Forfar Athletic v Stenhousemuir at Station Park, Forfar on 11.01.14
SPFL Division One Att 485
Forfar Athletic 3 [Swankie 4, Fotheringham 27 pen,38] Stenhousemuir 0
Forfar Athletic – Douglas, Fusco, I.Campbell, Dods, Malcolm, Faeroe, Kader [Dale 69], Fotheringham [Malin 69], Templeman, Swankie [McLellan 79] and Hilson. Subs not used – Andrews, McCabe, Hay and Hill.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Malone [b54], Geacen, McMillan [so 27], McKinlay [b85], Dickson, Rowson, Gemmell [Douglas 83], Higgins [D.Smith h/t] and Lynch. Subs not used – Hodge, McNeil, Faulds, Ferguson and Shaw.
Referee – Stevie O’Reilly Assistants – Graham Beaton and Kyle Hall
There are some times it is difficult to take positives from a game and this is one of these occasions. The only glimmer of light being that Stewart Greacen got another 90 minutes under his belt as he strives to get match fitness and Darren Smith 45 minutes as he continues his return from injury.
The Warriors failed to live up to their nickname as they had a lacklustre first half that gave Forfar a well-deserved three goal margin and although the score was level in the second period the damage was done and indeed the score could and should have been far greater in the home sides favour by the time the whistle blew for half time as Stenhousemuir basically failed to turn up.
The warning signs were there from the start and Gavin Swankie tested Chris Smith in the second moment of the game. The Forfar striker had more success with a long range effort two minutes later that went into the bottom corner with the Stenhousemuir keeper looking less than convincing in his attempt to save it. To be fair to Chris Smith this was the only mistake all day and he was less culpable than most for the ensuing debacle. For the rest of the first half Forfar looked the sharper team throughout and their keeper Rab Douglas was in the main a spectator. He did make a fine save from John Gemmell in the 7th minute but the striker was offside anyway so his strike would not have counted.
David Rowson did poke the ball over the bar in the 22nd minute and Kevin McKinlay had another opportunity in the 25th minute when picked out by a Nicky Devlin cross but his shot summed up the first half as landed nearer the corner flag than the goal.
With only a one goal margin there was always a chance that Stenhousemuir could get back into the game but their chance of doing that was reduced markedly in the 26th minute. After a quick interchange of passes Omar Kader burst through the home defence and was on the point of shooting when he was tripped by Ross McMillan. The referee Stevie O’Reilly dismissed McMillan and awarded a penalty. This was the third time that the captain had been dismissed this season and there could be no complaints about the decision. Martyn Fotheringham stepped up to convert the penalty and effectively end the game as a contest. Chris Smith did well to keep the score down with saves from Darren Dods and Chris Templenan in quick succession. There was some action at the other end with a Sean Higgins shot that was comfortably saved. Fotheringham then made it 3-0 in the 38th minute when he scored from close range with the Stenhouemuir defenders forlornly pleading wrongly for an offside decision to go their way. There was a brief flurry of corners for Stenhousemuir in last minute of the half but apart from the first one by Eddie Malone that was tipped over there was no real threat to the Forfar goal.
Forfar should have another penalty in the 50th minute when Templeman was pushed by Malone but for once fortune was on Stenhousemuir’s side. Sean Lynch saw a 25 yard effort tipped over the bar in the 55th minute before another great chance came for Forfar when Fotheringham twisted Malone inside out but with a hat trick on the cards he dragged his shot wide of the mark when it looked as if he must score. In the 58th minute a rare glimpse of football from Stenhousemuir saw Kevin McKinlay play the ball into the danger area for John Gemmell who headed back across goal to Darren Smith but the subs header was too close to Douglas who was able to save.
Most of the danger was at the other end of the pitch and on another day Gavin Swankie could have had a hat trick as well but he was to be denied by top class goalkeeping from Chris Smith.
There was no further scoring before the end though and it remained at 3-0 for the Loons and was not a true reflection on the way the game went as it actually flattered Stenhousemuir.
|January 11, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Station Park, Forfar|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|