Lanark United 3 v 2 Greenock Juniors FC
McBookie. Com West Region League One Saturday 04/01/2020
Lanark United 3 v 2 Greenock Juniors FC
Report submitted by Craig Martin
From the ridiculous to the sublime in one week albeit in two different decades, Lanark blew away the horror of last weeks defeat to lowly Perthshire with an excellent hard fought win over long time league leaders Greenock, all of this without top scorer Shug Kerr who was on the sick list.
The home side were put under pressure by their visitors from the off as they came out of the blocks flying with United struggling to get a foot hold in the match.
The first chance of note also came for the Greenock side when Black had a shot on the Lanark goal but Gareth Hallford was equal to it and the scores stayed level.
After being on the receiving end Lanark showed their own attacking flair when a hopeful ball from defence was headed on by Lewis Hill to play in strike partner Ian Watt, he in turn played a great ball in to they path of Sean Lindsay who bore down on the Greenock goal before sliding an excellent cool finish low in to the net for 1-0 after 13 minutes.
This lead only lasted to the midpoint of the half when after looking as if he had been fouled Mark Haddow played a poor ball back to his keeper that was pounced on by Greenock and a good ball to the right found Frizzell who fired home for 1-1.
Lanark tried to get back in front and created a good opportunity when Lindsay linked well with PJ O’Donnell who allowed James Martin time to cut infield but when Martin failed to get a shot away Greenock broke up the park on the right and it took another fine save from Hallford to keep the scores level on the half hour mark.
With the game approaching half time Lanark hit a purple patch with Lindsay and O’Donnell again being involved before playing a fine ball out to Josh Gracie on the right, Gracie rode a couple of heavy challenges as he cut in to the box before he picked out an excellent cut back that found Hill and his perfect low finish found the corner of the net for 2-1 on 37 minutes.
Greenock looked to get back on level terms before the break and thought they had when a fine free kick from Frizzell looked to be heading in to the top corner but another excellent save from Hallford kept Lanark’s lead intact.
Lanark would have been content to go in one goal ahead at the break but they in fact increased their lead on the stroke of half time when Martin put a fine ball out to Lindsay on the right, his well struck cross found Hill at the back post and his downward header found the net for 3-1.
With the final action of the half Greenock broke straight from the kick off and it took yet another good save from Hallford to turn the ball round the post for a corner.
Half time Lanark United 3 v 1 Greenock Juniors FC
The second half saw the visitors bombard the Lanark goal as they pressed the home side back but they did not trouble Hallford until the hour mark when he tipped another free kick on to the bar before it was cleared this just after the visitors had a shot hit the post.
Yet another free kick from Greenock’s Frizzell after 66 mins saw Hallford in action again as he turned the ball away for a corner that came to nothing.
Lanark were finding it difficult to get any meaningful attack on the go as Greenock tried to get back in to the match but one of these saw Hill set free on the left and after rounding the kleeper he found the angle too tight and the chance was lost.
Lanark saw their task made even harder with 12 minutes to go when Haddow was sent off for a second caution.
With Haddow off the onus fell on to his partner and captain Cammy Lawson who proceeded to deal with everything that the visitors threw his way until the 88th min when a ball from defence was well taken by Rodgers and an excellent finish over the head of Hallford made the score 3-2.
The visitors failed to find an equalising goal in the last few minutes though and Lanark ran out relieved winners for three points that keeps them at the business end of the table as they move in to the final third of their league season.
Lanark team: Hallford, Gracie, Haddow, Lawson, Nicol, Lindsay, Fraser, O’Donnell, Martin(MacNeil), Hill, Watt(Brannan).