Largs Thistle 3 Bellshill 1

Scott Adam and Alex McWaters notched spectacular goals to give everyone some much needed cheer at Barrfields on Saturday in the first round of the New Coins Automatic West of Scotland Cup.

There may have been two divisions separating these sides, but Largs were coming off a difficult few weeks and looking to get back to winning ways.

Thistle breezed to a seemingly comfortable three goal lead in the first half, but nobody was taking anything for granted after Largs blew a two goal lead against Darvel the week before, and  Bellshill pulled a goal back in the second half to keep everyone on their toes.

The Barrfields side got off to a strong start with McWaters curving ball into the box from the right being met by Adam's glancing header which finished low into the bottom left of the net. 1-0 on six minutes.

Bellshill should have done better from one dangerous opening as a cross from the right was headed wide by Paul Brennan with the goal gaping.

A clumsy challenge by a Bellshill defender on Martin Orr resulted in a Largs penalty on 16 minutes, and Adam stepped up to coolly send the keeper the wrong way.

Thistle had a great chance to move three goals up on 23 minutes but McMaster's header flashed wide.

Tricky feet from Alex McWaters on the edge of the 'D' tested a Bellshill defender's patience, and the Largs forward was unceremoniously chopped down.

The free kick award resulting in a sumptuous effort from McWaters from 25 yards which crashed in off the underside of the bar, and the left post on 28 minutes. See clip below.

Thistle may have been three goals up but Bellshill were refusing to lie down, and Largs keeper Sean Graham had to punch away one high ball as he came under pressure from centre forwards in the box.

Poor finishing provided a few let-offs for Largs, but Orr duly assisted by sending Robert O Donnell's cross into his own net to give Bellshill a lifeline on 72 minutes.

This goal gave the Lanarkshire side hope and they threw men forward in attack, but it meant that they were exposed at the back, and they conceded another free kick 25 yards out. McWaters clattered this effort off the top of the crossbar. See clip below

Bellshill fashioned a late chance but blazed over the bar much to the home support's relief, and Largs went straight into the attack and Adam was denied his hat-trick by keeper Jordan Brand who spread himself to block, before the ball was booted away to safety by a defender.

Albeit against lower league opposition, this was an important win for Thistle to give them a much needed confidence boost going to Maryhill this Saturday.

Thistle: Graham, Orr, McVey, Gilbride, Little, Muir, McWaters, Burden, Adam, Struthers, McMaster. Subs: Ashe, Fleming, McKie, Kasubandi, Grayston (GK)