Maryhill 3 Larkhall Thistle 1 – 27th February 2016

Thistle returned to action with their first competitive game since 19th December when they faced Maryhill on a pitch which in places resembled a ploughed field. If there ever was a good reason for changing the timing of the playing season it was pitches like this.

Thistle were forced to make a very late change when Niall Reynolds injured his ankle in the warm up and Stuart Thomson returned in goals with the rest of the team on the usual lines.

Both teams looked rusty in the early stages, Maryhill pressed in the early stages and Stewart Thomson had to look lively on a few occasions. The Jags slowly came into the game, with Graham Gracie and Bryan Felvus both testing the home keeper.

Thistle went ahead after a Scott Nicol corner resulted a stramash in the home goalmouth and a rebound in off Andy Brown ended up in the net. Thistle pushed on and a Scott Nicholl free kick rattled the crossbar and was scrambled away for a corner. Graham Gracie then struck a free kick from the edge of the box into the wall and there was a loud appeal by the Thistle players for a penalty for handball but the referee waved away their appeals.

The home team got back on level terms when the Jags attempted to play football out of the worst area of the pitch. They lost possession and the Maryhill No 9 hit a great shot which Stuart Thomson pushed on to the crossbar and their No 11 was first to the rebound to net the equaliser. Thistle had a chance to go back in front when a Graham Gracie pass put Bryan Felvus clear but the Maryhill keeper smothered his effort.

Half Time: Maryhill 1 Larkhall Thistle 1

Maryhill came out in the second half and immediately took the game to their visitors and after some sustained pressure and some top stops by Thomson, finally managed to score again. Thomson made a first class save but was helpless to stop the resultant shot from the Maryhill No 9 who was again first to the ball.

Thistle were really beginning to struggle with the conditions and David Reid was replaced by Hugh Kelly and Bryan Felvus by Matty Clarke. The Jags came in to the game a bit more but never really threatened the home goal. Maryhill then scored the decisive goal when there No 11 evaded some poor attempts at tackles to race clear into the box and score with a fine drive, giving Thomson no chance.

The home team were deserved winners adapting much better to the underfoot conditions and over the piece were physically too strong for Thistle.

Full Time: Maryhill 3 Larkhall Thistle 1

Team; S. Thomson; Doyle, Brown, Marshall, Burns; Reid (Kelly) Jack, Innes, Nicholl; Gracie, Felvus (Clarke)

Subs, D.Thomson, Payne, McStay

On a day when the Thistle just could not get going, pass marks for Andy Brown, Jordan Marshall and Paul Burns but without a doubt the man of the Match award can only go to Stuart Thomson who had tremendous afternoon between the sticks.


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