Milngavie P Thorn Athletic P

Thorn Athletic v Westerlands

Thorn Athletic v Cambria

THORN ATHLETIC missed the chance to return to the top of the Caledonian League First Division after a hard-fought clash with Cambria.

Having defeated the Glasgow outfit twice away from home already this season they looked eager to avenge those results with a strong display.
Home boss James Donnelly made a few changes with fit-again striker Jordan Devine, Ross Horne and Niall Kennedy restored to the starting line-up.

There was no quarter given in the opening half hour as both teams took the game to each other when in possession.
Thorn keeper Liam McWilliams was busiest and produced a handful of fine saves that looked likely to see the teams go in level at the break.
But that wasn’t to be the case as Sam Gray flicked home the opener from a low Callum MacIver corner just a minute before the half-time whistle.
Stung into action soon after the restart, Thorn equalised on the hour mark after Tom Smith showed good control before applying a cool finish to a through ball.
But they were not to be overturned and a sweeping six man move from one end of the pitch to the other, ended with Kevin McCarron latching on to a Gray flick to go one on one with the goalie before coolly lifting the ball over the advancing keeper for a deserved lead.
Once again Thorn had questions to answer and as the game progressed they increased the pressure in search of a second equaliser as they sought to keep an unbeaten league record intact.
And it was Devine, returning from an ankle injury, that provided the answer with an equaliser as only minutes remained on the clock.
There was a late chance for Thorn to clinch it when Gary Wilson’s header across the danger area in the box found no takers.
Manager James Donnelly said: “It was probably a fair result as both teams had their fair share of chances. We could have sneaked it right at the end with a header from Gary Wilson.
“It wasn’t our best performance of the season but Cambria really imposed themselves on the match and in the end we can’t complain.
“We remain unbeaten in the league and we would like to continue that for as long as possible.”
It’s back to cup business this week as Thorn prepare to host Greater Glasgow Premier League side Dumbarton Harp Celtic in the third round of the West of Scotland Cup.
Meanwhile, Friday’s Scottish Cup fourth round draw handed the Johnstone side a trip to Dundee to face Premier League side Menzieshill Rovers where they will hope to book a place in the last 32 of the competition.
The club will be running a bus to this match scheduled for December 5. Seats are available £10 for any supporters wishing to travel to the match.
On Tuesday night defenders Michael McKinnon, Donny Morrison and striker Jordan Devine were scheduled to be part of the Caledonian League Select to face Carluke Juniors at Dalziel.
Team: L McWilliams, McCann, Wilson, Morrison, Horne (McEwan), Scott, McKinnon, Hay, Kennedy (Robertson), Smith, Devine. Subs: Callaghan, Brown.


Larkhall v Thorn Athletic

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.

Hay bagged killer second

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).

Thorn Athletic v Balmore

Cambria v Thorn Athletic




Larkhall Thistle