Loch Park, Lanark
Lanark United v Larkhall Thistle
Sectional League Cup – Game 3
Thistle put out a much changed side from Wednesday’s win against Forth, back came Payne, Marshall, Doyle and Thomson in an under-strength looking side missing two of their best defenders, two main strikers and Ryan Innes in midfield. It appeared that the manager Dunky Sinclair had decided to rotate his squad and treat the competition as a warm-up for the league rather than prioritise on winning the section.
Lanark took the lead in the eighth minute from a cross that caught out Thomson and fell into the net. The game then settled into a midfield tussle with few chances for either side, the exception being Matty Clarke in on goal and shooting wide. Halfway through the first period Thistle’s Gary McStay was lucky not to see a red card for pushing his head into a Lanark player after being fouled, but the referee let him off with a booking and the Jags drew level just after in the 25th minute. Josh Payne got the ball on the left wing and jinked his way past two defenders before either shooting or badly misplacing a cross into the top corner of the net.
Half Time: Lanark United 1 Larkhall Thistle 1
Thistle brought on Ryan Innes at half time to replace Mark McKeever and six minutes into the second half they could have taken the lead when McSat hit the bar with a great strike after good set up play by Clarke. Lanark however took the lead in the 55th minute when not for the first time Thistle were guilty of overplaying the ball in the middle of the park and lost possession, a quick break down the right and veteran defender Burns had no answer to the pace of the Lanark winger who burst past him and crossed for an easy finish from the penalty spot.
Larkhall made their second substitution on the hour when McStay was replaced by Reid and they drew level again two minutes later in bizarre circumstances. The Lanark keeper swung a leg at a through ball from Innes to Reid and missed it altogether, the ball trundled over the line and was probably in before Reid got a final touch. The keeper was lucky that the ball did go in as he would have been off for denying Reid a goal scoring opportunity if it hadn’t.
That was about it for Thistle as for the rest of the game they got bogged down and never really created another chance. When Lanark took the lead for a third time in the 79th minute it looked even then that it would be a step too far for the Jags to get back again. Schoneville for Marshall at the centre of defence was the final substitution but three minutes later the result was confirmed with a fourth goal.
The result leaves the section wide open but for Thistle to have any chance of winning it they would have to beat Lesmahagow in midweek.
Full Time: Lanark United 4 Larkhall Thistle 2
Thomson; Doyle, Marshall (Schoneville 79), Reynolds, Burns; Payne, Jack, Kelly, McKeever (Innes 45); McStay (Reid 60) Clarke.
Bookings: McStay, Innes, Reid