Today’s friendly was switched to the 3G pitch at Loudon Academy Galston. Thistle started this game without Stuart Thomson, Andy Brown, Niall Reynolds, Mark McKeever, Jordan Marshall, Matty Clarke and Barry Daly who were all missing due to holidays, weddings and work commitments.
The game started in a downpour, which along with a strong wind made conditions difficult although of the two sides Darvel adapted better. It was no surprise when they they took the lead with a fine finish. Thistle fought back and Ryan Innes headed against the bar when it seemed easier to score and the midfielder was to repeat this on another two occasions. The Jags were in control but could not get back on equal terms and Darvel increased their lead with a perfectly struck free kick by their No8 that gave Alan Colquhoun no chance.
Ryan Innes stuck the woodwork for a second time but the Jags did get a goal back when Gary McStay split the Darvel defence with an inch perfect pass to Graham Gracie who tucked the ball past the keeper.
Half time: Darvel 1 Larkhall Thistle 1
The rain had now stopped and we at last had some sunshine as Thistle started the second period strongly, Neil Schoneville heading over from a Brian Jack corner. Declan Doyle then replaced David McPhee as Thistle continued to press and once again Innes headed against the post but he finally got his name on the scoresheet after fine play by Gary McStay whose cross was headed back across goal by Gracie for Innes to finish.
Shortly after the goal Nicholl was replaced by Josh Payne and Gracie by Liam Thomson. Thistle thought they had taken the lead when a driven cross by David Reid was turned into his own net by a Darvel defender but the referee chalked the goal off for offside. Darvel grabbed the winner in the dying seconds of the game for a 3-2 win.
Again a worthwhile exercise in a game that Thistle should have won but for poor finishing and bad luck.
Half time: Darvel 3 Larkhall Thistle 2
Team; Colquhoun, McPhee, Burns,Schoneville, Nicol, Innes,Jack,Kelly,McStay,Gracie,Reid.
subs; Docherty, Payne, Thomson,Felvus.