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Lanark United 2 v 1 East Kilbride Thistle

Lanark United

McBookie .com West  Region League One Saturday 25/01/2020

Lanark United 2 v 1 East Kilbride Thistle

Report submitted by Craig Martin

You would hope a performance that takes you to the top of the league would be a thing of beauty but this hard fought victory was far from that against a side that at times bellied their lowly league position.

Both sides struggled to put any decent moves together until Mark Haddow sent Lewis Hill clear on 8 minutes and despite being fouled as he rounded the keeper Hill stayed on his feet but make the angle too tight for himself and lost the opportunity to score and surprisingly the referee refused to bring play back for the penalty Hill should have won.

Thistle pressed the home side back for spells early on and it took a couple of good stops from Lanark keeper Gareth Hallford from a close range shot on 12 minutes and again from a shot after a corner on 17 minutes to keep the scores level.

The closest either side came to scoring was East Kilbride again in the 23rd min when a glancing header was cleared off the line by Haddow ending up in the grateful Hallford’s waiting arms.

Lanark finally showed their teeth with half time approaching when first a Cammy Lawson free kick found Shug Kerr but after a good turn his shot was well saved on 40 mins then in the next move Kerr chased down what looked to be a lost cause on the left and cut the ball to Ian Watt but his well struck shot flashed wide of the post.

In the final minute of the half a cross from Lanark’s recent signing Ross Macneil was blocked with the ball breaking to Watt who drove in to the Thistle box before firing a shot across the keeper that found the far corner for 1-0 to the home side.

Half time: Lanark United 1 v 0 East Kilbride Thistle

Lanark had a horror start to the second half when they allowed East Kilbride early possession and the ball found its way to Bannerman who hit a shot from all of 25 yards that looked to be an easy take for Hallford but somehow the ball squirmed past him to find the net for 1-1 with less than a minute of the half played.

Lanark were stung by this goal but did eventually get themselves back in to the match when Kerr set James Martin free on the left and his excellent cross found Hill but unfortunately his effort went wide.

Lanark were not to be denied for long though and got themselves back in front on the hour mark when they won a corner on the right, Scott Nicol played the ball in low and it got past two defenders before landing at the feet of Watt who blasted the ball home from close range for his second of the match and his third in two matches to put Lanark 2-1 in front.

Lanark failed to settle on this lead and East Kilbride had a couple of chances that came to nothing but it was in fact Lanark who were casing their own problems with some sloppy balls in the middle of the park.

Lanark had a couple of opportunities to make the score a bit more respectable but failed to take them first when a free kick from PJ O’Donnell found Kerr but his flicked effort was well saved by Gaffney in the East Kilbride goal then inside the last five minutes Watt found Josh Gracie who had gone wide on the right and his perfect cross found Kerr who saw a bullet header again saved by Gaffney down low to his right.

In between these efforts an over fussy referee saw fit to order off Scott of East Kilbride for a second caution then on 90 minutes he also gave Blake his marching orders for the same.

Haddow had the final chance of the match in stoppage time when he saw a header go just past the post with all in the ground expecting the net to bulge.

The referee saw fit to add on seven minutes of stoppage time but Lanark saw this out to earn a hard three points in their efforts to secure back to back promotions.

Lanark team: Hallford, Gracie, Haddow, Lawson, Nicol, Macneil(Brannan), Watt, O’Donnell, Martin, Hill, Kerr