A match that started so well for the Ants ended in disappointment as Lanark took all 3 points in a match where the Ants may feel they deserved more but lady luck deserted them and the wait for a league win continues.
It was all smiles within 3 minutes when the Ants took the lead, Bembo found Carballo on the left and his cross into the box saw Ewart put CAMMY LAWSON under pressure and the Lanark centre half diverted the ball past Hallford and into the net to make it 1-0 to the Ants. This should have buoyed the Ants on but they seemed to go into their shell a bit inviting Lanark onto them and in the 18th minute the visitors were level. An Ants free kick was won in the air by a Lanark midfielder who headed it to KIERAN BRANNAN, he flicked it to Martin who then played the striker through on goal and he hit a first time shot past Perry into the back of the net to level the scoring at 1-1. There wasn’t much happening in terms of chances with Lanark having a couple of half chances and Gallacher pulling a shot wide for the Ants until the 35th minute when Barclay’s cross/shot was saved by the feet of Perry and the rebound came off McCluskey but luckily for Saints it dropped the right side of the post and out for a goal kick. Two minutes later the Ants almost levelled when the ball pinged around the home teams penalty box, Bembo flicked the ball towards goal but it went inches wide. The goal that made all the difference arrived in the 43rd minute when a ROSS BARCLAY cross into the box was misjudged by Perry and the ball ended up in the back of the net.
HALF TIME LANARK 2 (BRANNAN 18, BARCLAY 43) v 1 (LAWSON (OG) 3) ANTS
The second half saw a much more positive approach from the Ants, Ndlovu having a shot go over from just outside the box in the opening minutes of the half. The Ants thought they had the equaliser in the 53rd minute but Crawfords free kick cannoned back off the bar and was cleared to the halfway line, Trialist A done well to win the ball back and set Carballo free, who made a great run to the byline and got his cross in but it was also headed to safety and the chance was gone. It was pretty much all Ants now with Lanark playing on the break, but despite their best efforts they couldn’t grab the goal they needed, Crawford went close with a deep cross that almost ended up in the net and Trialist A had a great header equally well saved by Hallford.
Lanark then had a good chance after 72 minutes but Perry saved well from Brannan and then Gallacher got a brilliant block in to deny the Lanark striker from the resultant corner. Littler then had a great chance in the 75th minute when he got on the end of a Crawford corner but his header lacked direction and went wide of the post. Debutant Mohamed Alsarmi went on a mazy run that almost seen the winger through on goal but he slipped on the heavy pitch and just failed to get on the end of a ball he’d knocked past a defender and Hallford was out well to gather. Ciaran Smith then put Crawford through on goal but the ball jumped up just as he was about to strike it and he blazed over the crossbar. Perry then denied Brannan with a fine diving save as the Ants got hit on the counter trying to claw their way level but it wasn’t to be, a final chance for Burns going over the bar after another promising run from Alsarmi teed up the striker but he leaned back and the shot failed to hit the target.
A disappointing result ahead of this Saturday’s SoccerShop Challenge Cup 2nd round tie at home to Lowland League East Kilbride.
Speaking to the Ants media team after the match Ants manager Danny Taylor had this to say “I thought we started the game well enough, then stopped playing and let Lanark back into the match. We pushed hard for the equaliser in the second half but just couldn’t get it, Individual errors are killing us just now but we’ll keep working hard to rectify this”
FULL TIME LANARK 2 (BRANNAN 18, BARCLAY 43) v 1 (LAWSON (OG) 3) ANTS
ROGUE MONKEY DIGITAL MEDIA MAN OF THE MATCH – SHAUN GALLACHER