McBookie League Two



by Mark Inglis

AFTER a competitive first half, Ardeer eventually fell to a disappointingly heavy defeat against Thorniewood United at Robertson Park.

Thistle could have taken the lead early on, player/manager Blair Gilmour's effort from a scrappy corner being blocked by a defender. However, the majority of chances in the first half were created by the hosts, with Ardeer goalie John McWilliam twice denying Gary Stewart from outside the box. On the half hour, midfielder Alistair Morgan spurned a great opportunity to score, missing the target from a Jordan Rennie cutback.

Thorniewood opened the scoring in 37 minutes when a free-kick from deep on the left flank found its way to Scot Cowan at the back post who headed into the net. At the other end Nathan Wieringa had a deflected free-kick saved by Jonathan Duncan as the hosts went into the interval a goal ahead.

The home team should have extended their lead twice within the opening minutes of the second half. McWilliam firstly denied Rennie from close range after parrying away Stewart's initial effort. It really was far easier for Rennie to find the net and he couldn't believe it when McWilliam denied him one-on-one again a few minutes later. Ardeer would have been aggrieved had he scored as the striker looked to be offside when the ball was played to him.

Ardeer were fighting but were generally on the back foot, and it wasn't surprising when Thorniewood doubled their lead in 59 minutes when a cross into the box was headed clear to Gary Fallon who netted with a low drive from 20 yards. They scored their third seven minutes later, Morgan finding the net on the counter-attack, despite the best efforts of McWilliam who had blocked a team-mates initial effort. Rennie squandered yet another chance to score soon after, somehow firing wide from a Cowan square pass.

As Ardeer faded in the last quarter, Thorniewood continued pressing forward in search of more goals. Rennie missed when given another good opportunity to score before the hosts scored their fourth, Stewart netting with a powerfully struck penalty after Mark Beveridge fouled him in the area. McWilliam had acquitted himself well in the Ardeer goal as he kept the score down, but picked up a knock in the later stages and Rennie finally managed to get the better of him in 86 minutes, holding off Kian Murdoch and firing a shot into the net to the cheers of the home support.

ARDEER THISTLE: McWilliam; Smith, Beveridge, McCarthy (Murdoch 73) McKay, Dempsey, Gilmour, Lindsay (Miller 67) Colvin, Ewing, Wieringa. Sub not used: Johnston.