Sean Crighton takes control of The Warriors for the first time following the departure of Stephen Swift.
Nat Wedderburn makes a welcome return from injury and takes his place in midfield alongside Mikey Anderson while Conor Brennan regains his #1 spot.
Mikey Miller take the captain’s armband today and plays as a makeshift centre back and is joined in the back line with Callum Yeats, Adam Corbett and Ross Philp.
Tam Orr leads the line with Euan O’Reilly, Matty Yates and Adam Brown supporting.
The visitors were first to break forward, but Ross Philp picked up some good positioning in the box and was able to defend the cut back cross and clear the danger.
And it was straight up the other end just a few moments with some excellent play between Adam Brown, Matty Yates and Ross Philp. Brown played a neat 1-2 with Yates and then played out wide to Philp, he passed back into Brown with the former Alloa man dummying the ball allowing Yates to take control and drive to the goal line, his cross was caught by McCallum in the home goal, but he spilled it and was cleared by the defence. Some excellent build up play from the home side showing them at their best, but just missing that final attempt on goal.
Forfar were playing better than their table position shows and almost found the opener on 10 minutes. McLuskey done some good work on the right and his cross came all the way back to Ben Armour but, again, some excellent defending by Philp as he deflects the shot over the bar.
GOAL: Just as The Warriors were looking to attack, ex-Warrior Andy Munro nicked the ball from Tam Orr and started the counter. A neat 1-2 on the right hand side gave Thomson acres of room to line up his cross and he delivered on a plate to McLuskey who was waiting in the middle. Could’ve been a hint of offside, but nothing given and Forfar take the lead. STENHOUSEMUIR 0-1 FORFAR ATHLETIC [Stefan McLuskey, 16 minutes]
Despite the setback, The Warriors continued with some neat passages of play and their next chance came up in 24 minutes. Matty Yates made an inch perfect 80 yard pass through to Tam Orr. Last season’s top scorer held the ball up well, and passed back to Philp. He chipped the ball into the box, but with Tam already out wide, there was nobody in the box ready for the cross.
The home side continued to control the game with the visitors looking to play a counter attacking game. Mikey Anderson found Euan O’Reilly with another good pass and the winger managed to get to the goal line and fire in a cross on 37 minutes. Both Brown and Yates made good runs in the box, and somehow McCallum keeps the ball out and again is cleared by the defence.
Just a couple moments later and another fine long pass from Mikey Miller finds Adam Brown in the box. He eventually gets a shot away and McCallum can collect at the 2nd attempt.
HALF TIME: STENHOUSEMUIR 0-1 FORFAR ATHLETIC
Stenhousemuir can find themselves unlucky to be going into the break a goal down. The team’s passing and movement have been excellent at times but, despite a few fumbles by the visiting keeper, they’ve yet to find that killer edge and properly test McCallum.
Into the second half and Matty Yates and Adam Brown continue to link well. Matty steals the ball in the middle of the park and drives forward with Brown taking over. He lays the ball out wide to Tam Orr who delivers a perfect cross into the middle, which is touched home by Euan O’Reilly. After a few seconds though, the assistant referee flags for offside. Both Euan and McLuskey’s goals were very similar, but the assistant referee judging The Warriors to be offside.
GOAL: Just when The Warriors thought they were deservedly back in the game, Forfar broke forward. Adam Corbett lost his footing as he was trying to get the ball back to Brennan, Ben Armour then managed to nick in and steal and then drill the ball passed Brennan, who managed to get a hand to the ball, but couldn’t keep it out. Only the 2nd shot on target for the visitors, and harsh on the home side to be 2 down at this stage, especially after looking like being level just a moment earlier. STENHOUSEMUIR 0-2 FORFAR ATHLETIC [Ben Armour 50 minutes]
It took ten minutes for Stenhousemuir to get a good chance. Tam Orr almost found the back of the net with a volley from outside the box, but the keeper did well to save. From the resutant corner, Ross Philp found himself charging into the box and was clumsily bundled into but the Forfar defence, but the referee wasn’t interested in Philp’s appeals.
And straight form there, Forfar looked to counter with a four on two attack. Niyah Joseph did well to slow the attack down with Callum Yeats trying to cover two attackers. The ball eventually came through to Thomson, but his shot was well over under pressure from both Yeats and Brennan.
Forfar’s game plan was clearly to catch The Warriors on the counter attack and it almost worked again on 69 minutes. Ben Armour’s shot from outside the box though was just over Brennan’s bar.
Into the final 15 minutes and another penalty claim ignored by the referee. Ross Forbes fired in a free kick and the ball eventually dropped to Will Sewell. He got his shot away but was clearly kicked by the defender after he struck the ball. Again though, referee isn’t interested.
Ten to go and the visitors are starting to find themselves further up the pitch as The Warriors look to get back into the game. Some good defending though manages to stifle out any attack.
Into 87 minutes and some good work between Brown and Joseph allows the latter to get a good cross in. Nicky Jamieson looks to get on the end of the cross but the defender beats him to it. Amazingly, neither the referee nor his assistant can agree on what happened, and the goal kick is given.
GOAL: Deep into injury time and The Warriors get the goal they deserved. Callum Yeats showed great determination to be in the opposite box at this end of the game, and he got on the end of a Will Sewell flick on to drill in his first of the season. STENHOUSEMUIR 1-2 FORFAR ATHLETIC [Callum Yeats, 90+3 minutes]
FULL TIME: STENHOUSEMUIR 1-2 FORFAR ATHLETIC
Scholsey’s goal was the final action of the match as the referee calls for full time. A disappointing result to round off 2022 at Ochilview. However, there were positives to take from the match. Matty, Euan and Adam in particular linking up well at times. Forfar had their game plan and took their chances well and certainly are better than their league position at the start of the day would have you believe. For The Warriors, the passing and movement is there, they just need to find the killer instinct that will help build the confidence again in the team. We now have two remaining games in 2022 against the top two sides.
Starting XI: Brennan, Yeats, Corbett, Miller, Philp, Wedderburn [Jamieson 83′], Anderson [Joseph 58′], O’Reilly [Forbes 73′], Yates, Brown, Orr [Sewell 73′]
Unused Subs: Cantley, Walker
Goal: Yeats [90+3′]
Assists: Sewell [90+3′]