McBookie Championship



THISTLE suffered a narrow defeat against the table-toppers, but pushed their visitors all the way.

Dalry were the first to threaten as Ian Cashmore crossed from the left in two minutes and Lewis Gardiner stretched but could only stab the ball wide from close range.

Glencairn were much more ruthless with their first proper attempt on goal, though, and it resulted in the opening goal in four minutes when Kris Gebbie burst forward and then found Jordan Leyden. The midfielder's incisive reverse pass fell perfectly into the path of striker Liam Gormley, and he instantly smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

The hosts had the ball in the net again in eight minutes as Gebbie's free-kick picked out Stevie Kerr and he lifted it over Blair Lochhead goalkeeper and into the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

The travelling support didn't have to wait too much longer to see their side score a second goal. A speedy low pass up the centre of the field saw Liam Gormley race away from the Thistle defence, and he waited for the right moment to roll the ball calmly past Lochhead.

Glencairn continued creating chances and were now playing with a lot of confidence. McKay curled a free-kick narrowly wide in 16 minutes before the same player showed clever feet to create a chance and shoot from a tight angle but his effort was blocked.

Thistle seemed stunned by the early double strike and took some time to get themselves settled back into the game, although their were signs of recovery as Kyle Lochhead's curling free-kick almost picked out Stuart Hannah, only for Whyte to punch clear.

Kyle Lochhead tried his luck from a free-kick for Dalry in 23 minutes, but Whyte parried the effort away.

McKay's tireless running almost got a reward in 35 minutes as he chased down a pass back to goalkeeper Lochhead and blocked the kick out, but the ball fell fortunately for Thistle to clear the danger.

Thistle's attacks after the break seemed to have more threat.

Their second substitution saw Conor Browning replace Oliver in 53 minutes. Any plans which Thistle had from that change hadn't had time to settle before Glencairn were given the perfect chance to kill the game. Mitchell cut into the penalty area on the right and was brought down from behind by Kyle Lochhead, and the referee didn't hesitate to whistle for a penalty kick.

Blair Lochhead blocked Gormley's spot kick with his leg to keep Thistle very much still in contention.

Zack Simpson's clipped pass picked out a late run into the penalty area by Mark Archdeacon, and he tried to set up Cashmore in front of goal only to be denied by Gebbie's fine interception. Dalry had much more of the game now, but Glencairn's defending was solid, and the home side's frustration was summed up by Cashmore's free-kick which hit the wall and his snatched rebound attempt which flew miles wide of goal.

Just as it seemed that Glens were going to do enough to see the game out comfortably, the referee intervened in 86 minute.s Thistle went incredibly close to scoring as firstly Whyte saved brilliantly and the rebound hit the post, and then another shot in the stramash crashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced just in front of the goal-line. Gebbie booted the ball well clear, before the referee blew for a penalty kick to Dalry. Cashmore sent Whyte the wrong way to make it 2-1 with only two minutes left but Glencairn held on to win.

DALRY THISTLE: Blair Lochhead; Simpson, K Lochhead, Hannah, McGowan, Turner (Stevenston), Oliver (Browning), Gardiner, Cashmore, Archdeacon, Cumming. (Subs not used - Stuart, Parrott, Fisher.