League Cup 2011/12
Sponsored by John Pagan & Son - Funeral Directors
Lochar Thistle 4-0 Upper Annandale (HT 2-0)
Lochar Thistle lifted the John Pagan and Son sponsored League Cup with an accomplished performance on Friday night. Two goals in each half meant that challengers Upper Annandale never got the chance to make a real contest of it.
The match was played in a good spirit with both teams trying to play attractive football despite a bumpy pitch. In the early stages both teams were well matched with Uppers edging the battle for territorial advantage. In that time they had the best opportunities with Neil Roddick testing the Lochar defence for pace without success on several occasions and Ryan Johnstone off target with two shots from distance.
Lochar’s first goal came somewhat against the run of play in the 18th minute. A defensive mistake allowed striker Terry Jardine through on goal and he made no mistake slotting the ball home from 16 yards out with a low shot that left keeper Scott Porteous with no chance. This goal gave Lochar a lift and from then on they dominated play with Gary Cochrane and Ross Woodward in the centre of the park dictating proceedings. A succession of Lochar chances went begging with several well made opportunities just needing the final finish. Uppers had the odd chance with Ryan Johnstone slicing wide from a good position at the back post the best of them.
In the 35th minute a trademark Michael McGauchie free kick from 20 yards out that curled just inside the left hand post out saw Lochar double their lead. This was well deserved and Lochar continued to boss the game up to halftime but Uppers did have chances with Kevin Jack, Darren Hunter and Neil Roddick all failing to test the keeper. Just near the end of the half Mike McGauchie who was put through by Jock Neil wasted a great opportunity to wrap the game up and at the break Lochar went in two goals to the good.
As expected there was a reaction from the Moffat side at the start of the second half and Ryan Johnstone went close with a long range effort. Uppers then scorned what could have been a turning point in the game in the 50th minute when the normally reliable Kevin Jack missed a penalty. The game was all but wrapped up in the 60th minute when the best move of the game resulted in a well worked goal. A neat exchange down the right wing between John Howie and Scott Neil resulted in a fine cross which found Terry Jardine and the striker made no mistake with a header from 8 yards out. A series of substitutions from both clubs disrupted the flow of the game which lost a bit of its earlier sparkle as a result. With 10 minutes remaining Lochar added a fourth when Ian Quinn side-footed home a Terry Jardine pass.
The match was played in a fine spirit and match officials must take some credit for keeping the match flowing. The after the match presentation saw sponsor’s representative Kenny Hope present the cup to Lochar’s captain Mike McGauchie.