The Ants three match unbeaten run came to a grinding halt at Moor Park as Lanark ran out 4-2 winners in a match where lady luck seemed to desert the visiting Ants. It all started so brightly as well when after only two minutes the Ants took the lead. Crawford’s pin point accuracy from a free kick found the head of KIERON MAXWELL to bullet a header past Hallford for his sixth goal of the season. Buoyed by the confidence of the goal, the Ants did the majority of the early pressing, but Lanark always looked dangerous on the break and David O’Donnell was unlucky not to get on the end of a Burns cross from one of these breaks.
The Ants almost doubled their lead in the 11th minute when a slide rule pass by Kane put Maxwell through on goal but his effort went just past Hallford’s near post. Lanark were beginning to come into the game a bit more and the home crowd thought they had drawn level in the 11th minute but PJ O’Donnell’s effort flew inches wide of the diving Campbell’s post. Lanark did indeed draw level only four minutes later when McDonald was adjudged to have fouled a Lanark forward, PAUL BURNS stepped up and sent Campbell the wrong way to make it 1-1. The match was beginning to open up, Maxwell saw a good shot blocked after Hallford could only punch the ball half clear and then from the resultant corner Lanark took the lead, McKay’s corner was headed clear and it sent Annetts racing away on the counter, his pass found DAVID O’DONNELL who was somewhat fortuitous when just as he went to shoot the ball bobbled, hit his shin and looped over the head of Campbell into the net to make it 2-1 to the home side after 24 minutes.
It could have got worse for the Ants on the half hour mark when Kearney beat the offside trap, but rather than shoot he elected to square the ball to David O’Donnell and O’Brien was on hand to clear over his own crossbar. Having gone behind and with the scare of nearly going two goals behind, the Ants began to put sustained pressure on the Lanark defence, Kane’s cross was poorly dealt with by Hallford as his punch only reached Crawford at the edge of the box, but the home keeper redeemed himself with a good block from Crawford’s effort, then a nice move saw Miller switch the ball over to McKay, his cut inside gave him a chance at goal which Hallford gathered at the second attempt under pressure from Kelly, The Ants fans claiming for a penalty after McKay was brought down after his shot but Mr Rae wasn’t interested.
The pressure continued to build from the visitors, first Maxwell just failed to get his effort on target from a McKay cross, then Gallagher almost netted into his own goal but his header was held by Hallford. A second penalty claim came right on half time when from a corner Christie looked to have blocked with his arm on the line under pressure from Kelly, but again the claims fell on deaf ears and the home side would have went into the break relieved to be a goal to the good.
Lanark got the second half under way and came flying out the traps. They almost took the lead in the 48th minute but McGurk’s effort went just wide, then a Kearney shot went just over the bar a minute later. In the 53rd minute they did get the third goal when a nice flick through from David O’Donnell found PJ O’Donnell, his pass hit McDonald on the back of the leg and landed right at the feet of RONAN KEARNEY who spun and shot, just before it reached Campbell the ball seemed to bobble up and flew over the keepers hand to make it 3-1 to the home side. The Ants never gave up though and looked to reduce the deficit as quickly as possible, Kelly unlucky to see his shot blocked as a Lanark player threw himself infront of the ball. They did reduce the deficit in the 57th minute when Conway’s first shot was blocked but found Kelly who played the ball back again and ANTON CONWAY fired past Hallford to pull a goal back for the Ants and make it 3-2. With an hour on the clock the Ants fans thought their side had found an equaliser when Kelly hit a looping effort on the spin but Hallford managed to get a hand to it and pushed it over the bar.
A golden chance to level came the Ants way in the 64th minute when Maxwell found Crawford and the Ants winger advanced on goal, He fired a shot at goal as Hallford advanced but Lawson threw himself infront of the shot bravely and the chance was gone. As the Ants pushed forward for the equaliser, Lanark began to exploit some of the gaps at the back and had a couple of efforts that didn’t really trouble Campbell but this changed in the 73rd minute with more than a slice of bad luck from the Ants point of view. A corner from the left was headed away to the edge of the box by Conway, Neossi went to clear the danger completely but his clearance bounced straight off of the face of McGurk, the ball couldn’t have landed any better for CAMERON LAWSON who gratefully slipped the ball past Campbell to restore Lanark’s two goal lead. Both sides then had a couple of half chances but to no avail and the home side saw out the game, running out 4-2 winners.
|February 4, 2017||2:00 pm||McBookie West Region Central District Division Two||2016-17||90'|
|151B Hyndford Rd, Lanark ML11 9BG, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Saint Anthony’s FC||1||1||2|