Great to be back at Gasworks Park, due to the poor weather this was the Jags first home game of 2016.
Manager Dunky Sinclair made changes after last week’s poor showing at Maryhill, Josh Payne replaced David Reid with Gary McStay and Matty Clarke in for Graham Gracie and Bryan Felvus.
The game started very quietly with very little to excite the supporters of either team. Vale of Clyde began to edge things slightly with the main danger coming from set pieces and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead, their centre half rising unchallenged to head home from a corner kick.
The same player again came close to doubling the lead from another corner kick and as the half came to a close Thistle had not threatened the Vale goal on a single occasion, a terrible first half display from the Jags.
Half time: Larkhall Thistle 0 Vale of Clyde 1
Vale of Clyde began the second half on the front foot and struck the crossbar with Thomson helpless, Dunky then made an early change replacing McStay with Gracie. This change without a doubt had an influence on the game and the substitute was involved in the move which resulted in Clarke netting the equaliser with a near post flick from a Scott Nicholl pass.
A couple of minutes later Thistle took the lead when a fine move involving Gracie and Clarke resulted in Matty’s final pass being finished off in style by Nicholl. The Vale, to their credit, put the Jags defence under pressure and equalised after the home team lost possession at a throw in. The Vale player ran into the box unopposed to slot the ball past Thomson. David Reid then replaced Nicholl as the home team looked for what they hoped would be the winner.
The Vale goal had led a charmed life when first Ryan Innes had a header scrambled away, then Andy Brown followed up with a net-bound volley that was cleared. Thistle finally got back in front with a finely worked goal involving Reid and Gracie, whose cutback was smashed into the net by Innes. The Vale had a bit of a flurry in the dying minutes but Thistle held out for the three points.
Full time: Larkhall Thistle 3 Vale of Clyde 2
S.Thomson; Doyle, Marshall, Brown, Burns; Payne, Innes, Jack, Nicholl (Reid); McStay (Gracie), Clarke. Subs: Kelly, Felvus, McKeever, D.Thomson (GK)
Andy Brown, Paul Burns and Jordan Marshall all again had steady games with Graham Gracie having an impact when he came on, but the man of the match goes to Ryan Innes for his second half display and sheer will to win.