Friendly – Larkhall Thistle 3 Darvel 4

Thistle continued their pre-season friendly programme with another fixture that has become a regular annual event, this year it was the Jags turn to host Darvel.

Darvel took the lead after 6 minutes when a failure to clear the ball allowed their No.5 time to pick his spot for an easy finish from 10 yards.

Thistle made an early first half substitution when Gary McStay came on for the injured Niall Reynolds with Declan Doyle dropping back into the back three. The move was to pay dividends right away as McStay grabbed a quick-fire hat-trick, the first being the pick of the bunch when he took time to compose himself and pick his spot after good work from Doyle on the right.

The visitors got themselves back into the game with a goal before half time, a free header from a corner after the Darvel player had made a good run into the box.

Half time: Larkhall Thistle 3 Darvel 2

Darvel equalised just after half time with a breakaway goal that caught the defence out, Thistle were caught remonstrating with the referee after McStay had gone down in the box looking for a penalty.

The two teams were evenly matched and a draw looked to be on the cards until Scott Nicholl got involved with three Darvel players at the stand side touchline and received a second booking, the first had been for a bad tackle that could have been a red on its own.

Thistle brought on a couple of youngsters for the last 15 minutes and both showed up very well, looking like a real threat to the Darvel defence but with the extra man the visitors got the decisive break at the end and wrapped up the win with yet another goal from a corner.

After scoring seven in each of the last two matches, this was a far more difficult test for the Jags and one they will have learned a fair bit from.

Full time: Larkhall Thistle 3 Darvel 4

Scorer: McStay (3)

Larkhall Thistle:
Thomson; Brown, Reynolds, Nicholl; Kelly, Doyle, Canning, Innes, McKeever, Reid, Clarke. Subs Moss, McStay, Gracie, Trialists

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