Mixed fortunes for Bellshill and Thorniewood

Thorniewood v Rob Roy. Rob Roy keeper Murdoch tips over a late Wood chance.
Thorniewood v Rob Roy. Rob Roy keeper Murdoch tips over a late Wood chance.

Junior sides Thorniewood United and Bellshill had mixed fortunes when they returned to playing action after their weather-enforced ‘winter break’.

Bellshill boosted their Central First Division title hopes by thrashing Vale of Clyde 8-3.

But Thorniewood, battling to beat the drop from the Super League, went down 3-1 at home to Rob Roy.

Thorniewood took to the field at Robertson Park for the first time in 2015 on Saturday - but it wasn’t a happy return for the Viewpark side.

United were beaten 3-1 by Rob Roy in their first match anywhere since their win at Irvine on January 24.

The seven-week absence took its toll with a lacklustre, subdued performance from the home side who are battling to avoid the drop from the Super League First Division.

The visitors were quickly into their stride and took a fourth minute lead when KEVIN WATT met a corner at the near post to steer a header past ’keeper Chris Fitzpatrick into the far corner.

Thorniewood quickly levelled in the 10th minute when a flowing move on the right ended with DAVIE HAMILTON slotting into the bottom corner after Rabs’ ’keeper Jonathan Murdoch failed to hold on to a well struck shot from new signing Chris Lennon.

Moments later Lee Davison fired into the side netting for the visitors when it looked easier to score and Upton then forced Fitzpatrick into a decent stop as he tried his luck from just outside the area.

Efforts from Davison and Johnathan Carter came close as Rob Roy pushed for a second which duly arrived in the 39th minute.

A fairly tame looking Upton free-kick wasn’t dealt with by Fitzpatrick, coming back off the inside of the post to leave WATT the simple task of hitting into the empty net.

United’s injury jinx continued when young central defender Paul McCart marked his first appearance for the club by being carried off on a stretcher after badly twisting his knee on the heavy surface.

The visitors then went further ahead in the 58th minute when a routine free-kick from halfway was allowed to bounce in the box with WATT reacting faster than Brendan Smith to steer home and complete his hat-trick.

Thorniewood responded with a corner on the hour mark with Murdoch doing well at full stretch to tip over a net bound Stefan Law header.

But they were unable to find a way through and near the end Fitzpatrick was forced to pull off another good save before Watt rattled the bar with a well struck effort.

Bellshill returned to action with a goal avalanche as they hammered Vale of Clyde 8-3 at Fullarton Park on Saturday to maintain their title bid.

Technically Bellshill were the away side for their Central First Division clash with ‘landlords’ Vale of Clyde in their first match for almost a month.

Early Vale pressure was rewarded after three minutes when LONGBRIDGE fired a Stevenson cross into the net from 15 yards.

Two minutes later Bellshill defender Max McKee blocked a goal bound Scanlon drive.

But Bellshill weathered the early storm and Andy Selkirk shot narrowly past before Chris Dolan fired a free-kick inches over the top.

Vale’s ex-Thorniewood ’keeper Jon Connolly denied Craig Holmes and Selkirk shot wildly over the bar with only Connolly to beat as Bellshill drove forward in search of an equaliser.

It came in the 24th minute when LEE NICHOL knocked a Holmes cross beyond Connolly.

Three minutes later MARK McCARRY fired a Dolan free-kick past the ’keeper to put Bellshill ahead and before the first 45 minutes were up GARRY McGRATH and CALLUM BRADY netted to increase the lead to a comfortable three-goal margin.

Bellshill added a fifth goal in the 48th minute when STEVEN TART fired a Dolan cross into the net from 10 yards.

The overworked Vale back line were defending desperately and Currie and Cole both blocked goal bound Dolan shots before, in a rare Vale attack, poor defending allowed McGEACHAN to run clear and beat Alexander Cowie with a low drive.

A Scanlon free kick and a Higgans header were saved by Cowie as Vale enjoyed a short spell on the front foot before a 72nd minute DOLAN free-kick put the ’Hill further in front.

Bellshill substitute Jason McKay raced past two opponents and cut the ball back to TART who fired goal number seven beyond the helpless Connolly in the 80th minute.

Straight from the kick-off Vale pulled a goal back when HIGGANS headed a Longbridge cross into the net.

Bellshill completed the scoring in the 83rd minute when Ryan Connelly sent McKAY clear to score with a powerful low drive.

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