After last season’s good run in the Macron Scottish Junior Cup, Lanark United exited at the second round stage this season with a 5-2 loss at Gartcairn, writes Craig Martin.
A mix of missed chances, costly errors and missing personnel were to blame for Saturday’s defeat.
Lanark passed up the chance to go in front as early as the fourth minute when Shug Kerr was through on goal but his final effort was straight at ex-team-mate Gareth Hallford in the home goal.
Gartcairn had a chance to go in front when Murphy was allowed a free header but the effort went over the bar.
Josh Gracie and Jordan Conlon linked well to create the next chance for Lanark but a weak final shot from Conlon was easily saved before good work from Kerr saw him cut in from the left and a netbound curler was again saved by the home keeper.
Gartcairn’s Leslie saw an effort come back off the post before Scott Johnson in the visiting goal saved with his feet from a low effort.
It took a mistake to break the deadlock when a short back pass from Fraser was picked up by Arbuckle who rounded the Lanark keeper before slotting home for 1-0 in 21 minutes.
Lanark went further behind when a shot from distance found the net despite Johnson getting two hands to the ball.
The second half saw Lanark start well and they could have drawn a goal back on 50 minutes when James Martin and Sean Lindsay linked well before a low ball went right across the Gartcairn goal with Kerr just missing the ball at the back post.
Then good work from Kerr set Martin in wide on the left but his effort went just past the post.
Lanark did pull a goal back when great work from Lindsay saw him reach the byeline after rounding the keeper and his cutback was rammed home for by Kerr for 2-1.
United were caught out in the 73rd minute when they looked for an offside that did not come and Shiels scored at the back post before a quick break with 10 minutes to go saw Arbuckle score his second to make it 4-1 to Gartcairn.
Lanark reduced the leeway with two minutes to go when Kerr showed great strength in the middle of the park as he shook off defenders before firing a low shot into the corner for 4-2.
The final goal came with the last kick of the match when a slip on the left allowed Gartcairn in for another tap in to round the score off at 5-2.
Lanark: Johnson, Gracie, Harrrison, Lawson, Boal, Lindsay, Fraser, Conlon, Hamilton, Kerr, Martin.