Delight as Bellshill clinch promotion to Super League

09-05-2015 Picture Sarah Peters.  Lanark Utd lost 3-2 to Bellshill. Sarah Peters.
09-05-2015 Picture Sarah Peters. Lanark Utd lost 3-2 to Bellshill. Sarah Peters.

Bellshill Athletic are back in the Super League after a four-year absence after securing promotion with a 3-2 win at Lanark on Saturday.

The victory, coupled with rivals Dunipace going down 5-0 to Lesmahagow, guaranteed that Bellshill will be one of the two sides going up from the Central First Division.

The home team started brightly and striker Jarvie headed a first minute Morgan corner kick narrowly past before Lee Nichol blocked a third minute Docherty
effort.

At the other end Lanark ’keeper Cherrie pushed a Chris Dolan free-kick behind and then saved efforts by Craig Holmes and Gary McGrath before Lanark’s Falconer struck the bar from 15 yards.

The home side were awarded a penalty in the 11th minute when Craig Gupwell fouled Henderson but Jamie Donnelly pushed Jarvie’s low effort behind to keep the score sheet blank.

Donnelly again came to Bellshill’s rescue when he saved from Lanark’s Clark and Henderson sent the rebound over the top.

Cherrie kept out a Darren Ferguson effort and did well to keep out a close range Holmes shot.

But he was helpless in the 23rd minute when Nichol sent DOLAN clear to fire a powerful low drive into the net from 20 yards.

Holmes and Mark McCarry went close before Bellshill were awarded a 35th minute penalty kick when Cherrie fouled McGarry and DOLAN confidently stepped up to put the visitors two up.

After the restart Holmes fired a Jason McKay cross behind and Cherrie saved a Ferguson attempt.

But Lanark pulled a goal back in the 64th minute when MORGAN fired a Henderson cutback beyond Donnelly.

HOLMES restored Bellshill’s two-goal lead in the 74th minute when he gathered the ball in midfield and raced past four opponents before shooting low into
the net.

Lanark pulled a goal back in the 86th minute when the unmarked HENDERSON netted from close range.

But it wasn’t enough to deny Bellshill the win and a promotion party.

Bellshill: Donnelly, Gupwell (McGinty), McKee, Nichol, Tart, Ferguson, Dolan, McGarry, McGrath (Connelly), Holmes, McKay (Burke).Subs not used: Cowie, Brady.

Delighted Bellshill manager Brian McGinty was full of praise for his players after they clinched promotion to the Super League.

The long-term pacesetters managed to see the job through after bouncing back from a sticky spell which threatened to derail their promotion bid for the second year running.

He said: “I think last year we looked too far ahead and tried to work out where we could take points from instead of taking each game individually.

“When we lost three games, including two to Dunipace, people might have been thinking ‘here we go again’.

“But the players have bounced back since then to win six and draw with Blantyre and to do that at a time when you’re playing three games a week speaks volumes for their attitude and commitment.

“They fully deserve to go up and with us coming back to Bellshill next season it’s massive for the club.”