Largs Thistle 1 Hurlford United 1

A stunning long range strike from Stuart Faulds levelled matters in this full bloodied friendly with both sides going hammer and tong against each other.

This was an ideal warm up which felt more like a typical league encounter as it was so highly competitive with some robust challenges going in as well as spectacular goals.

However, it was a slow start to proceedings as both teams were finding their feet in breezy conditions at Barrfields.

But the game burst into life on 21 minutes with chances at both ends as Ford's Jack Whittaker took the ball out of midfield and rushed forward unopposed before striking a 25 yard effort which had to be repelled by the trialist keeper in the Largs goal at full stretch.

Thistle had to quickly stave off the threat of a rebound before launching the ball up the park with a trialist midfielder launching a deep half volley which flew just wide of the post.

Good interlinking play from midfield saw Macaulay Wilson set up Kristopher Kerr who managed to hold off the attentions of a Largs defender before shooting an angled half volley wide on the half hour mark.

Towards the end of the first half, the visitors were increasing the pressure with wave after wave of attack but Largs who were defending well in numbers.

Liam Miller was buzzing about at the right hand side of the penalty box and curled in a dangerous effort which flew just wide of the right post.

The Largs goalie was then called into action when Hurlford had another chance as he beat away William Graham's dangerous effort which was heading for the bottom right corner.

Hurlford's relentless pressure towards the end of the first half paid off as a trialist showed a clean pair of heels to defenders before launching an impressive 22 yard curling effort into the bottom right corner of the net.

Thistle made a good start to the second half and looked unlucky not to get a free kick on the edge of the area after Scott Lewis was chopped down, and winger Jack Haggerty also went close with a diagonal blast which flew over the bar.

Things were looking much more positive for Largs - and with confidence flowing through the squad - it was no surprise that Largs got an equaliser with another stunning strike from midfielder Faulds who controlled the ball with his chest before launching a fantastic dipping strike with his left foot which gave the Ford keeper no chance.


Despite the game having swung in Thistle's direction Hurlford were still dangerous on the break with Marc McKenzie testing the Largs keeper from distance.

Another good build-up from Largs saw the ball pulled back for the onrushing Simon McBryde whose effort was well blocked by the Hurlford defence as Largs continued to turn the screw when they were on top.

McLeod was cruelly upended during one Thistle attack as Hurlford were treating the game as far from a friendly, and Haggerty sent the subsequent free kick over the bar.

As full-time approached Hurlford were pressing with a chip having to be dealt with comfortably by the Largs keeper and defenders having to track back and keep the visitors at bay.

Both teams were applauded off the pitch after a hardy encounter which gave Thistle a real taster of the challenging games to come in the Premier League.

LARGS: Trialist, Hughes, McLeod, McGoldrick, McCreath, Faulds, Trialist, McBryde, Lewis, Frizzell, Haggerty. Subs: G.Sewell, McGrath, Coogans, Thomson.