Troon 3-1 Lanark United: Watt's fine strike not enough to save Lanark in cup tie

Lanark United travelled to the fantastic setting of Portland Park in Troon on Saturday for a second round South Challenge Cup tie and put in a decent performance despite being on the wrong end of a 3-1 result, writes Craig Martin.

Ian Watt scored Lanark United's goal at Troon

Lanark started the match in the worst possible fashion when they lost a goal inside the first minute.

Jack Hamilton was beaten for pace on the left and the subsequent cross was tapped in at the front post by Jamieson.

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Lanark did not let this early goal drag them down and took the game to Troon with their first chance falling a few minutes later when Connor McArdle found space 25 yards out but his effort went well over the bar.

Jordan Fraser then linked well with Ian Watt who in turn set Ben Elliot free on the left but his cross found no takers and was cleared.

With 13 minutes on the clock Lanark produced another decent chance when Cammy Lawson found Elliot in space and after a decent touch to steady himself he hit a decent shot that was blocked back into the path of Watt who also saw his effort blocked before he saw a lofted effort go just wide.

Midway through the half Hamilton picked up a decent ball out from keeper Lachlan Kirkland ant progressed well down the left before cutting into the box but again his shot was well blocked by Murchie in the home goal before coming back off Hamilton for a goal kick.

Lanark were rewarded for their pressure when a quick free-kick from Lawson found Watt through the middle and a superb lob from just inside the box soared over the home keeper to nestle in the net for 1-1.

Lanark continued to press after this goal and created yet another chance when Elliot set James Martin free on the right but after taking the ball wide he found no team-mates in the box, deciding instead to go for goal himself but his shot from a tight angle only found the side netting.

Lanark as usual paid heavily for missing their chances when a poor ball out of defence by Doran was pounced on by Troon who fed the ball across field to the right where it found Fulton who rifled a low shot into the net for 2-1.

Troon finished the half stronger but could not add to their lead and went in at half time in front by the narrowest of margins.

Troon started the second half well, pinning the visitors back, and almost increased their lead when a thumping shot from Wilson cannoned off the bar before being poorly cleared by Lanark. But they managed to block a couple of low shots before finally clearing the danger.

Lanark had their best chance to get back on level terms in the 50th minute when a superb ball from Hamilton found Watt coming in from the right and after he beat off two markers he hit another lobbed shot but this time he only found the roof of the net with Murchie well beaten.

Lanark’s keeper Kirkland was called on to make a good save 10 minutes into the half when a decent break by Troon ended with a shot from Black that he turned away for a corner.

The home side were controlling midfield early in the half without causing too much difficulty for Lanark but they forced a corner on 67 minutes and when this came in it was not dealt with by the visiting defence and the unfortunate Doran could only turn the ball into his own goal in an attempt to clear the ball, making it 3-1 to the home side.

Both sides failed to make any more clear scoring chances in the latter part of the match and there was no more change to the scoring. Again a young Lanark side lost out on the day but there were a few decent performances as the club looks to try to make its way up the league the priority for the remainder of the season.

Lanark: Kirkland, C Anderson, Lawson, Doran, Hamilton, Fraser, McArdle (Wilson), Gilchrist (Henderson), Martin, Watt, Elliott.

Lanark visit Larkhall Thistle in the league this Saturday, KO 2pm.