Sectional League Cup runners-up Lanark United’s depleted squad lost 2-0 at Port Glasgow in Saturday’s McBookie.com League One encounter, writes Craig Martin.
Injury, illness and suspension took their toll on United after the previous week’s efforts in their 6-1 final reverse to Auchinleck Talbot.
Lanark lost a soft penalty in the 10th minute when Colin McGraw was adjudged to have brought the attacker down after initially making a good save.
But the resultant spot kick hit the post before being cleared to keep the scores level.
Lanark had a couple of chances themselves when Sean Lindsay saw a shot saved before a Lewis Hill header also suffered the same fate.
But their best chance came when a Scott Nicol free-kick ended with Kieran Brennan but his netbound effort was again blocked.
Lanark’s task was made even harder when keeper McGraw was sent off for handling outside the box despite the referee being well behind play, with Scott Johnson having to take over in goal with Brennan being sacrificed for this.
The home side eventually took advantage of the extra man when they took the lead after 42 minutes. Lanark lost possession on the right and a scuffed shot found the net for 1-0 at half-time.
Lanark again had a couple of chances early in the second half when another Nicol ball in found Mark Haddow but again the effort was blocked, before a low shot from Lindsay was saved.
The hoped for comeback was dealt another blow however when Hill went recklessly into a challenge and the referee showed a second red card when yellow would surely have sufficed and the writing was on the wall for the visitors after 60 minutes.
Another error from Lanark with 20 minutes to go then gifted the home side a second goal from close range and that was game over for United.
The visitors did have a couple of half chances when shots went just wide of target but it was too little too late.
Lanark: McGraw, Gracie, Haddow, Lawson(Harrison), Nicol, Lindsay, Fraser, Hill, Martin(Conlon), Kerr, Brannan (Johnson).