Greenock v Larkhall Thistle 1st December 2012

Thistle travel to play Greenock on Saturday looking to do the double on the league leaders. The Jags produced their best performance of the season so far in the corresponding fixture at home in September, running out 5-2 winners. Read report of Larkhall Thistle v Greenock.

After back to back home wins Thistle are sitting handily placed in fourth and level on points with third placed Carluke Rovers, a win would see the Jags only three points from the top of the table.

Greenock are sharing Port Glasgow’s new ground at Parklea, just off the roundabout on the A8, while Ravenscraig Park is being upgraded for the Commonwealth Games. Kick off is 1:45pm

Match Preview: Larkhall Thistle v St Anthony’s

We played St Anthonys in the third game of the season at McKenna Park and came away with a very good 3-2 win in blustery conditions, so this is our first chance of the season to do the double over one of our league rivals.

The Ants were on Scottish Cup duty last week and although they went down 4-1 at home to Irvine Meadow, by all accounts the score didn’t really reflect the game against what is one of the top sides in junior football. Since our last meeting, they have lost their star striker Chris Mackie to Beith, Mackie caused the Jags defence all sorts of problems in the previous game and he will be missed by the Glasgow club.

Thistle’s win against St Roch’s last week brought their terrible run of six defeats in a row to an end. We had of course been badly hampered by a fixture list that saw us play four consecutive away league games, as well as an away Scottish Cup tie at Super Premier League side Cumnock. The only home game was the 5-3 loss in the West of Scotland Cup to Rutherglen Glencairn, also a league above us.

St Anthony’s are in fine league form at the moment and had a great start, but lost their way a bit in the middle. They started the season with three straight wins before our win at McKenna Park started a run of four games without a win. The Ants bounced back though and have now won their last three league games and are sitting second top in the league.
They had a good run in the Sectional League Cup going unbeaten and just losing out to Pollok. They also had a couple of wins in the Scottish Cup before losing to Irvine Meadow last week.

It’s sure to be another hard game for Thistle today against a team who are on a three game winning run in the league.

Some info about St Anthony’s:

Name: St Anthony’s (The Ants)

Founded: 1902 or 1904

Ground: McKenna Park, Cardonald

Manager: James McKenna

Colours: Green and white
Honours:
Central League Division Two Winners: 2002–03
West of Scotland Cup winners: 1937–38
Glasgow Junior Cup: 1918–19, 1921–22, 1940–41, 1945–46
Glasgow Charity Cup: 1917–18, 1918–19, 1922–23

St Anthony’s have had a long and chequered history, beginning life in Moore Park in the shadows of Ibrox before falling on hard times and re-emerging with their move to their present home at McKenna Park. Moore Park was bombed by the Gemans in the Second World War, suffered many burglaries, arson attacks and acts of vandalism but finally fell to the developers in 1999.

In season 2003 – 2004 St Anthony’s achieved what many consider to be among the most remarkable set of results seen in junior football history. The competition was the curtain raiser for the season – the Sectional League Cup and the Ants were in a seven team section that included Super Premier giants Pollok, Arthurlie, Neilston and Johnstone Burgh, as well as Super League Renfrew and Benburb whilst the Ants had just been promoted out of the bottom league. The Ants shocked the junior world by pulling off one of the greatest feats ever – they won all six of the games, a record. They had never even qualified before!

East Kilbride game – OFF

Larkhall Thistle’s game today with East Kilbride has been postponed after a 10:30 pitch inspection due to a waterlogged park.

Our next game will be against St Rochs at home, next Saturday 17th November.

Match Preview: Larkhall Thistle v East Kilbride Thistle

After a run of four away league games in a row Lesmahagow, Dunipace, Lanark and Bellshill – the last home game being Neilston on 15th September – Larkhall Thistle at last have a home game. Thistle have had a drastic run of bad away results since the last home game, losing all four and dropping to 9th place in the table. Of the nine league games we have played so far, six of them have been away which hopefully will mean that we should have some home games coming up and some wins under our belts.

East Kilbride were relegated last season from the Super League First Division and have found life just as tough in this division, losing all nine games so far and scoring only five goals with the loss of 35.
Thistle crashed out of the Scottish Cup away to Super Premier League side Cumnock, going down 5-0, while East Kilbride did much better in the Scottish. They travelled north to Ellon to take on the Aberdeenshire side and came back with a great 2-1 win, meaning they have at least one more game in the cup. Ties to be played on November 17th.

Fixtures

Once again we are on the road this Saturday, 3rd November – making it six away games from our last seven played. Included in this run are four consecutive away league matches. No other club in the region has had such a run of away league and cup matches in the fixture list to date and we doubt very much whether anyone will. Let us state at this point whilst Royal Albert are our lodgers at this time we attach no blame to them whatsoever for this situation as other clubs involved in ground sharing have not been put in this position.

It can be said that two of these away games were Scottish Cup ties at Fochabers and Cumnock and quite frankly if it had not been for the generosity of everyone who travelled on the bus that’s supporters, committee and the playing and coaching staff we would have been well out of pocket even after the guarantee from Fochabers and the half gate at Cumnock. The cost of coach hire is now quite prohibitive these days even after getting what we considered were great deals for both trips.

We attended a meeting at Hampden on the 25th October at the request of the West Region to listen to a representative of HMRC speak to us about our resposibilities as regards PAYE and corporation tax. His opening gambit was to state that while he appreciated that we the clubs were all run by unpaid volunteers, the football clubs themselves were businesses generating income and in some cases paying wages and making profit and therefore were bound by the rules and regulations that applied. However there are two sides to this because as everyone knows the main priority in any business is cash flow and with this horrendous run of away games one of our main income streams i.e. gate receipts and the associated income has been non existent.

We use our website and home game programmes to advertise and sell tickets and look for sponsors for any function we are running. A perfect example is Saturday 3rd November when we are running a race night. With our last home game having been on the 6th of October, it has made it more difficult to sell tickets for this fundraiser.

In the current economic climate when some clubs are struggling and in some cases failing to meet their financial obligations on time, cash flow and a steady stream of disposable income is a must, because no matter how your team is performing clubs who own their grounds still have monthly fixed costs to meet so a regular flow of cash is important. We have seen a significant increase in season ticket sales and personal donations and this, with other ongoing income raising avenues, will help us greatly due to the lack of home games. The club would like to put on record their sincere thanks to everyone who has helped in our fund raising to date.

As a far as fixtures are concerned we would only say that all we ask in the light of what was heard at the HMRC meeting that the generation of income on a regular basis should also be considered when whatever little fixture planning is done that everything is taken into account and not just an effort to get certain fixtures completed no matter the cost to clubs whoever they may be.

Thistle news

The accumulator this month was won by Peter Lang who wins £150. Booby prize of £30 to Hugh Kerr. There are eight slots available at the moment if anyone is interested in helping the club finances. Contact any committee member for details or you can reply here.
Race Night – Remember the race night is on 3rd November, there will be seven sponsored races with the eighth being an auction race. We are still looking for sponsors prizes for some of the races.
Good news on Davie McEwan, the big keeper has shown no after-effects from his heroics on Saturday. Johnny MacKay is also fully fit again. JP Grant misses the Lanark game, he got a two game ban so he finishes his suspension this Saturday.

Cumnock Game ON

Tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie with Cumnock at Townhead Park is definitely on, we have been contacted by Cumnock and there is no problem with the park.

It is likely that unless the Cumnock game is a draw and goes to a replay at Gasworks Park, there will be no game for us next week. The Royal Albert game which was due to go ahead tomorrow at Gasworks Park has already been postponed so it will take priority next Saturday over our scheduled legue game with Port Glasgow.

Although we have not yet played Port Glasgow this season home or away, the game could not be switched to their ground as they are sharing it with Greenock and Greenock are down to play at home next week.

It looks like the only other way there could be a game on is if there is a draw in the Scottish Cup and we played their team who drew’s scheduled opponents.