Lanark United 4 v 0 ST Rochs FC
Armagh Group West of Scotland Cup 2nd Rd Saturday 07/03/2020
Lanark United 4 v 0 ST Rochs FC.
Report submitted by Craig Martin.
In the battle of the centenary clubs, Lanark came out on top with a fine win over their opponents from a league above.
The match itself was slow to start with chances being few and far between for either club in fact the first chance of any note came in the 10th minute when a PJ O’Donnell corner ended up being loose in the St Rochs six yard box, Kieran Brannan tried a cheeky back heel but his effort was blocked and cleared.
O’Donnell was involved in most of Lanark’s early creative play and a cross from the right found Shug Kerr but his header was wide of target.
St Rochs created a chance of their own mid way through the half when a good move on the right ended with a ball flashing across the United goal but fortunately for Lanark there were no takers and the chance was lost.
The best chance of the half came when Kerr beat the offside trap on the left before crossing for Brannan to stab the ball goalward but a clearance by Dow off the line meant the scores stayed level.
Lanark produced the last chances of the half when Brannan saw a shot blocked which fell for Kerr, he in turn set James Martin free on the left but again their were jo takers for his cross, on the stroke of half time a Davy Collins ball found Martin on the left and as he cut in to the box he lost his footing and again the chance was lost.
Half time Lanark United 0 v 0 St Rochs
The second half saw St Rochs have an early chance when a poor throw in from Lanark was punished and McManus saw a snap shot well saved by Gareth Hallford in the home goal.
Lanark replied when a Brannan run ended with him feeding Kerr but after a good turn his parting shot was blocked.
The home side began to get a grip on the match around the hour mark when the impressive Martin won a challenge on the left before setting Kerr free but a punch away by Stark cleared the danger.
With 61 mins on the clock Lanark took a deserved lead when good work from Kerr allowed him to set Martin free on the left and once he reached the bye line Brannan was on hand to meet his excellent cut back and place a fine shot wide of the keeper for 1-0.
Lanark’s Kerr had the next chance when he outstripped his marker before being pulled back, he was allowed to carry on but lost his chance and surprisingly the play was not pulled back as an ordering off would have had to be handed out to St Rochs.
Lanark doubled their lead in the 65th min when another O’Donnell free kick was handled in the box at the expense of a penalty and the ever reliable Lewis Hill made no mistake as he made it 2-0 to the home side.
Lanark thought they had increased their lead further on 70m mins when Mark Haddow had the ball in the net but he was adjudged to have handled, again however they were not to be denied when a fantastic run from Brannan on the right ended with him cutting the ball back for Kerr but the ball would not fall kindly for Kerr although he did manage to get the ball to Martin on the left who beat two defenders before slamming the ball home from ten yards for 3-0.
Lanark were dealt a blow on 76 mins when Haddow was ordered off after a second caution for what looked to be an innocuous challenge, this did not have the desired effect for St Rochs though as two minutes later Kerr chased down what looked to be a lost cause as he closed down the visiting keeper and after the loose ball headed towards the bye line Kerr beat the Rochs defender before placing an excellent strike in to the net from what looked to be an impossible angle for 4-0.
The last action of the match came again when the home side broke with a couple of minutes left when Martin broke free before chipping Stark in the St Rochs goal who managed to get a Hand on the ball to tip it over the bar.
Lanark team: Hallford, Gracie(Nicol), Collins, Lawson, C Anderson, L Hill(Hamilton), Haddow, O’Donnell, Martin, Brannan(J Fraser), Kerr.