The new season got underway at the second time of asking after Saturday’s bizarre postponement and the game got off to exactly the start Thistle would have wanted when they took the lead in the second minute.
Scott Nicholl swung a ball from left back over to Graham Gracie on the right wing, he went past his man and crossed for Matty Clarke to head in at the back post.
The lead was short-lived however as Lanark drew level when Jags keeper Thomson fumbled an attempted catch and Maxwell passed the ball into the empty net.
Lanark looked the sharper of the two teams and were unlucky not to take the lead on a couple of occasions in a first half that they largely dominated. Thistle on the other hand found it hard to get going and didn’t create much in terms of clear chances.
Half time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Lanark United 1
The Jags almost replicated their start to the first half when Clarke sent Gracie clear in the first move of the half but he choked his effort and shot wide past the post.
Thistle took the lead again 13 minutes into the half with the kind of football that had been totally lacking in the first. Gracie took the ball just inside the opposition half and played in Clarke on the left, he held it up and picked out Mark McKeever’s overlapping run which ended with a cross to the back post that Mark Canning met on the run and slotted in.
Lanark should have equalised with a similar chance shortly after but Gallagher forgot to have the shot and missed the ball altogether. Matty Clarke then produced a moment of quality when he took the ball past a couple of defenders just outside the box and curled a dipping shot that came back off the bar.
Acting manager Tam McLaughlin made a double substitution with 20 minutes to go, Clarke and Stewart replaced by Doyle and Rutherford and five minutes later he made the final change when Paul Burns replaced Hugh Kelly.
Lanark pressed hard in the last 15 minutes for an equaliser but some good defending and good luck kept them out. It was Thistle who tied the game up with a third goal five minutes from the end, Gracie knocked the ball down into the path of Rutherford and he set up Brian Jack who found the bottom corner with a low drive.
A good second half performance by the Jags who took their chances where the visitors failed to capitalise on theirs.
Full time: Larkhall Thistle 3 Lanark United 1
Scorers: Clarke, Canning, Jack
Thomson; Brown, Reynolds, Nicholl; Kelly (Burns 75), Stewart (Doyle 70), Canning, Jack McKeever, Gracie, Clarke (Rutherford 70). Subs Thomson (GK), Payne
Brown; Christie, Murphy, Lawson, Collins, Imrie, Maxwell, McCrum, Gallgher, Duggan, McGurk. Subs: O’Connell, Kearney, Brown