Your online local sport by Millar Stoddart

Costly defeat for Lanark United sets up agonising promotion wait

United have failed to beat Gartcairn in all three contests between the two sides this term

Lanark United suffered a stunning 3-1 defeat at the hands of Gartcairn at Moor Park last Saturday in a game where a win would have all but sealed promotion.

Former Yowes duo John Henderson and Jordon Love put the visitors ahead before the interval and Chris Paterson gave Gartcairn a commanding lead early in the second half.

Ronan Kearney continued his impressive run of form by scoring his fourth goal in as many games for the hosts as Lanark now face a nerve-wracking wait to find out if they have done enough to secure promotion.

East Kilbride Thistle are the only team that can leapfrog the Royal Burgh outfit and secure the third and final promotion berth but they must take at least seven points from their last three games to guarantee a spot in the Central District First Division next term.

If Thistle secure six points they would rely on goal difference to topple United, with John Brogan’s side currently 11 goals clear.

Lanark struggled to assert themselves in the opening exchanges with the visitors looking confident in possession and eager to maintain their unbeaten record against the Yowes this season.

Gartcairn went ahead on 13 minutes when a low cross caused chaos in the Lanark box and John Henderson opened the scoring against his former club.

The North Lanarkshire side continued to press forward and another former Lanark player, Jordan Love, doubled Gartcairn’s advantage with a glancing header.

David O’Donnell had a good chance to cut the deficit when he found himself through on goal but Anton Nugent produced a fine save to deny the United forward.

Worse was to follow for the hosts when they fell further behind from a corner that was met by the head of Chris Paterson who made no mistake from close range.

Lanark could have recoiled and went into damage limitation mode but Gartcairn’s third goal seemed to spark them into life.

David O’Donnell and Kieran McGurk were causing the opposition problems and combined to release Ronan Kearney who unleashed a powerful left-footed strike into the roof of the net.

Lanark continued to push forward knowing that any extra goal could be the difference in securing promotion but Gartcairn held firm to secure all three points.