off, a long ball sending Gracie clear leaving him to sidestep the keeper and slot the ball into the empty net for 5-3. Straight after the goal Matty Clarke came on to replace David Reid who had had one of his quieter games.
Back came Hill once again and they completed a frantic spell of three goals in three minutes with a well taken strike from the penalty spot area, although questions need to be asked about the space the Hill man found himself in.
Thistle made their final substitution six minutes from the end when Mark McKeever came on to replace Brian Jack and looked like they were going to hold on for the win, but like they did in the first half, Maryhill scored a goal right at the death to save the draw – a fantastic turn and hit right into the top corner.
It was a fair result with nobody with any real quibbles after an entertaining game played in good spirits, although both managers might have been having a quiet word after the match with their respective defences.
Full Time: Maryhill 5 Larkhall Thistle 5
Colquhoun; Reynolds, Schoneville, Marshall, Nicholl, Jack (McKeever 84), Innes (Cooke 66), Kelly, Reid (Clarke 77); McGeachie, Gracie. Subs: McPhee
Thistle scorers: Innes 3, Reid, Gracie
Booked: Kelly, Nicholl
Best on the day for Thistle has to be Ryan Innes today for his excellent hat trick, speedy recovery Reggie hope you’re back playing very soon.