Your online local sport by Millar Stoddart

Promotion-chasing Gartcairn hammer threadbare Lanark United

Lanark occupy ninth place in the Central District Second Division

Lanark United were thrashed 7-1 by Gartcairn at MTC Park with the Royal Burgh club ravaged by injury and player unavailability, so much so that they struggled to field a team for last Saturday’s contest.

With two trialists on the park and a further two trialists from local youth outfit Kirkfield United on the bench, it was a game to forget for Colin Slater’s side.

The new Yowes manager is without a win after three games in charge, but may already be looking towards next season as he reshapes the United side.

Slater has already recruited players from his former club, Carluke Rovers, including Mark Haddow, who made his debut for United last weekend.

Gartcairn have arguably one of the most potent attacking units in the Central District Second Division and they used it to devastating effect, with the hosts taking the lead in the first minute.

United’s Cammy Lawson attempted to play the ball off a Gartcairn forward for a throw in but he conceded possession, allowing Liam McLaughlin to curl a right-footed strike into the top corner that left goalkeeper Gareth Halford rooted to the spot.

Lanark replied moments later when Ronan Kearney found Sean Taggart inside the box, but United’s afternoon soon took a  turn for the worse.

Gartcairn regained the lead in tremendous style when Ryan Bennett evaded several onrushing Lanark players with ease before rounding the goalkeeper and squaring the ball to Dylan McGuigan for a tap in.

Tom Gilmartin netted Gartcairn’s third goal after collecting the ball unmarked in the United box and firing low into the net.

Controversy soon followed when Cammy Lawson looked to close down a Gartcairn forward in the United box and the ball hit his opponent, with the referee awarding a penalty to the hosts.

Lawson vented his frustration at the referee and soon received his marching orders, leaving Lanark with 10 men on the park after 27 minutes played.

Kilmartin stepped up for Gartcairn but Halford produced a stunning save to his right to deny the forward, with the ball clipping the post before being cleared by the United defence.

Dylan McGuigan then scored Gartcairn’s fourth goal on the stroke of half time when he went on a mazy run through the middle of the park before beating Halford with a composed left-footed strike.

Gartcairn continued to push forward after the break and a dangerous free kick on the edge of the Lanark box initially stuck the United wall before Gilmartin pounced on the loose ball to extend their advantage.

Despite the onslaught, Halford had produced a string of fine saves throughout the game to keep the scoreline down as Gartcairn looked to extend their lead further.

Gartcairn’s Gary Arbuckle then received the ball on the left flank before cutting inside and slotting the ball low into the right-hand corner of the net.

Arbuckle then rounded off the scoring with a header from close range as Gartcairn’s promotion challenge continues.