Larkhall Thistle 1 Wishaw 2 – 20th April 2016

Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v Wishaw
Central League First Division

After Saturday’s draw at Neilston with a much depleted squad, it was a different story tonight as only Ryan Innes and Gary McStay were missing due to work commitments.

The Jags started strongly and were soon buzzing around the visitors goal. After Graham Gracie and David Reid had tested the visiting keeper, Thistle took the lead when a tremendous pass from Scott Nicholl found Gracie on the edge of the box. He took a fine first touch and laid the ball off to Matty Clarke who rounded the Wishaw keeper to open the scoring.

At this stage very little had been seen of Wishaw as an attacking force and their goal led a charmed life, a shot from Gracie was saved by Thomson and the follow-up from the rebound was scrambled off the line by a Wishaw defender. Young David Thomson in the home goal then had a fine stop from the Wishaw No 9 but bizarrely the referee lectured him about time wasting with the ball lost in the area behind the goal. Half time arrived with Thistle’s lead intact.

Half time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Wishaw 0

The second half started with Wishaw pressing for the equaliser but Thistle broke away and Gracie went clear, only for the referee to give a dubious offside despite being 30 yards behind play. As often happens, the visitors went up the other end of the park and scored. They were awarded a free kick for a foul by Andy Brown and the shot took a deflection on the way in for the equalising goal.

Wishaw now had their tails up and David Thomson had a couple of fine stops as they applied the pressure. Wishaw did eventually take the lead through a tremendous shot by the No 9 that gave young Thomson no chance. Josh Payne then replaced Mark McKeever as the Jags tried to get back into the game. For the remainder of the game Thistle huffed and puffed but just could not get back on even terms.

Same old story again Thistle starting well and taking the lead but either not adding to or defending their lead has cost them.

Full time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Wishaw 2

Larkhall Thistle:
D. Thomson; Reynolds, Marshall, Brown, Nicholl; McKeever (Payne), Kelly, Jack, Reid; Gracie, Clarke. Subs: S. Thomson (GK), Doyle, Burns, Felvus

Graham Gracie had one of his best games for a while, Andy Brown and Jordan Marshall defended well but the man of the match award goes Niall Reynolds who put in a great shift up and down the right hand side.

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