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South Lochaber Thistle 2 Erskine 3
Greater Glasgow Premier League Division One
South Lochaber Thistle (SLT) are still searching for their first win of 2022 after ending on the losing side despite an even encounter in Kinlochleven.
Thistle were once again without captain and talisman Martin Munro through suspension and a long injury/covid/unavailable list which includes at least 10 regular first teamers.
For the second week in a row, this meant three new faces in the Jags’ back four and a return for Ryan Boomer in goals and Leighton Stephenson in the midfield.
The game started well for the Erskine men, with Craig Fyfe opening the scoring for the visitors. A bouncing ball caught SLT napping and the Erskine player gathered and sent a well-directed ball to the back post.
Thistle were back level soon though. A wonderful Leighton Stephenson header duly arrived after great play from founding veteran Dave Forbes and Marc Maclean.
Andy McKinlay put the visitors ahead again with a controversial penalty. An aimless long ball over the top drew keeper Boomer out. When he hesitated, the forward knocked it past him and away from goal. The keeper’s connection with his knee was feathery light but the referee pointed to the spot. 2-1.
The game looked to be dead and buried when Ciaran McKenna made it 3-1 for the visitors.
Thistle are nothing if not spirited, however, and the score was soon 3-2 after an own goal. Ryan MacDonald chased down and cut the ball back across the box but the Erskine defender’s attempted clearance could only hit the keeper and bounce into the net.
Speaking after the game, SLT manager Alan Gray said: ‘Today was a tough one to take.
‘I felt we deserved more from the game. Even a draw would have been a fair result but if you don’t take your chances that’s what happens.
‘There’s no doubt being unable to get a settled team on the park and a mounting injury list doesn’t help us but I still believe results can come with the players we have available.
‘It’s testament to where we are at that we still have a competitive side and can name a full 16 for the game.
‘It’s through hard work that the wins will return. You can’t put it down to bad luck, referees or injuries. I’m not one for the bad luck stories. The ‘woe is us’ routine won’t wash. Next time we need to work even harder and earn that victory.’
Next week SLT travel to Glasgow to play AFC Eaglesham.
NO_F08_SLT v Erskine 05: SLT’s Dave Forbes is chased by Chris Black. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.
NO_F08_SLT v Erskine 04: SLT’s Andy Martin and Michael Roger prepare to intercept Erskine’s, Piotr Aleksandrowicz. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.
NO_F08_SLT v Erskine 03: Ryan MacDonald blocks an Erskine attack from Stewart Hunter,. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.
NO_F08_SLT v Erskine 01: Dave Forbes takes the ball from Craig Fyfe. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.
NO_F08_SLT v Erskine 02: SLT’s Michael Roger closes in on Erskine’s Ryan Feeley. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos