Forfar Athletic 1 v 1 Stenhousemuir
Played at Station Park, Forfar on Saturday, 2nd April 2011 at 15:00
Forfar Athletic v Stenhousemuir at Station Park, Forfar on 2.4.11
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 416
Forfar Athletic 1 [Dow 16] Stenhousemuir 1 [Anderson 78]
With Scott Fusco injured and Iain Thomson suspended Gary Thom returned to the centre of defence and Paul Quinn replaced the injured Scott Dalziel up front. In midfield Brian Gilmour played his first game as a signed player after three matches as a trialist.
Forfar are still pushing for a play off spot and they attacked at the start of the game with Andy Dow having an attempt cleared off the line by Michael Devlin after Paul McQuade had an effort saved by Ally Brown’s feet.
Stenhousemuir had started slowly but they did open up the home defence through an Eric Paton cross to Paul Quinn but his effort was blocked by the Forfar defence.
Forfar took the lead in the 16th minute when Dale Hilson’s effort was only partly stopped by Brown and although he scrambled the ball away from McQuade it fell straight to Dow and he made the most of the opportunity with a calm finish passing the ball into the net from 16 yards out.
The nature of the way the goal was conceded was bad enough for the keeper but worse was to follow when he had to be replaced in the 27th minute by Chris McCluskey after picking up a groin strain. Shortly after this Simon Lynch was replaced by Michael Hunter following injury and this theme continued with Eric Paton receiving lengthy treatment after a knock and he did well to resume for the second half.
Forfar themselves were also cursed with injuries in the latter stages of the first half with Paul McQuade departing and keeper Scott Gallacher being subbed at half time after a first half that lasted 51 minutes.
There was a scare for the Warriors at the start of the second half when there appeared to be a misunderstanding between defence and keeper but the danger was eventually cleared with no harm done.
At the other end of the park Stenhousemuir should have had a penalty when Gilmour was barged in the back by new keeper Neil Duffy but referee Euan Norris indicated that the foul was the other way much to the ire of Stenhousemuir.
The Warriors were coming more into the game after a flat first half where the passing game had not got going with the ball running away as it was blown by the wind down the Station Park slope.
Paul Quinn had another chance to level when set up by Hunter but screwed his effort wide as he showed that he lacked match sharpness after being out of the picture for a while. This was followed by a Grant Anderson cross that just needed the slightest of touches to convert into a goal but none was forthcoming.
Stenhousemuir’s task to get back into the game was made harder when Devlin was controversially sent off for a foul on Dow in the 62nd minute. A booking was probably justified but the tackle did not deserve a straight red as was not dangerous and neither was it stopping a goal scoring opportunity.
This meant that once again it was going to be an uphill task to get anything out of the game and although Forfar had plenty of the ball they struggled to make their possession count. Stenhousemuir made a tactical chance with subbing Quinn and moving Anderson further up the park and he began to use his pace to good effect as the game progressed.
Forfar were to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Anderson equalised for Stenhousemuir with a stunning goal despite being pulled back just as he was about to shoot and before the end of the game he was unlucky not to have a hat trick having been denied by saves from Duffy.
Considering that the Warriors were a goal down and a man down they showed real character to get a share of the spoils and the reaction of David Irons as he leaped into the air at the final whistle summed up what it meant to the Stenhousemuir contingent.
Forfar Athletic – Gallacher [Duffy h/t], Ross, McCulloch, Bolochoweckyj, Bishop, I.Campbell [b59], Hilson [Deasley 82], Templeman [b45], McQuade [Gibson 38], R.Campbell and Dow. Subs not used – Sellars and Mowat
Stenhousemuir – Brown [McCluskey 26], Lyle, Dickson, Thom, Devlin [so62], Gilmour, Anderson [b59], Lynch [Hunter 37], Quinn [Stirling 66], Paton and Murray
Referee – Euan Norris Assistants – Gary Cheyne and Jeff Banks
View Match Highlight and Interview videos