Your online local sport by Millar Stoddart

Lanark United edge closer to top of league after 3-2 away win to Vale of Clyde

Lanark United vs Vale of Clyde West Region League Two Saturday 08/12/18

Vale of Clyde 2 v 3 Lanark United FC

In absolutely horrendous condition on a very heavy Fullarton Park, Lanark put in a battling performance to win the points in front of a healthy travelling support.

Lanark were unlucky to see a goal chalked off when the home keeper spilled a shot with Hugh Kerr first to react coming from behind defenders in the 3rd min but amazingly the referee ruled the “goal” out for offside the first of many poor decisions on the day.

Lanark struggled to get back in to the match with Vale pressing them back in to defence and cashing in on some sloppy play, they took the lead in the 11th min when Lanark’s Cammy Lawson looked to be pushed as he tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick but play carried on and a cut back fell to the feet of Clift who made it 1-0 to Vale of Clyde.

Lanark did not learn from this and continued to invite the home side on to them and when a soft free kick was awarded just outside the penalty area Kevin Fraser took the kick and beat Gareth Hallford in the Lanark goal for 2-0 to Vale, a lead they thoroughly deserved.

Lanark were awarded a boost on 35 mins when Lawson was on the end of a hefty challenge from Scott who was surprising ordered off for his troubles.

Lanark huffed and puffed for what was left of the half against ten men and in stoppage time they got the ball forward to Kerr who beat a couple of defenders as he went in to the box before being brought down, Lewis Hill took the kick and made no mistake to make it 2-1.

Half time Vale of Clyde 2 v 1 Lanark United.

Lanark were buoyed by the goal just before half time and stated the second half well, in the first minute of the half a great ball from Lawson found the impressive Declan Lafferty on the left and after beating his marker he fizzed a low ball across goal with the keeper just reaching the ball before Kerr, they did not have things all their own way though as Clift missed a chance to put Vale 3-1 up seconds later.

The home side were made to pay for this miss when another excellent ball to Lafferty on the left this time from Mark Haddow saw the same end result, a great ball across goal that found Ian Watt at the back post and his low finish from close range made it 2-2 after 48 mins.

Again Vale came back at Lanark despite their ten men and won a corner on 52 mins, the ball went to Nicky Fraser who thundered in a shot but Hallford brought off a brilliant save to keep the scores level.

One of the shortest substitutions and most eventful cam for Lanark when Alan McCrum came on for Martin Smith in 67 mins and he made an immediate impact as he linked with Josh Gracie to produce a half chance then when Lanark won a free kick mid way in the Vale half he sent a perfect ball in that was headed home by Watt at the front post to put Lanark in front for the first time in the match on 68 mins. McCrum joined the celebration of the goal with Watt but this was amazingly deemed to have been over exuberant by the referee and he ordered McCrum off another decision that shocked almost all in the ground.

Watt linked up well with Kerr in the 75th min as Lanark looked increase their lead but a good save from the home keeper kept him at bay.

The home side pressed forward with numbers now level but a mix of good saves from Hallford in the Lanark goal and poor finishing meant Lanark earned three great points to put them within a point of leader Lesmahagow with a game in hand.

Lanark team: Hallford, Gracie, Lawson, Haddow, Smith (McCrum), McHugh, Hill, Annetts, Lafferty (Martin), Kerr (Fraser), Watt.

Saturday 15th December: Lanark United vs. Johnstone Burgh, kick off 1.45pm at Moor Park.