League wins for both Bellshill and Thorniewood

Greenock v Thorniewood. Brendan Smith ( 2nd left ) see his header go in off the underside of the bar.
Greenock v Thorniewood. Brendan Smith ( 2nd left ) see his header go in off the underside of the bar.

Junior sides Thorniewood United and Bellshill Athletic had plenty to celebrate after enjoying good wins.

Thorniewood finally registered their first Super League First Division win of the season with a 3-2 victory at Greenock on Saturday.

And Bellshill moved three points clear at the top of the Central First Division table with a dramatic win over closest challengers Lesmahagow on Saturday.

At Greenock Thorniewood raced into a 3-0 lead at the break before surviving a second half fightback by the home side.

’Wood were first to show in the fourth minute when a Dominic Green pass found trialist Brian Johnston who broke on the right before firing across a decent ball which unfortunately found no takers.

Moments later Greenock’s Craig Brown attempted an audacious shot that was beaten out by United trialist ’keeper Matthew Creechan.

A Kieran McIntyre shot was blocked, but from the corner Green was floored by a high boot and striker GARY MILLAR sent Mark Monk the wrong way from the spot to give Thorniewood a 10th minute
lead.

Good defending by Alan Fleming and Brendan Smith helped keep Thorniewood ahead during a good Greenock spell but the hosts were reduced to 10 when Martin Orr was sent off for his protests after being shown a yellow card for a foul on Gary
Duggan.

United doubled their advantage in the 40th minute when FLEMING got on the end of a ball to steer a low angled drive into the far corner from 12 yards.

Now in control, Thorniewood added a third on the stroke of half-time when SMITH headed home via the crossbar from a Duggan corner.

Greenock pulled one back in the 49th minute when ALAN DOCHERTY got on the end of a Ryan Craig cross to hit home.

With nothing to lose Greenock continued to dictate the pace and were further rewarded on the hour when DOCHERTY ghosted in behind a static Thorniewood defence to fire home.

Greenock were dealt a further blow in the 70th minute when substitute Kevin McKay received red for a second yellow, reducing them to nine.

Incredibly they continued to press against a nervy looking Thorniewood side but the visitors managed to see it out and get that first vital league win, despite having Fleming sent off in stoppage time.

Thorniewood: Meechan, Green, McIntyre, McBride, Fleming, Smith (Collins 92), McSorley, Johnston, Millar, Grant, Duggan (Kane 68).

Bellshill enjoyed an equally dramatic win as they moved three points clear at the top of the Central First Division table by beating Lesmahagow.

With the sides separated only on goal difference and a tight match was expected and it wasn’t until stoppage time that the winner finally came.

Early Bellshill pressure failed to break down a well organised Lesmahagow as defender McAuliffe headed a Craig Holmes effort clear and ’keeper Barnes pushed a Ryan Connelly shot behind.

Athletic ’keeper Alexander Cowie was called into action for the first time after 18 minutes when Lesmahagow striker Logan fired a Whitefield cross on target but Cowie comfortably kept out his shot.

At the other end Barnes punched a Lee Nichol free-kick clear and a Max McKee effort went narrowly behind as Bellshill drove

forward.

Home striker Andy Selkirk was fortunate to only receive a caution for a rash tackle on Bonham who was stretchered off the park following the incident.

Lesmahagow almost went ahead after 37 minutes when Cowie misjudged a Taylor cross and Sinclair Soutar kicked Logan’s shot off the line.

The visitors again went close in the 43rd minute when a Whitefield close range shot was blocked on the line by Callum Brady and Hamilton fired the rebound over the bar.

In the last action of the first half Cowie denied the visitors when he saved a Taylor close range attempt.

After the break Holmes sent sub Chris Dolan clear and Barnes did well to push his shot behind.

From the corner Holmes’s header was cleared by Meikle and two minutes later Connelly failed to get on the end of a Holmes cross.

Hamilton had a 20-yard free-kick saved by Cowie and a Logan header went over the top as the visitors pushed forward.

But Bellshill responded and Dolan, Brian McGinty and Jason McKay all went close to breaking the deadlock.

Cowie came to Bellshill’s rescue just three minutes from time when he kept out a Hamilton effort and brilliantly saved Logan’s shot from the rebound.

And in the first minute of stoppage time Bellshill got the winner when a Dolan pass sent SELKIRK through and the striker held off two defenders to fire low into the net.

Selkirk then ran to the support waving his shirt in the air - earning a second yellow card and an automatic ordering off.