Stenhousemuir v Forfar Athletic at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 1.3.14
SPFL League One Att 408
Stenhousemuir 4 [D.Smith 13, 87, Dickson 61,73] Forfar Athletic 1 [Malcolm 59]
The Warriors made two changes to the team that had drawn against Tuesday night with Darren Smith and Josh Watt replacing Kevin McKinlay and Sean Lynch. The game at Airdrie had saw a lot of tired legs on show and it was a case of whether the players had recovered enough to put on a decent performance for Brown Ferguson’s last game in charge before the handover to Scott Booth.
In the early stages of the game as has been the case in most games the Warriors started slowly and could have found themselves in arrears. The warning signs came in the 9th minute when Dale Hilson got behind the home defence but he failed to provide a quality cross and the danger was cleared. Seconds later there was another chance on the left side and Gavin Swankie picked the ball up only eight yards out but the usually deadly striker somehow managed to drag his shot away from goal rather than towards it.
Stenhousemuir in their first attack of note took the lead in the 13th minute. A neat interchange of passes featuring half a dozen players started in the centre circle and went forwards until Sean Dickson played the ball out to Darren Smith who seized on the opportunity to blast the ball past Rab Douglas. This came as a shock to many especially the Stenhousemuir support as they had not seen a first half goal by the Warriors at Ochilview since the 16th of November. This was the last time that the home side had won so they were hoping that it would be a good omen,
Forfar looked as if they were going to get the equaliser in the 26th minute when Omar Kader picked out Chris Templeman who powered a header goalwards from close range. The big striker did everything right but somehow Chris Smith managed to divert the strike onto the post and eventual safety.
Sean Dickson hit a decent strike in the 40th minute but Douglas was able to save, and it looked a key moment when Swankie got another chance in the next minute but from only six yards out his outstretched leg played the ball over the bar when an effort on target would have meant a goal.
Stenhousemuir started the second half lively and Stewart Greacen was unlucky to see a powerful header from a Sean Higgins corner deflected off target, and this was followed by a Dickson effort that was only partly blocked by Odmar Faeroe.
Whilst only a goal ahead there was always a danger that Forfar would get back into the game and this proved to be the case when they equalised in the 59th minute through a Kader corner that was headed home by Stuart Malcolm.
They were not able to build up their momentum though before Stenhousemuir took the lead once again. Once again it was excellent play between Higgins and Daren Smith that created the chance for Sean Dickson. His first effort crashed off the bar but he showed good awareness to follow up the rebound and this time he was successful heading past Douglas and into the net.
Shortly after this Sean Lynch replaced Josh Watt and this gave an extra dimension to the team and the sub almost got on the score-sheet in the 72nd minute but he was denied by a one handed stop by the veteran Douglas who belied his years to make the save. He could do nothing to prevent the Warriors scoring their third a minute later though. This time Lynch appeared on the right and picked out the unmarked Sean Dickson at the left post to stab the ball home for his second goal of the game.
The Warriors with a two goal cushion were able to compose themselves a bit better and Darren Smith was unlucky not to get his second as he shot just over in the 76th minute with Lynch once again the provider. The same combination did have more success though in the 87th minute when Lynch held off a tackle before playing the ball down the right channel to Smith who shot into the net for his second goal and Stenhousemuir’s fourth.
This score meant that Brown Ferguson’s spell as caretaker manager finished on a high with the first victory of 2014. In seven games the blot on the copybook was obviously defeat at Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup. In the league though he drew five and won one game. All five draws the Warriors came from behind to get a share of the spoils and it is hoped that this spirit at least is carried forward to future games.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Malone, Greacen [b88], McMillan, Hodge, D.Smith [McKinlay 89], Rowson, Higgins [Douglas 77], Dickson and Watt [Lynch 64]. Subs not used – McNeil, Brash, Shaw and Ferguson.
Forfar Athletic – Douglas, Fusco, Baxter, Malcolm, Dods, Dale [McCluskey 69], Kader [Malin 69], Faeroe, Templeman, Swankie [R.Campbell 79] and Hilson [b84]. Subs not used – Andrews, McCabe, Smith and Hill.
Referee – Calum Murray Assistants – David McGeachie and Craig King
|March 1, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|