THORN ATHLETIC missed the chance to return to the top of the Caledonian League First Division after a hard-fought clash with Cambria.
THORN ATHLETIC dumped title rivals Larkhall with a strong display to gain revenge for their only defeat of the season so far.
After suffering a 3-1 reverse at the hands of the Lanarkshire out it was a determined Johnstone team that travelled to Raploch Park.
Manager James Donnelly was faced with a few major selection problems of the right kind with almost a full squad at his disposal.
And his team made a bright start creating a few half chances in the opening ten minutes before they eventually took the lead.
Left-back Ally Brown found himself just outside the left hand side of the box just yards from the byline.
He unleashed a driven shot across the goalkeeper which nestled in the side netting.
Larkhall looked dangerous going forward but Thorn’s defensive unit was doing a great job of keeping them quiet.
And just before the break Thorn blew a great chance to double their lead from the penalty spot.
Michael McKinnon was fouled inside the box and ref Jim Cowie pointed to the spot.
Top scorer and normally reliable Jordan Devine stepped up but his penalty was saved with John Hay ballooning the rebound over the bar.
Into the second half and Thorn were prepared for a home onslaught but once again Larkhall were struggling to get through the Johnstone rearguard with everyone battling for every ball.
And their resistance finally paid off when they were rewarded with the killer second goal on the counter-attack.
Stuart McCann played the ball down the right wing and it was held up by Devine who then cut it back to the edge of the box for midfielder Hay to curl it into the keeper’s right hand corner.
Victory keeps Thorn sitting top of the table ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup Third Round clash against Stirling & District outfit Fallin AFC who are an unknown quantity to the Johnstone men.
Morrison and McKinnon were scheduled to face Wishaw Juniors last night (Tuesday) after being selected as part of the Caledonian Select squad. Devine was forced to withdraw through injury.
Meanwhile, in the West of Scotland Cup they will face Greater Glasgow outfit Dumbarton Harp Celtic in the third round tie due to be played in the middle of November.
Team: L McWilliams, McCann, Wilson, Morrison, Brown, McKinnon (Young), McEwan, Allen (Kennedy), Hay (Horne), Scott, Devine (Devine).