Larkhall 7 Forth 2 12th August 2015

Larkhall Thistle 7 Forth Wanderers 2

The Wanderers lost 7-2 to Larkhall Thistle at Gasworks Park in their opening Sectional League Cup fixture, despite a fine first half performance which saw them a goal up at the interval.

Chances were few and far between in an the opening period characterised by the Forth defence catching the hosts offside on numerous occasions, a pattern which continued throughout the half. The first chance of note came after 21 minutes when a Willie McClaren overhead kick flew over Colquhoun’s crossbar. McClaren came even closer 3 minutes later when his sweetly struck 20 yard free kick rattled the Larkhall crossbar with the keeper beaten. Declan Walker was next to try his luck for the Forth with a dipping shot that was comfortably saved. The Wanderers continued to press and Declan Anderson saw his shot well saved by Colquhoun after 32 minutes.

At the other end Paul McKane comfortably saved a free kick from David Reid before Neil Schoneville glanced a header narrowly wide after 41 minutes. John Watson then fired well over and it looked as though it would be scoreless at the interval until Forth were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time. Niall Reynolds seemed to slip and handle the ball whilst on the ground and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. A shade harsh perhaps, but Alan Christie had no qualms about stepping up and lashing the ball into the net to give the Wanderers the lead their play deserved.

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Larkhall began the second half full of purpose and were level within two minutes of the restart. McKane saved the initial shot from Reid but the ball broke back out to the Thistle man and he crossed for Schoneville to net from close range. Willie McClaren then brought out a good save from Colquhoun after 49 minutes but it was the hosts who took the lead a couple of minutes later. Again, Reid was the provider, crossing for Brian Jack to fire home unchallenged. McClaren again came close for Forth, the combined efforts of the keeper and a defender blocking his shot on the line and this was to prove costly as Thistle made it 3-1 almost immediately, when Reid timed his run to perfection behind the defence to latch on to a through ball and clip home.

Things were looking bleak for Forth at this stage but a chink of light appeared after 67 minutes when McClaren reduced the deficit with a superb goal. The ball was played out to him running down the left and he brought it down on his chest before firing an unstoppable shot into the net without breaking stride. The comeback was short lived however as Thistle regained their two goal cushion 3 minutes later, a punt from the goalkeeper eluding the Wanderers defence leaving Reid with time to pick his spot past the helpless McKane. Larkhall were in total command now and further goals followed from Clarke, Jack and Gracie to make the final score a humbling 7-2.

The Wanderers will be looking to put this result behind them when they face Royal Albert at Kingshill on Saturday in their next Sectional League Cup tie.

Forth team : McKane,Howson,Ward,Gibb,Watson,Grenfell (Tipping),Walker,Rennie,Christie(Scott),
McClaren,Anderson(Hannaway)