Stenhousemuir 0 Forfar Athletic 1 [Gibson 36]
For this game the manager recalled Gary Thom from Camelon to replace the suspended Willie Lyle and at left back was a trialist Alan Reid the ex-Hibs and St.Mirren player whilst on the bench was new signing Andrew Stirling ex- St.Mirren
Forfar over the last seven games are the form team having won six out of the last seven a run that has seen them climb to the edge of the play offs with games in hand and appear to be building momentum at the right time. Stenhousemuir on the other hand having won only one of the last six games were slipping down the table after being league leaders for so long and are in danger of dropping out of contention if they don’t get wins sooner rather than later.
The Warriors looked to eradicate the memories of the performance at Elgin the previous week by seizing the initiative straight away and they almost opened the scoring in the first minute when ex-Loon John Ovenstone headed a Kevin Motion corner just over the bar. This was followed shortly afterwards by a Scott Dalziel header just wide from an Andy Ferguson cross. The home side looked most threatening at corners and there was a hint of panic in the Forfar ranks as they just scrambled another corner clear in 15 minutes. Forfar almost opened the scoring though three minutes later as Ross Campbell burst into the box only to be denied by a tackle from Jordan Smith, the ball fell to Graham Gibson but he hit a poor effort under pressure from Reid. Smith almost scored at the other end with a header narrowly wide from a Motion corner in 32 minutes and this was followed by Darren Brady clearing another corner off the line three minutes later. At this stage Stenhousemuir were doing most of the pressing but they were undone a minute later when a Johnny Russell run down the left saw him pick out Gibson in the middle and the ex-Warrior slotted the ball home from 14 yards. After this Forfar could have scored several goals in quick succession but the closest they came was a Steven Tulloch effort that was tipped wide of the goal then gathered by Scott Bennett.
Stenhousemuir almost equalised in the 49th minute when Iain Diack picked out Craig Molloy in the box but his effort struck the bar they Ally Brown had to tip the rebound over as it spun back. After that scare Forfar seemed to step up a gear for a while and Russell and Campbell came close to doubling the score with the latter seeing an effort cleared off the line by Smith. With five minutes to go Russell had another effort cleared off the line this time by Molloy and when Smith just failed to get a touch onto a Motion cross in the 88th minute the game looked to be over.
However, the last two meetings between the clubs has seen Forfar score in stoppage time to secure at least a point and it looked as if it was going to be Stenhousemuir’s turn when Ally Brown fumbled a Motion corner kick that looked to be going in but the keeper was rescued when Andy Tod managed to clear off the line.
A draw would have been a fairer reflection on the game given that Stenhousemuir created more chances than of late albeit mainly from set pieces but Forfar on the other hand will feel that they did just enough to merit the points.
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, Thom, Reid [t], Smith [b84], Ovenstone, Tyrell, Molloy [ Stirling 88], Diack [Morgan 82], Dalziel [Brand 65] A.Ferguson and Motion. Subs not used – Thomson and Renton
Forfar Athletic – Brown, Devine, Tulloch [b21], Brady, Tod, Cairns , Gordon [Winter 78], Fotheringham [b23] [McNally 78], G.Gibson, Campbell [b17] [C.Smith 67] and Russell. Subs not used – Kilgannon and J.Gibson
Referee – John McKendrick
Assistants – Ross Hamill and Graeme Stewart
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