Bellshill march on . . . but Thorniewood suffer at Maybole

Maybole v Thorniewood - Stefan Law (far right) somehow steers the ball home from a corner in crowded penalty box for Thorniewood's only score.

Maybole v Thorniewood - Stefan Law (far right) somehow steers the ball home from a corner in crowded penalty box for Thorniewood's only score.

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Bellshill got the new year off to a winning start with a 4-1 victory over Lanarkshire rivals Wishaw at Fullarton Park on Saturday.

The Central League First Division league leaders stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games as they maintained their four-point advantage at the top of the table.

Bellshill pushed forward from the kick off and a first minute Gary McGrath shot was pushed behind by Wishaw ’keeper Thomson.

From the resultant corner kick Andy Selkirk’s header was cleared off the line by Goodall and Craig Holmes fired the rebound narrowly off target.

Bellshill kept up the pressure, earning five corners in the first eight minutes.

Chalmers headed a Holmes effort off the line and Thomson had four excellent saves from Jason McKay and Chris Dolan.

Wishaw’s first attempt on target was a 25 yard drive from Daly which ’Hill ’keeper Alexander Cowie comfortably saved.

Cowie then saved a close range Grant header but Bellshill were soon back on the attack as Lee Nichol shot past from close range and McGrath headed a Dolan cross over from six yards.

A Selkirk shot was blocked on the line by Daly and a Dolan 20 yarder struck the bar but the first half ended goalless.

However Bellshill broke the deadlock 30 seconds after the restart when McKay sent Dolan clear and SELKIRK fired his cross into the net from 12 yards.

The visitors responded and Cowie did well to keep out efforts from Grant and Stewart.

At the other end McGrath and Holmes had efforts saved by Thomson before Wishaw equalised in the 74th minute when CRAWFORD headed a Stewart corner high into the net.

Athletic regained the lead 30 seconds later when substitute BRIAN McGINTY fired a McKee cross beyond Wishaw’s Thomson.

Daly blocked a goalbound Ryan Connelly effort and Thomson kept out a Dolan free-kick before Bellshill increased their lead in the 82nd minute when STEVEN TART headed home following a Dolan corner.

Bellshill added a fourth goal in the 87th minute when DOLAN fired home the rebound after a McGrath shot was blocked by Daly.

Bellshill: Cowie, Tart, McKee, Nichol, Soutar, Ferguson, Dolan, McGrath, Selkirk (McGinty), McKay (Connolly), Holmes. Subs not used: Gupwell, McGarry.

Meanwhile Thorniewood’s recent run of good form ended in disappointing fashion as they went down 4-1 to 10-man Maybole on Saturday.

The Viewpark side were in control for large portions of the game but failure to convert chances cost them dear as Maybole rallied late to secure all three points.

The home side came close to scoring the opener in the second minute, Andy Stevenson hitting the post after taking advantage of a misplaced Daly McSorley back-heeler.

They again threatened in the eighth minute when Craig Reid forced a fine save from Mark Fitzpatrick at his back post.

However it was Thorniewood who took the lead in the 11th minute when a Gary Duggan corner was knocked home from close range by STEFAN LAW.

Stevenson fired over from the edge of the box before Maybole equalised in the 22nd minute, STUART McGRADY slotting low past Fitzpatrick.

The home side were reduced to 10 men in the 32nd minute when Reid was shown a straight red for kicking out in frustration.

But, disappointingly for Thorniewood, Maybole who finished the half the stronger and took a 40th minute lead when PEACOCK popped up to knock home at the back post despite Thorniewood claims for handball.

Within seconds of the restart Maybole forced Fitzpatrick into a superb stop as they went close to adding a third.

This was a clear wake up call for ’Wood who began to assert themselves.

A 54th minute Law effort came off underside of the bar before beaten home ’keeper Scott Johnstone got lucky, smothering the loose ball on the line.

Shots from Stephen Mullen and substitute Gary Millar were both blocked for corners before a United effort in a crowded box was cleared off the line.

But Maybole were dangerous on the counter and Fitzpatrick produced a great stop to keep his side in the game.

Thorniewood continued to enjoyed the bulk of the play and a Law strike was deflected inches wide.

Davie Collins fired over from just outside the box before McSorley had Johnstone at full stretch with a 25-yard free-kick.

But the visitors were dealt a killer blow in the 85th minute when a Collins pass was intercepted, allowing STEVENSON to score.

Moments later a clearly deflated United conceded a fourth as the impressive STEVENSON again found the target to put an exaggerated slant on the scoreline.

Thorniewood: Fitzpatrick, Collins, Smith, Green, Hamilton, McSorley, Graham, Law, Johnston (McBride 68), Mullen, Duggan. Sub not used: More.