Lochee United 2 Kirriemuir Thistle 1

Match report by Jim Davie

Lochee United came out on top in a tough opening game at Thomson Park against visitors Kirrrie Thistle.

Two goals by George Johnston gave the home side a comfortable lead until Kirrie grabbed a late goal to put the result in doubt right up until the end.

After an even opening spell Kevin Milne was brought down inside the Kirrie box and a penalty awarded. Logan Davie saw his spot kick palmed away by Daryl Burns but, in the scramble to get to the loose ball JOHNSTON got there first to bundle the ball home on 14 minutes.

The visitors came back into the game and, after a spell of pressure which saw them win two corners in quick succession, Greg Fairweather shot just inches wide of Josh Gorton’s right hand post.

As the game became more tousy Grant Lawson was the first player to find himself in the ref’s notebook.

Dale Reid missed a great opportunity for the Westfield Park side when he beat the offside trap only to see his effort skim off the Lochee bar.

Lochee striker Milne had picked up a shoulder injury and had to be replaced by Kevin Buchan seven minutes before the break.

The Bluebells almost increased their lead in the first minute of the second half when Logan Davie found himself through on goal only for Burns to bring off a good save.

The keeper then repeated the feat, making an important save from Buchan.

But, just as in the first half, he was beaten in the 14thminute when Grant Lawson, who had been fed by Buchan, sent in a cross which was met on the volley by JOHNSTON.

Kirrie weren’t done however, and Kamil Kadela, one-time Lochee player, tested Gorton with an angled drive that the keeper managed to turn away for a corner.

Gorton made another good save from Reid before Ryan Winter wasted the chance by blazing the ball over.

But Winter wasn’t to be denied. With 15 minutes to go Stephen McNally was harshly punished for a robust challenge and the Angus side were awarded a free kick. Up stepped WINTER to give Gorton no chance from 25 yards.

A minute later they almost had the equaliser when Reid raced onto a long kick out from his keeper but could only manage to prod the ball wide of the target.

The home side had a strong shout for a penalty with 10 minutes left but it wasn’t given and they had to endure a tense last few minutes as Kirrie pushed for an equaliser.

The Bluebells just shaded the game but Kirrie never gave up and made things as awkward as possible for the home side.

Lochee United: Gorton, McNally, Ballantyne, Millar, Kirk, Davie (McConville 76), Ritchie, Gallacher, Lawson (Cavanagh 68), Johnston, Milne (Buchan 38).

Kirriemuir Thistle: Burns, Kadela, H Barclay, Grant, George, Russell, Fairweather, Cormack, Dale Reid, Winter, Crosbie (Duncan Reid 87).

Written on 21 November 2020