Larkhall Thistle 4 Rutherglen Glencairn 5 – 16th September 2017

Gasworks Park, Larkhall
Larkhall Thistle v Rutherglen Glencairn
McBookie.com Super First Division

 

Thistle went into the fourth home league game in a row having picked up just one win so far and whilst it is too early to be talking about must-win games, Glencairn were in a similar position near the foot of the table and a win for either team would have given them a big lift.

 

The manager made two changes from last week’s starting line-up with Graham Gracie and Billy Robb replacing Josh Payne and Liam Mushett. Mark McKeever switched from striker to a wide role in place of Payne with Gracie taking up position up front. The absence of Payne and David Reid made a big difference to the game for the Jags as they lacked any real pace down the wings and were missing crosses into the middle for the two big strikers.

 

After the early exchanges where both sides had a couple of half chances, Thistle took the lead in the 18th minute from the penalty spot. Criag Forbes went into what looked to be a 50-50 challenge with a Glencairn defender but was judged to have been fouled, Mark Canning sent the keeper the wrong way for his first goal of the day.

 

 

The Glens players and especially the highly excitable coaching staff were aggrieved by the decision to say the least and were probably spurred on by their sense of injustice to level the game a minute later from a quick breakaway down the left wing, a cross to the back post and a great volley from McNab that Duncan got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.

 

Undaunted by the setback, Thistle set about regaining the lead and got it from a great strike by Canning. Johnny McStay laid the ball back to him just outside the box and he swept it first time high into the net. It looked like Larkhall were going to see out the half and go into the interval ahead but right on the stroke of half-time Gormley was put through and finished well for the equaliser.

 

Half time: Larkhall Thistle 2 Rutherglen Glencairn 2

 

Thistle took the lead for the third time sixteen minutes into the second half when Scott Nicholl picked up the ball from Gracie and instead of playing the one-two, swung it into the box right onto Canning in the centre-forward position. The skipper took one touch to control it with his right foot and another to slot it past the helpless keeper to complete his hat-trick. Again though the lead wasn’t to last long, a cross from the left wing position looked like it might be dropping into the top corner of the goal but Rutherglen’s McNab followed it in for a close range header that gave Duncan no chance.

 

The Jags scored what looked like it might be the winner in the 73rd minute. Craig Forbes picked up the ball in the middle of the park and played it wide out to Matty Clarke on the left wing. He took the ball for a run and played it across the six yard area, it was missed by everybody and landed perfectly for Johnny McStay at the back post who had an easy tap-in.

 

 

Incredibly however the lead lasted only four minutes this time, Innes went for a 50-50 ball just inside the box but for once was beaten to the ball, it dropped for Gormley who hit a fine shot low into the opposite bottom corner.

 

A couple of minutes from time Ryan Innes, aleady on a booking, lunged into a needless tackle in the opposition box and got his second yellow, worryingly for the second time in three weeks.

 

Larkhall’s attempt to see out the remaining few minutes came undone with the very last kick of the match. The old problem of a striker trying to defend caught them out with Johnny McStay wanting far too much time in the box instead of clearing the ball, the Glens striker dispossessed him and as McStay tried to recover the ball he caught him and gave away the penalty.

 

McKay converted from the spot and the referee didn’t even restart the game.

 

If there are positives to be taken from the day’s events, the other teams at the bottom didn’t gain much ground with none of them winning but on performances so far it looks likely that Thistle will be fighting their battles at the wrong end of the table this season.

 

Full time: Larkhall Thistle 4 Rutherglen Glencairn 5

 

Larkhall Thistle:
Duncan; Brown, Robb, Nicholl; Canning; Forbes, Innes, McKeever (Reid 70), Clarke; J McStay, Gracie. Subs: Jack, Doyle, Mushett, Thomson (GK)

 

Rutherglen Glencairn:
Baker, McGregor, Neil, Donaldson, Leyden, McGuire, McNab, Hamilton, Gormley, McArdle, McKay.

 

Scorers: Canning (3), McStay

 

Booked: Brown, Nicholl, Canning, McStay, Gracie

 

Sent off: Innes

 

MoM: Mark Canning would have been a strong contender anyway without his three goals with a good all-round performance.

 

*** Video up tomorrow sometime

 

 

 

Larkhall Thistle 2 Rutherglen Glencairn 1 – 16th July 2017

Valefield Park, Kilbirnie
Larkhall Thistle v Rutherglen Glencairn
Kilbirnie Ladeside tournament 2017

 

 

Glencairn kicked off this tournament in the first game yesterday with a 2-1 win against a young Stranraer side before Thistle beat the hosts Kilbirnie in the second game to set up today’s final.

 

Thistle started the game looking full of confidence after their big win yesterday and almost took the lead in second minute when Graham Gracie and Jonny McStay combined to set up Mask McKeever for a shot that the keeper did well to save.

 

After a period of early Larkhall domination, Glencairn slowly came into the game and were unlucky not to score when they hit the post after a good move.

 

Thistle got the lead that their play had deserved when Garry McStay did well to win a high ball and get it under control before it broke to Johnny McStay who hit it low into the net off the keeper.

 

The Jags thought they had made it 2-0 three minutes later with Johnny McStay involved again, this time linking up with Brian Jack before finishing well but he was adjudged to be offside

 

Glencairn looked certain to equalise on the half hour mark but Jags keeper Thomson pulled off a great save from the close range bullet header to keep Larkhall ahead at the interval.

 

Half Time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Rutherglen Glencairn 0

 

Thistle manager Dunky Sinclair made the first of five second half substitutions when he brought on Scott Nicholl for Niall Reynolds. Glencairn found an equaliser eight minutes into the half when a cross from the left wing drifted high over Thomson and looped down into the net, the Rutherglen man will of course claim he meant it as a shot!

 

Further Jags changes came in the way of Ryan Innes for Mark Canning, Liam Mushett replacing Andy Brown then new right back trialist Billy Robb replacing Declan Doyle. The changes, along with the effort the team had put in the day before, made it hard for them to get any real rythm going and the second half was a bit scrappy.

 

Thistle got the winner though fifteen minutes from time and it was half defensive howler but half great pressing and opportunism from Jonny McStay. He latched on to a sloppy pass out from the keeper to intercept it and slot the ball home leaving the Glens fans up in arms at the error.

 

The Jags closed out the game and there was no further scoring despite a couple of half decent chances for both sides.

 

 

Jonny McStay was deservedly awarded the Player of the Tournament and few if any who watched the games would disagree with the decision.

 

Full Time: Larkhall Thistle 2 Rutherglen Glencairn 1

 

A great weekend’s work for Thistle with the added bonus of a trophy on the board, the team looks like it’s taking shape very nicely with fitness levels already at a very good level. The main problem as it stands for the manger is how to fit all of the players into the team, there looks like some real selection headaches coming up for Dunky.

 

Larkhall Thistle:
Thomson; Reynolds (Nicholl 45), Brown (Mushett 60), Doyle (Robb 65); Canning (Innes 53); McKeever (Thomson 80), G.McStay, Jack, Reid; J McStay, Gracie.

 

Rutherglen Glencairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2 – 1st June 2016

Clyde Gateway Stadium, Rutherglen
Rutherglen Glencairn v Larkhall Thistle
Euroscot Eng Central League Cup

Rutherglen Glengairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2 - 2

Thistle made their second visit to the Clyde Gateway Stadium in Rutherglen in what might have been their last game of the season. The stadium is probably the pick of the new built junior parks as it at least is a grass playing surface but it does have a slope and the Jags started the game kicking up it.

Only Ryan Innes was missing from what would probably have been the first choice team, Hugh Kelly started in his place in centre midfield. Glencairn had former Thistle player Brian Eadie at left back and it was good to see him back fit and well.

Rutherglen Glengairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2 - 4

The game started with Glencairn pressing the Jags goal and the first chance of the game came after seven minutes when David Reid sliced the ball high into the air and it was met on the volley, the shot going wide. Larkhall should have taken the lead in 11 minutes when Matty Clarke squared to Brian Jack in acres of space only 8 yards out but he over-deliberated and curled his shot wide. Clarke was involved again when he laid the ball right onto Josh Payne’s head in the same spot but again the chance went begging.

Rutherglen Glengairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2 - 1

Thistle took the lead in 31 minutes when Graham Gracie latched on to a knock-on and broke free. The striker, on a great scoring run, never looked in danger of missing and slotted easily inside the left post from 10 yards. Just before half time Jack sent Gracie away again and after some nice footwork he played it back to Jacko who again shot wide from the same spot as he had earlier.

Half time: Glencairn 0 Larkhall Thistle 1

Glencairn got off to a quick start and a break in the first minute nearly caught the Thistle defence out, only desperate defending resulting in strong penalty claims prevented the goal. The Jags replied immediately, Payne ran on to a pinpoint lobbed pass from Clarke and played the ball across the box just too close to the keeper for Gracie to reach.

Thistle’s next real attempt at goal came after 62 minutes when Scott Nicholl almost caught the keeper out from a free kick with a cheeky lob and that was followed up by Payne hitting a decent effort across the keeper from the edge of the box.

Rutherglen Glengairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2 - 5

The Jags had a let-off midway through the half when an attempted clearance came back off the bar, then the Glens No 6 had a great run through the middle with a shot that went just past the post.

Reid picked up another needless booking to cap a disappointing evening for him and could well have got himself sent off for a petulant foul moments later.

Glencairn equalised from a disputed free kick ten minutes from the end, Thomson made a good stop but the rebound was poked home by Dunnachie. It looked like it was game on and with the distinct possibility of penalties looming, Thistle were awarded a penalty for handball that the referee spotted though a clump of players.

Rutherglen Glengairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2 - 3

Gracie stepped up and coolly rolled the ball into the net to put the Jags back in front. Matty Clarke had a golden opportunity to seal the tie when he got possession with the keeper stranded out of his goal, however he decided not to take the shot on and the chance was lost.

A great win for Thistle that puts them into a semi-final for the first time in a long while, on the back of a long unbeaten end to the season. They will now travel to Pollok in what looks to be a real test but hopefully the Jags can carry on the good work.

Full time: Glencairn 1 Larkhall Thistle 2

Scorer: Gracie 2

Booked: Nicholl, Reid, Clarke, Gracie

S Thomson; Reynolds, Marshall, Brown, Nicholl; Jack, Innes, Payne, Reid; Gracie,  Clarke. Subs: D Thomson (GK), McKeever, Doyle

Website MoM:A very difficult task tonight with seven or eight players at or near their best, the whole defence was excellent and Josh Payne impressed again but Matty Clarke did a great job all night of holding the ball up and playing his team mates in, as well as delivering all Thistle’s best balls in an attacking sense.

Game ON today

Today’s game against Rutherglen Glencairn in the West of Scotland Cup is on as planned, kick off 2:00pm.

There was a lot of surface water on the park and the game was in doubt but it has been cleared and the match goes ahead.

Entry is £4.00 and £2.00 for concessions.

 

West of Scotland Cup draw

Larkhall Thistle have been drawn at home in the First Round of the West of Scotland Cup against Rutherglen Glencairn. The game will be a week on Saturday at Gasworks Park, kick off 2:00pm.

Full Draw:
Benburb  – Rossvale
Beith Juniors  – Lugar Boswell Thistle
Maybole Juniors F.C – Shotts Bon Accord
Dalry Thistle  – Dunipace
Carluke Rovers  – St. Roch’s
Irvine Victoria  – Greenock Juniors
Maryhill  – Cumbernauld United
Kello Rovers  – Renfrew
Johnstone Burgh  – Largs Thistle
Newmains United  – Irvine Meadow
Port Glasgow Juniors  – Arthurlie
Ashfield  – Cambuslang Rangers
Pollok  – Neilston Juniors
Girvan  – Forth Wanderers
Lesmahagow Juniors  – Vale of Leven
Vale of Clyde  – Darvel Juniors
East Kilbride Thistle  – Saltcoats Victoria
Shettleston  – Annbank United F.C
Yoker Athletic  – Hurlford United
Kilsyth Rangers  – Kilwinning Rangers
Glenafton Athletic  – Troon
Whitletts Victoria – Blantyre Victoria
Ardrossan Winton Rovers  – St. Anthony’s
Larkhall Thistle  – Rutherglen Glencairn
Glasgow Perthshire  – Muirkirk Juniors