MATCH REPORT: ARTHURLIE 1-2 LARGS
Arthurlie 1-2 Largs Thistle
Dunterlie Park, Barrhead
14:00 Saturday 4 March 2023
Arthurlie: Mclaughlin (32)
Largs: Sewell (58), Davidson (73)
IT was the start of a new era at Dunterlie on Saturday as club legend Johnny Millar took charge of his first game when relegation rivals Largs Thistle visited Barrhead.
Millar, who famously scored and was man of the match when Arthurlie won the Scottish Junior Cup in 1998, took over as manager on Thursday following the departure of Craig Palmer last week.
The new man set up in a more traditional 4-4-2 for his first game with Gary Carroll and Dale Simeon starting together in attack.
The first chance of the game arrived on 6 minutes, Connor Bradley getting forward in typical fashion and crossing for Ryan McGregor, but the midfielder’s header was well over the target.
It was a slow start to the game, neither side creating much, with both defences on top.
Lewis Davidson hit a powerful drive goalwards that was sure to trouble the Arthurlie goal on 17 minutes, but Lewis Magee did well to get a block in.
The visitors were doing most of the pushing at this point but winning a succession of corners was as close as they got to a goal.
David Ramsay made a promising break olin the 24th minute for the away side before being cynically fouled by Andy McLaughlin, a crime for which the ‘Lie man picked up a yellow card.
A minute later, however, it was Arthurlie who came within inches of taking the lead, Simeon being sent clear before striking the post with a left-foot drive.
On 32 minutes, however, the goal did arrive for the home side and Simeon was instrumental again, finding space on the left and crossing into the middle before McLaughlin smashed home the loose ball when Largs failed to clear.
Largs looked like finding an equaliser 10 minutes later but when the ball broke to Cory Hughes at the back post the Thistle number 17 could only manage a fresh air swipe before the ball was cleared for a corner.
The second half started in much the same vein as the first with both teams struggling to get the game under control.
On 55 minutes, however, ‘Lie should have doubled the lead when Carroll headed over from close range following a Simeon cross.
It was a miss that was to look costly just three minutes later when Thistle found an equaliser with a Will Sewell strike from close range.
Arthurlie introduced Max Kerr and Jordan Shelvey on 66 minutes as they looked to get back on top.
Within sixty seconds, however, Largs almost grabbed a second but saw the ball crash off James Scott’s crossbar.
The two Arthurlie substitutes linked up brilliantly on 72 minutes, Kerr finding Shelvey with a cross but Jamie Walker saving the forward’s shot well.
The visitors broke immediately up the park to take the lead with a fine header from Lewis Davidson from 8 yards.
Dean McBride was introduced for Lance Pearce on 78 minutes as the Barrhead men chased the equaliser but, despite pushing hard for the remainder of the game, the Ayrshire team who were to hold on to take the points.
Arthurlie team: Scott, Pearce (McBride 78), Bradley, MacNeil, Magee; McLaughlin (Kerr 66), Leyden, McGregor, Roulston (Shelvey 66); Carroll (c), Simeon
Subs not used: Nolan, Martin, Shields, Black (GK)
Largs team: Walker, McLeod, McMaster, Hughes, McCreath, Faulds, Devine, McBryde, Murray, Lewis, Davidson
Subs: Adam, Sewell, McGrath, Nimmo, McGoldrick, Tennent, Martin