Larkhall Thistle 1 Shettleston 1 – 17th February 2018

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

 

This was a game that both teams would have felt they needed to win to give themselves a realistic chance of escaping relegation. Before the game Shettleston were sitting in 12th place on 8 points with Thistle a point and place behind them, 13th on 7 points.

 

The Jags had several players missing, Johnny McStay Liam Mushett and Craig Forbes were all working while Matty Clarke has a knee injury and is out for four weeks. Billy Robb made a welcome return to the defence and Josh Payne was restored to the right midfield slot.

 

The first half hour of the game passed off with hardly an incident to report, a scrappy opening with both teams living up to their billing as relegation candidates and not much football being played or chances created.

 

Hugh Kelly replaced Brian Jack in the centre of midfield after just over half an hour and was one of the few Jags success stories on the day with his calmness on the ball and range of passing.

 

 

Shettleston could have taken the lead before the interval when their striker went clean through on goal with just Johnny Duncan to beat but he maybe tried to be too fancy with his finish and flicked it past the outside of the post.

 

Minutes later the Jags also had a chance to go in with a half time advantage but Ryan Innes’s effort from 20 yards hit the post and went past.

 

Half time: Larkhall Thistle 0 Shettleston 0

 

The second half was only two minutes old when Thistle produced their best moment of the game, Niall Reynolds burst down the left side and put in a cross that missed out the keeper and fell to Gary McStay who laid it back to Innes for a tap-in.

 

After the goal the Jags were on top and could have extended their lead when Graham Gracie hit a good free kick that went just past the post and they had a good spell of possession, dominating the play but without creating any more real chances.

 

The game turned on an incident midway through the half when Shettleston felt they should have had a penalty, the ball hit Reynolds on the arm but the referee indicated that he saw the incident as accidental. Needless to say, Shettleston saw it the other way and it only fired them up with a sense of injustice that saw them take control of the game.

 

It only took five minutes for them to get level but the goal itself was a bit of a sore one for Thistle, a deflected shot from the edge of the box that left Duncan flatfooted, hit the post and in contrast to Innes’s earlier effort went in.

 

Thistle hit back with a Gracie dribble that ended with a shot that was well saved, then a penalty shout similar to the one Shettleston claimed for in the first half was also turned down.

 

The last period of the game saw both teams going for the winner that would have given them a massive boost but it was the keepers who were on top, Shettleston’s hobbled off after a clash with Gracie that resulted in what sounded like a very painful injury, best wishes to him for a full recovery. He was replaced by what seemed to be an outfield player but his performance between the sticks for the last 10 minutes was outstanding, one save in particular from a Canning drive that saved a point for his team.

 

Johnny Duncan also had a fine save from a deflected shot that he had to correct himself and go the other way to reach.

 

All in all a draw was probably the right result on the day with neither team really producing enough quality to win the game.

 

Full time: Larkhall Thistle 1 Shettleston 1

 

Larkhall Thistle:
Duncan; Robb, Brown, Reynolds; Canning; Payne, Innes, Jack (Kelly 32), Reid; G McStay, Gracie. Subs: McKeever, Doyle, Thomson (GK)

 

Booked: Innes

 

MoM: Ryan Innes gave everything as usual and was just shaded for man of the match by Billy Robb who was solid at the back and provided some great out balls.

 

Larkhall Thistle v Shettleston 2nd March 2014

Brown and Canning scrap for the ball
Thistle produced a spirited return to form against a good Shettleston team today and were desperately unlucky not to take something from a game that they had fought so hard to get back into.

See full match report of Thistle v Shettleston here

Jags to face Lesmahagow next Saturday

Larkhall Thistle’s next home game will be against local rivals Lesmahagow in the Central League First Division on Saturday, 2nd February. We were due to play Shettleston but their Scottish Cup replay takes priority so we will be on league duty instead of playing in the Central Cup.

This is a vital game for Thistle in the push for promotion and also to make up for the defeat in the corresponding fixture at the Gow in September. See match report of Lesmahagow v Larkhall Thistle

Most people with Jags interests would consider the 6-3 loss at their park to be the poorest performance of the season so far. It was a game that was riddled with individual errors and to be honest a bit of a shock result in light of the fact that we were top of the league at the time and had just beaten leaders Greenock 5-2 to do so.

St Anthony’s narrow 3-2 win against bottom club East Kilbride has seen them leapfrog us again into second place but Lesmahagow are no mugs themselves, sitting handily placed in fifth with games in hand.

It’s a 2:00pm kick off so come along and support the Jags in their promotion push. Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Any visitors not sure where the park is can find directions here.

 

 

 

Central League Cup draw

Larkhall Thistle have been drawn to play Shettleston at home in the first round of the Euro Engineering Central League Cup. There are 39 teams involved so there are seven games in Round 1, leaving 32 teams in Round 2. The draw for the second round has also been made and the Jags will travel to play St Roch’s if they get through. Dates for the ties have yet to be decided.

Match Preview: Larkhall Thistle v Shettleston

After having completed the double against St Anthony’s last time out, we will be hoping to do so again today. We won the opening league game of the season at Greenfield Park 1-0 and another result like that would do very nicely.

With the weather taking its toll on fixtures throughout the Central region in the last few weeks it is a minor victory in itself just to get the game on today and raise some much needed revenue for the club.

Shettleston have been having a tough time of it this season but as we have found out there are no easy fixtures in this league and today once again we will be expecting a hard game.

Forthcoming Fixtures

The fixtures are out for the next four games, weather permitting of course.

8th December
East Kilbride Thistle v Larkhall Thistle

15th December
Larkhall Thistle v Shettleston

22nd December
Larkhall Thistle v Port Glasgow Juniors

29th December
BENBURB v Larkhall Thistle **

** Note this fixture has been changed due to Port Glasgow’s facitity being closed for the Christmas period.

 

All kick off times 1:45pm