East Kilbride Thistle v Thorniewood – Match Report

East Kilbride Thistle 7 Thorniewood United 1

 

Report by Fudge Sutherland

After a hard-fought game two weeks ago, both teams returned to battle it again with the victors due to take on Lochee Utd in the next round. A superb all-round performance from Thistle resulted in a convincing win with them completely dominating proceedings in the second half. A brace from both Dougie Ryan and Kevin McLean and singles from David McKean, Steven McClung and Scott McKean had the Thistle fans in rapture as they tore into Thorniewood.

Thistle started brightly as in the opening minute they came close with a Ryan volley after good work down the left involving Kevin McLean and Ally Morgan. Within three minutes though, Thistle did find themselves in front after a quick free kick from David McKean fed the ball right through to Scott Hadden, and his weighted pass through was met by striker Scott McKean who slotted the ball under the keeper.

Thorniewood then tried to hit back as Darren Cooke connected with a headed clearance but his weak shot was easily saved. Thistle again carved open the Thorniewood defence as Scott McKean burst through the left but his shot from a tight angle was easily saved by Colin McGraw. With nine minutes on the clock, parity was restored after good work on the left from Aaron Neill, who got in behind the Thistle defence and his well-paced cross to the back post found an unmarked Darren Cooke who had an easy task of slotting home for the equalizer.

The game then settled down as both teams probed at respective defences but could find no way through. Thistle won a couple of corners but Garry Fallon and Thomas Buckley stood firm and cleared everything coming their way. At the other end good defending from Kevin McLean and Liam Barclay prevented Thorniewood from advancing down the wing. It wasn’t until the 17th minute that either keeper had a save to make and it was Thistle’s keeper Martyn Meek who easily saved a Declan Cumming shot.

It was nearly another ten minutes before a keeper was called into action and this time McGraw tipped over a powerful Hadden free kick with David McKean heading wide the resulting corner. A couple of minutes later Thistle carved out another chance as Hadden volleyed over from the edge of the box after good work from Ryan. On 35 minutes, Thorniewood found themselves down to ten men and 2-1 behind after Gary Fallon pushed a goalbound David McKean shot off the line. Ryan stepped up and dispatched the ball low beyond McGraw to restore Thistle’s lead.

From then on it was all but one-way traffic as Thistle took control of the game and although there was no more first half action, we had no idea how Thorniewood would react in the second half. Thistle sat right on top of Thorniewood preventing them from getting their play going and as a result Thistle were able to dictate play right from the restart. They found themselves further in front after 50 minutes with a wonderful move involving Hadden, Ryan and David McKean. Hadden on the left fed the ball inside to McKean on the edge of the box and his clever one two with Ryan, beat three defenders and leaving them in his wake McKean curled the ball beyond McGraw from a narrow angle.

Two minutes later, another good chance from Thistle as Ryan clipped the ball through to Kevin McLean but his shot from the edge of the 6-yard box was well saved this time. Thistle piled on the pressure against Thorniewood who were now struggling to keep up with a rampant Thistle as Joe McIntosh forced a corner with Ryan seeing his resulting shot well saved. There was no stopping Thistle however, as they scored another two goals in as many minutes to go 5-1 up.

First up was Ryan who found himself unmarked in front of goal to knock home a clever ball from a rampaging Morgan on the right after good work in the middle from McIntosh and Hadden. Next up was Kevin McLean who collected a clever ball from Scott McKean after Thistle easily won the ball in the middle of the park. McLean raced in behind three defenders and as the keeper came out he coolly placed the ball under the keeper and into the net.

Thistle then rang the changes with Steven McClung and Jordan White replacing Ryan and Scott McKean up front and Chris Faulds replacing David McKean. No sooner had the substitutions taken place when on 72 minutes, Thistle went six up and it was the subs that were involved. Hadden cleverly clipped the ball into the box from the left and White was on hand to turn the ball across the face of goal for “Dunga” McClung to stroke the ball home.

Unfortunately for Thorniewood it went from bad to worse on 75 minutes as scorer Cooke received his marching orders after a second yellow card and Thistle not wishing to pass up the opportunity nailed the coffin shut and lowered it 6 feet as they went 7-1 up on 77 minutes. In a sweeping move thistle switched the ball quickly from the left back position through the middle and out right to Morgan. He cut in to the edge of the box and he played the ball across the box with White back heeling the ball to Kevin McLean at the back post to slot home beyond a helpless McGraw.

Five minutes later Kevin Mclean almost got his hat trick as his shot brought out a fine save from the same man and the closing action of the game actually found Thorniewood having a go at goal with Meek saving well from a Gary Livingstone shot. On paper it looks like Thistle capitalised on playing against nine men, but the truth was they were already 6-1 up and the referee should/could have called time up early such was their dominance.

The first game had nine yellow cards and a red card while the replay had 11 yellow cards and a red even though you would have been pushed to see an angry man or an outrageous challenge. The crime count unfortunately was down to a rather pedantic referee who flashed cards about as if going out of fashion with both teams at the receiving end of harsh decisions.

Nonetheless this was a fantastic performance from Thistle who once they got their noses back in front there was no doubting the result. Unlike Thistle in the previous game Thorniewood were unable to adapt to playing with 10 men and Thistle took full advantage running amok with some slick passing and good movement off the ball. This was as complete a performance you could wish for and you have to feel a bit sorry for Thorniewood who came up against a Thistle team in top form. They now move into the fourth round for the second year running this time against Lochee Utd and in between times they have league business away to Port Glasgow next Saturday.

Thistle: Meek, Barclay, C McLean, McIntosh, Gray, D McKean (Faulds), Morgan, Hadden, Ryan (White), S McKean (McClung), K McLean. Subs Unused: Gillespie, Gillan.

United: McGraw, Innes. Boal, Fallon, Buckley, Welsh (Jack), Pettigrew, Neill (Jackson), Cooke, Livingstone, Salah. Subs Unused: Easton, Morgan.

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