Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Larkhall Thistle 3 Rutherglen Glencairn 1

Wednesday 20th August 2014 - Friendly match

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Kilsyth Rangers 1

Ross Ballantyne fires in Glencairn's goal from the penalty spot.

This hastily arranged friendly was played out in front of a small crowd at Gasworks Park in Larkhall, as The Glens took the opportunity to take a look at another couple of trialists, and also to give a valuable 90 minutes to central defender Mark Bishop on his return from a broken foot.

It's fair to say that it wasn't the best defensive hour and a half from Glencairn as they gifted their hosts all three goals, but it was nonetheless a useful exercise in fitness for the squad.

Only five minutes were on the clock when Thistle took the lead. Brian Jack swung over a corner from the left, and the Glencairn defence left Ryan Innes completely free, and he made no mistake with his header from eight yards out.

Glencairn should have been level after 13 minutes when they were denied an equaliser by an unbelievably bad offside whistle. Steven McClung was clearly two or three yards onside when he was released through on goal but, as he rounded home goalkeeper Lee Moss and rolled the ball into the net, the whistler blew for offside.

As if the referee was trying to make up for the blunder, he allowed Paul Thomson to run through on goal on the angle of the penalty area in the 34th minute despite being several yards offside, but the midfielder fired over the bar from 12 yards out.

Larkhall's second gift of the game came in the 41st minute, as Dean Muir was short with an attempted header back to JC Hutchison, allowing Graham Gracie to nip in and knock the ball over Hutchison and into the net to double the home side's lead.

Half time : 2-0

Keiran Donaghy was looking the most likely candidate to create for Glencairn, and in the 47th minute he skipped into the penalty area and drilled the ball across goal. Moss got a hand to the shot, and the clearance was completed from just in front of goal by former Glens defender Neil Schoneville.

A minute later it was another defensive disaster for Glencairn, as Bishop was caught on the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and Graham Gracie made no mistake again to make it 3-0. Gracie should have completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute as he pounced on another defensive slip, but this time he fired narrowly wide.

The Glens pulled themselves back into the game at the mid point of the second half as they were awarded a penalty kick. A ball over the top saw Trialist no.12 in a race for the ball and, as he knocked the ball round Moss, the big striker was brought tumbling by a combination of goalkeeper and defenders. Ross Ballantyne stepped up to drill the ball into the net.

Ross Ballantyne Ross Ballantyne

Hutchison made an excellent save from a powerful shot by Niall Reynolds in the 74th minute, and Thistle could have increased their lead again in the 84th minute when a lovely passing move ended with Reynolds trying to score with the outside of his foot, but firing narrowly wide again.

Glencairn were happy to see Bishop come through the ninety minutes without reaction to his injury, and will be hoping his recovery remains on track ahead of the start of the league season.

Larkhall Thistle :- Moss (Price), Lee Brown (McPhee), McKeever, Andrew Brown (Canning), Schoneville, Innes, Jack, Kidd (Reynolds), Gracie, Clarke, Cook.

Rutherglen Glencairn :- Hutchison, Trialist, Ballantyne, Muir, Bishop, McGuire, Irvine, Esplin, McClung (Kilmartin), Thomson (Trialist), Donaghy. (Sub not used - Dunnachie.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Peter Ferguson) Keiran Donaghy.

Keiran Donaghy Keiran Donaghy

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