Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v Arniston Rangers
Scottish Cup Round 2
Once again the Jags faced East Premier opposition in this second round tie. The line up showed changes from last week’s team against Lesmahagow, with Andy Brown replacing Niall Reynolds, Mark McKeever preferred to Josh Payne and Matty Clarke returning to replace Gary McStay. Thistle supporters were surprised to say the least by the starting eleven.
In the early exchanges it became clear that Arniston’s No.10 Kateleeza was going to be difficult to contain. The visitors opened the scoring when the same player crossed the ball which Andy Brown somehow missed and McFadden netted with ease. Thistle came back at Arniston with Scott Nicholl causing them problems down the left and after yet another fine run, Ryan Innes chose to pass to Graham Gracie when taking the shot would have been the better option – in the end Gracie shot narrowly past.
The Jags defence had to be very wary of the pace of Kateleeza with Jordan Marshall making a couple of fine interceptions but Gracie had the chance to equalise and again shot past when in a good position. Thistle equalised 10 mins before the break, Matty Clarke with a header after fine play by Paul Burns and a fine cross by Gracie.
Half Time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Arniston Rangers 1
Thistle came out in the second half determined to impose themselves on the game but once again shot themselves in the foot when Neil Schoneville gave away a needless penalty and despite a valiant effort from Alan Colquhoun the ball sneaked in at the post. This was the signal for a purple patch from Arniston, with the home keeper making some vital saves including one outstanding stop down to his right when a goal looked a certainty.
Thistle finally got going and after a series of corners they equalised with what looked an own goal after the Arniston keeper fumbled a corner from Scot Nicholl. David Reid then replaced Mark McKeever and immediately made an impact with a fine run and cross which found no takers. Nicholl was then replaced by Josh Payne as the Jags went on all out attack and Gracie once again was off target from a good position.
Matty Clarke was then replaced by Gary McStay with about ten minutes remaining. Reid was next to miss the target when clean through with only the keeper to beat, shooting past without testing the keeper. The game petered out and Thistle now face a difficult replay at Gorebridge next week, but if you make defensive errors and miss scoring oppurtunities a second chance is the best you can hope for at the end of the day.
Full Time: Larkhall Thistle 2 Arniston Rangers 2
Website MoM: Jordan Marshall again had a steady game at the back with Brian Jack also getting through a tremendous amount of work, but the website man of the match goes to Alan Colquhoun who kept the Jags in the game with three top class saves.
Colquhoun, Brown, Marshall, Schoneville, Burns; McKeever (Reid), Innes, Jack, Nicholl (Payne); Clarke (Mcstay), Gracie. Subs; Kelly, Reynolds, Stewart Thomson (GK)