New Western Park, Renfrew
Renfrew v Larkhall Thistle
Central League First Division
Thistle went into today’s game on a poor run of form in the run-in with no wins in the last five games and now only one win in eight. Although relegation is a long shot it is still a mathematical possibility but three points from the remaining six games should be enough – based on the points needed to survive in previous seasons.
The Jags got off to a bad start and to be honest never looked like recovering from it. Renfrew took an early lead when Alain Kinney took advantage of a slip up in the Thistle defence to slot the ball home after 15 minutes.
But as the half progressed, Thistle came more into the game and had a fair amount of pressure – albeit without any real end product. With Garry McStay playing in a deeper role, Graham Gracie was left to plough a lone furrow for long spells but the type of half-chance he used to thrive on passed him by time and time again as he got increasingly frustrated at his lack of form.
Thistle’s best attempts at getting back into the game came in the form of a couple of shots from Innes and Burns that went well over the bar but man of many clubs Zok put the home team two up in the 37th minute, when the Jags defence failed to clear from a corner and he scrambled the ball home.
Half Time: Renfrew 2 Larkhall Thistle 0
The first chance of the second half came after just four minutes when Zok found himself clear on the left and hit the far post with a low shot and it was a sign of things to come as the ball went mostly towards the Larkhall goal for the rest of the game.
Thistle made their first substitution on the hour mark, Brian Felvus replacing Gracie and a minute later got themselves back into the game when Niall Reynolds got in front of the defence to back-head the ball over the home keeper.
Renfrew however restored their two goal lead minutes later from a well-worked move just outside the box that finished with Benton curling an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Jags made a second substitution after 32 minutes of the half as Clarke came on for McStay and moments later Burns picked up what was to prove a significant booking for a bad tackle in the middle of the park. With five minutes to go the booking came back to haunt Burns as he got a second booking for dissent.
Thistle made their final subtitution in the dying minutes as McKeever came on for Josh Payne.
Full Time: Renfrew 3 Larkhall Thistle 1
Booked: Burns, Innes, Sent off: Burns
D.Thomson, Reynolds, Marshall, Brown, Burns; Payne (McKeever 85), Innes, Jack, Reid; Gracie (Felvus 60), McStay Clarke 77)
Burgess; Barbour, Gordon, Heffron, Mulgrew; O’Keefe, McDaid, Benton, Kinney, Zok, Jones. Subs: Forbes, Ramsay, McGarroch, Nisanci, Baird
Website MoM: Another lacklustre performance from the whole team with very few real chances created and hardly a shot on target all day. man of the match was young keeper Thomson, who made a few very good saves and can’t be blamed for any of the goals.