Jan 24 2013 by David Bell, Hamilton Advertiser
Larkhall Thistle produced a stunning display to dismantle runaway Central League First Division leaders Greenock.
The second five-goal spree Larkhall have inflicted on pace-setting Greenock this season allowed the county side to leap-frog idle rivals into second place.
Jags sit one point ahead of third-placed St Anthony’s, who have played a game more.
Lanark United are in fourth spot, two points behind, but have played 14 games, as have Thistle.
Delighted manager Duncan Sinclair said: “It was three precious points and we ticked every box.
“We played really well, scored five goals and didn’t concede any – it was a great morale booster.
“Greenock are a direct side, playing a one-dimensional back-to-front game, but we defended well.
“Our back five were first class, but every one of our players deserved full plaudits, they were all superb.”
He added: “Greenock started strongly and, for about eight minutes, gave us a real hammering.
“David McEwan kept us in the game with a super save to keep the scoreline at 0-0. After that, we went on to dominate the game.
“Davie also produced a fantastic second half penalty save as Greenock looked like possibly staging a late rally.”
Graham Gracie, who hit a hat-trick in the September 5-2 win at Gasworks Park, had to be content with a double this time.
The striker and Alan Fleming both sent chances just wide before Mark Canning opened the scoring in 34 minutes with a left-foot drive off a Dean Richardson through ball.
Gracie set up a second for Ross McGeachie to drill the ball into the net for a 2-0 interval lead.
Fleming headed in the third from a JP Grant free-kick, before Gracie took over.
He netted his first from a Canning pass, and then netted the fifth when a Grant cross was headed down by Stuart McFarlane.
Sinclair revealed that Thistle plotted Greenock’s downfall after a midweek training session was called off due to adverse winter weather.
He explained: “When training had to be called off, I decided to sit the players down and have a really good talk-in.
“We compiled a game plan and the players fully complied with it on Saturday to earn a deserved and worthy victory.”