Mistakes cost Glens silverware
No increase in squad numbers says gaffer
Glencairn gaffer Willie Harvey has revealed he has no plans to add to his squad for the season ahead.
The Glens boss was pleased with the performances over the two matches at the pre-season tournament at Kilbirnie Ladeside’s Valefield Park despite two mistakes costing them some silverware.
And with the early signings gelling well with the original squad, Harvey admitted there was no need for any additions.
He said: “I am very happy with the squad of players we have. I don’t plan on adding to it.
“Having said that, if something special came along, that’s not to say we wouldn’t go for it.”
There were 17 players available for selection for the final of the James Glen Memorial Trophy as the squad continued their league and cup preparation.
However, new signings Jack Baker, Njabulo Ndlovu and Gary Smith were unavailable, along with midfielder Ryan McArdle.
The Glencairn goalkeeper KP McAllister had his concentration tested twice inside the opening minute as Larkhall tried to catch him out early on. Graham Gracie tried a speculative shot after only nine seconds which McAllister saved easily. But the stopper had to dive to his right after 46 seconds to beat away a shot by Mark McKeever.
Thistle continued to threaten as Mark Canning fired over the crossbar but The Glens almost took the lead when Fraser Team’s shot rebounded from the post. Jamie Hamilton and Jay McKay were then denied in an actionpacked opening ten minutes.
Larkhall took the lead in the 19th minute as they took advantage of indecision between Neil and Rhys Donaldson, allowing Jonathan McStay space to fire past McAllister from ten yards.
Glencairn manager Harvey made four changes to the line-up at the interval which included Alex Grier who came on for his first appearance for the first team, replacing Craig McGregor.
The Glens were level in the 54th minute, and it’s fair to say it was a touch of good fortune. Hamilton’s clever flick created space on the left for Anthony Dempsey to cross, but the ball flew over everybody including Thomson into the top right hand corner of the net to make it 1-1.
Larkhall responded quickly but McKeever’s strike was palmed away by McAllister and in the 62nd minute Andy Neil out muscled David Reid inside the penalty area. The referee however, waved away the Thistle penalty claims before Boyd scuffed a shot wide from 20 yards at the other end.
Glencairn had been dominating the game for the previous 20 minutes and at this stage it seemed that a winner was only likely to come at one end.
However, the flow of a game can turn in a flash, and Glencairn gifted the lead back to Larkhall in the 76th minute.
McAllister rolled a goal kick to Neil who seemed unaware that it was coming, and in nipped Jonathan McStay to steal the ball and roll it under McAllister to put Thistle 2-1 in front.
Harvey commented: “It was very worthwhile but it was about getting players game time.
“I was disappointed in how we lost the two goals on Sunday but that was the only disappointing thing over the weekend.”
Pre-season Tony Fraser links with Jay McKay and Fraser Team early in the match