Thorn into last 16 in Scot­tish Cup cam­paign

Hard-fought victory moves John­stone team into next round

Paisley Daily Express - - A Newlandscape - Mary­hill Black Star............0 Thorn Ath­letic....................1

Craig Ritchie

John­stone’s Thorn Ath­letic reached the last 16 of the Scot­tish Am­a­teur Cup with a nar­row 1-0 tri­umph against Mary­hill Black Star in the sixth round.

Tom Smith’s goal in­side the first five min­utes was all that sep­a­rated the sides in a hard-fought af­fair.

And it was a match that was cast into doubt for some 35 min­utes after an am­bu­lance was called to treat the home side’s Brian No­ble, who suf­fered a dis­lo­cated shoul­der and was taken to hospi­tal.

Now the John­stone side will head to Dundee for the sec­ond time dur­ing this run as they face much-fan­cied Mid­lands AFA side Dou­glas – who al­ready dumped hold­ers Colville Park out in an ear­lier round.

So far, James Don­nelly’s side have never been the first name out the hat and have yet to be handed a home draw, which has en­sured many tough away days for the lads.

And none more so than on Satur­day, when they were made to bat­tle all the way to progress to the next round.

Mary­hill cracked the bar at one end be­fore Thorn broke up the park and Ross Horne played in pow­er­ful Smith who rounded the keeper to score.

The vis­i­tors had the better of the first half but after the in­ter­val it was a dif­fer­ent story with Black Star com­ing into the game strongly only to be stopped in their tracks by the in­jury.

After the restart Thorn’s Liam Allen shot wide and mid­fielder Ross Per­rie forced the keeper into a mag­nif­i­cent save.

Thorn keeper Liam McWil­liams then pro­duced a match­win­ning save late on be­fore skip­per Ryan Craw­ford missed a glar­ing chance to put the tie be­yond doubt.

But de­lighted boss Don­nelly said: “At this stage in the com­pe­ti­tion every­one is giv­ing their all and it was a great bat­tling per­for­mance.

“When you con­sider the num­ber of teams that start off in the na­tional cup com­pe­ti­tion then to reach the last 16 two sea­sons in a row is tes­ta­ment to how hard the boys have worked.

“We haven’t played a league game for months un­for­tu­nately, so we have some work to do there.”

This week Thorn Ath­letic host Giffnock North in the Cale­do­nian Premier League at Ren­frew Sports Cen­tre with a 1pm kick-off.

March­ing on Thorn Ath­letic booked their spot in the next round of the Am­a­teur Cup

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