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Saturday, March 25th 2006

12:00 AM

Stagecoach Superleague Division 1

Lugar Boswell Thistle 1 Largs Thistle 0

Forget the War of the Roses this was the War of the Thistles as Lugar set out to revenge the 5-0 drubbing they received 7 weeks earlier at Largs. Lugar needed the points to help ensure that they avoid relegation and Largs wanted the points as they look towards winning promotion. Lugar had to do without Craig Muir and Ricky Hanvey as both players failed fitness tests, Alex Duffy was however available for selection after serving his suspension.

The game started rather tamely and it seemed that there was more happening off the field with some vociferous exchanges between the Lugar support and the Largs dugout, which was almost evenly matched in numbers as Largs obviously hadn’t heard of the 8 man rule. Meanwhile a game was being played and it was beginning to heat up and turn into a fine contest.

Lugar were perhaps just in front with the chances they were creating but some poor judgement combined with a good display from Connick, the Largs keeper, kept the scores level. Patrick Walker came close from a free kick but Connick had positioned himself well to make the save.


Walker's free kick.


At the other end Lauchlan Millar had to react sharply to clear a corner with 3 Largs players closing in.

John Robertson, the Largs centre half received a yellow card following an off the ball kick at a Lugar player which incensed the Boswell side as they clearly thought it should have been red. But justice was to prevail as two minutes later Robertson illegally stopped a Lugar attack. With Walker running onto a through ball from his own half and the Largs defence caught out flat across the halfway line, Robertson clearly handled the ball and denied a clear goalscoring opportunity, for which he received his marching orders via a straight red card.

 Lugar continued to press and a quick Paul Cameron throw in found Walker on the left. As he ran in on goal he spotted Stuart McPherson rushing in and he unselfishly cut it back for his team-mate, unfortunately the pass was too strong and McPherson couldn’t reach it. Cameron and Walker combined once again to catch Largs out down the left and this time Walker decided to shoot, the shot rifled off the underside of the bar and bounced down and then out to safety.

 Largs were playing route one football and continued to fire the ball long into Lugar’s penalty area, but Campbell McCluskie and Craig Pettigrew were coping well with this threat. However one such chance fell for Largs’ Graham and just as he was about to shoot, Pettigrew nicked the ball away with a well judged tackle.


Pettigrew clears.


Lugar midfielder Darren McMahon then passed through the Largs back four to Walker who raced down the right wing and from the byline he crossed for McPherson to break the deadlock with a fine goal from close range.


McPherson turns to celibrate his goal


Boyle and Walker celibrate with McPherson


Largs then came close to an equaliser when, from a corner, Graham volleyed in a shot from 4 yards but Stuart Leavy pulled off the save of the game to turn the ball over for another corner.


Graham gets to the corner.


Leavy makes a wonder save.


At the other end Connick was also proving to be in good form as he saved well from a Cameron free kick.


Half time score 1-0


The second half got under way and it was to be the 10 men of Largs who were to take the game to Lugar as they pressed hard for an equaliser. Leavy was called upon early as he had to get down sharply to save from a Paul Young free kick from just outside the penalty area.


Young's free kick.


Connick then saved from McCluskie and as the game started to swing from end to end both keepers were to put in fine performances.


 A McCluskie header.


A Cameron free kick then went just over with Connick stranded.

A Largs corner then saw Willie Armour bullet in a header that had Leavy diving to his right to save.


 Armour wins the header.


Leavy saves at the bottom corner.


Another chance for Largs and Leavy was at full stretch, but once again he miraculously turned it over the bar. Connick’s turn next and he saved well at the top corner to deny Lugar once more.


Connick at full stretch.



 The next Largs attack was the best chance the visitors had to score and how it stayed it is beyond belief.

A cross from the left found Hendron in space inside the Boswell area and despite the close attentions of Cameron he got in a shot that Leavy managed to parry away from goal, but only as far as Craig McGlone, his shot was then blocked by Mark Doolan and with the Lugar defence on the deck trying to force the ball away, the ball broke to Brian Robertson, the Largs number 10 fired the ball straight at the Lugar keeper who was still scrambling to get back on his feet.









 Largs were lifted by this chance and flung all their subs on in a last ditch effort to get something from the game. They were however not counting on Leavy having an inspired performance in goal and his determination to keep a clean sheet thwarted them time after time.


Leavy saves again.


 It was not all Largs however and Lugar had a few chances to clinch the game, Walker was through with only the keeper to beat but the assistant ref had spotted an earlier infringement. Lugar’s top scorer then had another two chances with the first going over the bar and the next past the post.


Walker fires over.


Another Walker shot.


 This one's just past.


The referee played 4 minutes of added time but Lugar held on to claim all three points. These lifted the Boswell side up 4 places into 3rd spot in the league and are surely only another win away from guaranteed safety. Man of the match was clearly Lugar’s keeper Stuart Leavy.


Man of the Match in action. 

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