Interview with Forfar Athletic defender Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin was delighted to help Forfar Athletic get back to winning ways and reckons it was one of his best performances as the Loons defeated Clyde 3-0.

The impressive left back is keen to help Gary Bollan’s side lift the League Two title and hopes his performances can secure him a new contract at parent club Ross County.

19 year old McLaughlin reckons displays such as Saturday’s are the true reflection of the Loons after last week’s derby defeat.

He said: “It was good to get the win, we needed to do that, especially with the result last week but then Arbroath ended up getting beat as well. In the two previous games we played brilliantly but then we had that slip up last week but got a lifeline so I’m happy with the result today, we’re back to the way we usually play.”

The defender was also pleased with his performance however he was gutted not to get on the scoresheet with a powerful effort cannoning off the post in the second half.

“I think that was one of the better games I’ve played; I could have scored one but it came back off the post, I thought it was coming straight back to me but these things happen, it’s a game of football so I just need to carry that on to next week’s performance as well.”

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McLaughlin also reckons that next week will be a tough match with both the Loons and Cowdenbeath still playing for something at this stage of the season.

“Cowdenbeath will be fighting for their lives but we’re fighting for promotion and the championship so that tells us the main achievement here, I only joined in January but that’s why I am here, to try to help the team win the title and hopefully we get the job done.”

“If Arbroath drop points, hopefully we get the win and that’s us but we just need to take it game by game and hopefully we keep that run of form up.”

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McLaughlin admits he is loving life at Station Park since joining in January but is also eying a new contact at the Premiership side with his current deal due to run out this summer.

“It’s been good, the boys are brilliant, I train on Thursdays and I make Tuesdays if I’m not up with Ross County but it’s great, especially if we’re playing football like that today, the boys are buzzing off it.”

“I’m waiting to find out if I get a new contract at County but if I have performances like that I’d say I’d be pushing in the gaffer’s head with the feedback Forfar give to him so hopefully it all works out in the end and I get a new contract at the end of the season.”

Forfar Athletic 1 Dundee 3 (Martyn Fotheringham Testimonial) 21st March 2017

Martyn Fotheringham was rewarded with his testimonial last night and despite Dundee winning 3-1, the night was all about the midfielder.

A decent crowd appeared at a chilly Station Park to support Foxy after ten years at the club, including several former team mates and friends, some of whom appeared on the bench.

Former Loons Paul Watson, Iain Campbell, Mark Baxter and Charlie King were the special guests with all four making an appearance at one point or another in the second half.

Before the match started, Foxy was presented with awards from both sides and his family as the teams lined up, fans also showing their appreciation for the midfielder.

Both sides had chances to score early on; Faissal El Bakhtaoui denied by Grant Adam while Josh Peters’ couldn’t divert a Marc Scott cross past Mitchell.

The main man of the evening almost netted what everyone wants to do in their testimonial in the 18th minute, a fierce free kick had to be beaten away by Mitchell at his near post.

Dundee took the lead on the half hour mark when Danny Williams lashed home however the scores were level four minutes later; Fotheringham and Marc Scott combining to set up Peters and he rolled the ball past Mitchell before netting.

At half time Iain Campbell came on to replace Andy Munro in the first special appearance of the night.

Dundee went ahead with two quick goals within the first ten minutes of the second half as El Bakhtaoui fired home two impressive goals following his spectacular weekend effort.

The game petered out with both sides making substitutions; Paul Watson, Mark Baxter and Charlie King all appearing from the bench in the last half hour.

Fotheringham himself was substituted with minutes left to allow him to receive a massive round of applause as he left the field.

All in all it was a fantastic night for Foxy to reward him for his ten years of service with the club with the result far less important.

Forfar Athletic: Grant Adam (Jason King 60), Murray Mackintosh (Mark Baxter 75), Michael Kennedy (Chris McLaughlin 60), Stuart Malcolm (Jamie Bain 82), Andy Munro (Iain Campbell 46), Martyn Fotheringham (Frankie Devine 88), Jamie Gill, Eoghan McCawl (Paul Watson 60), Josh Peters (Matthew Aitken 46), Aiden Malone (Charlie King 75), Marc Scott

Dundee: David Mitchell, Sam Dryden, Danny Williams, Kostadin Gadzhalov (Ian Smith 12), Matty Smyth, Marc Klok, Nick Ross (Connor Coupe 67), Daniel Higgins, Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Mark Smith 60), Craig Wighton, Conor Quigley (Brian Rice 46)

Edinburgh City 0 Forfar Athletic 1 (League Two) 21st January 2017

Edinburgh City 0

Forfar Athletic 1
David Cox 36 pen

It was a game of two penalties as Forfar Athletic’s 1-0 win over Edinburgh City extended their League Two lead to eight points on Saturday.

After Ousman See missed a 10th minute penalty for City, David Cox fired home from the spot for Forfar to seal a hard fought win as rivals Arbroath lost to Annan Athletic.

The Loons made one change from last week’s draw with Stirling Albion as Jim Lister’s injury meaning he gave way for debutant Eddie Malone.

Danny Denholm had the first half chance of the game just three minutes in when he curled a free kick wide of the mark.

The hosts were awarded a great chance to open the scoring seven minutes later; Grant Adam knocking John Dunn over in his attempts to gather a loose ball. Ousman See stepped up but Adam redeemed himself by saving the spot kick.

Josh Peters had a shot blocked following a Cox lay off before the latter sent a lob wide as he failed to capitalise on Joe Mbu’s poor passback.

It was Gary Bollan’s men who went in to half time ahead with a penalty of their own ten minutes before the break. Jamie Bain thundered his way down the left flank and after weaving in to the box he was fouled by Shaun Harrison.

Cox slotted the penalty past December’s League Two player of the month Andrew Stobie for his eighth of the season.

The second half started frustratingly for City with Forfar soaking up their pressure while the Loons’ own attacks were nullified largely by Mbu.

Dunn saw his effort diverted wide shortly after the hour mark and the resulting corner was missed by a host of white shirts.

Action was at a minimum with neither side creating much of note; Craig Beattie fired wide minutes after coming on when he should have done better in the 75th minute before Dunsmore sent a long range effort over the bar.

The Loons came close to grabbing a second late on to kill the game with both Lewis Milne and sub Eoghan McCawl seeing efforts go wide of Andrew Stobie’s goal.

Gary Bollan’s men now host bottom side Cowdenbeath next week looking to continue their unbeaten run.

Edinburgh City: Andrew Stobie, Aaron Dunsmore, Gordon Donaldson (Douglas Gair 78), Shaun Harrison, Marc Laird, Chris McKee, Ian McFarland (Mark McConnell 81), Dean Cummings (Craig Beattie 69), Ousman See, John Dunn, Joe Mbu

Subs not used: Ross Guthrie, Ross Allum, Jordan Caddow, Callum Antell (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Grant Adam, Jamie Bain, Eddie Malone, Thomas O’Brien, Andy Munro, Michael Travis, Josh Peters (Eoghan McCawl 78), Lewis Milne, David Cox, Gavin Swankie (Marc Scott 71), Danny Denholm

Subs not used: Stuart Malcolm, Michael Kennedy, Kerr Hay, Matthew Aitken, Joe McGovern (gk)

Annan Athletic 1 Forfar Athletic 2 (League Two) 7th January 2017

Annan Athletic 1
Max Wright penalty 21

Forfar Athletic 2
Jim Lister 37, Callum Home own goal 48

Forfar Athletic came from behind for the fourth game in a row as they defeated Annan Athletic 2-1 at Galabank.

After going behind to a Max Wright penalty, Jim Lister’s equaliser alongside an own goal from Annan full back Callum Home meant the three points came back up the road with the Loons.

Four changes were made from Monday’s 2-2 draw with Elgin City as Eoghan McCawl, Josh Peters, Michael Kennedy and the suspended Stuart Malcolm were replaced by Lewis Milne, Michael Travis, Jim Lister and Thomas O’Brien.

The league leaders started off well with David Cox and Michael Travis going close while the former forced Annan keeper Blair Currie in to action.

Jim Chapman’s side were awarded a great chance to open the scoring in the 21st minute when Max Wright was bundled over by Jamie Bain in the box. The winger stepped up to send Grant Adam the wrong way.

Five minutes later Forfar threatened when Cox and then Martyn Fotheringham had chances however they were denied by the Annan defence as players threw themselves in front of the efforts.

Raffi Krissian should have done better with his effort shortly before the half hour mark; a corner made its way out to the centre back who blasted over the bar from the edge of the box.

Gavin Swankie’s deflected effort flew wide and Thomas O’Brien nodded into the keeper’s arms from Lewis Milne’s corner. 

The latter set up the opener eight minutes before the break with a perfect cross that was bulleted home by Lister. Following the goal they were forced in to an early change when Martyn Fotheringham went off injured to be replaced by Eoghan McCawl.

Lister and Milne came close for the Loons as they attempted to complete a turn around before half time with Currie making saves from the pair.

Gary Bollan’s men forced themselves in front just two minutes into the second half.

A Travis throw found Cox and after his shot was spun away from goal, Lewis Milne collected the ball before seeing his effort diverted in to the net by the unfortunate Callum Home.

Milne almost added a third in the 50th minute but once again saw his shot deflected over after Lister’s cross found him.

The game started to quieten down as the fog surrounding Galabank began to make visibility poor for both sides. 

Annan’s latest signing Smart Osolador fired past the post with twenty minutes left in the closest the hosts came to scoring in the second half.

Cox threatened three times in the final fifteen minutes as he looked to kill the game before winger Danny Denholm saw his shot saved by Currie in the dying stages.

Result elsewhere for Arbroath and Elgin mean it’s as you were at the top of League Two with Forfar hosting Stirling Albion next week.

Annan Athletic: Blair Currie, Callum Home, Jean Guy Lucas (Adam Asghar 86), Raffi Krissian, Peter Watson, Gavin Skelton, Rabin Omar, Nathan Flanagan, David McKenna (Aidan Smith 68), Max Wright (Prezmyslaw Dachnowicz 69), Smart Osalodor

Subs not used: Stephen Bronsky, Tony Ribeiro, Ellis Pearson.

Forfar Athletic: Grant Adam, Michael Travis, Jamie Bain, Andy Munro, Thomas O’Brien, Martyn Fotheringham (Eoghan McCawl 38), Jim Lister, Lewis Milne (Josh Peters 78), David Cox, Gavin Swankie, Danny Denholm

Subs not used: Michael Kennedy, Marc Scott, Kerr Hay, Allan Smith, Joe McGovern (gk)

Elgin City 2 Forfar Athletic 2 (League Two) 2nd January 2017

Elgin City 2
Chris McLeish 19
Darryl McHardy 38

Forfar Athletic 2
David Cox 17
Danny Denholm 64
Stuart Malcolm sent off 59

Danny Denholm’s second half equaliser ensured 10 man Forfar’s seven point gap at the top of League Two stayed intact with a 2-2 draw at Elgin City.

Despite going ahead through David Cox, the Loons went in to half time behind with City’s Chris McLeish and Darryl McHardy turning it around before Denholm netted shortly after captain Stuart Malcolm was shown a second booking.

The red card did however give Michael Travis a chance to make his first appearance in a year with an excellent showing in his half hour cameo.

Gary Bollan’s side were forced in to two changes with both Lewis Milne and Thomas O’Brien missing out; Eoghan McCawl and Andy Munro replacing the duo.

The Loons could have taken the lead in the tenth minute had it not been for either post and the crossbar. Cox saw his free kick from the edge of the box rattle the bar with Kennedy’s follow up parried; Denholm then had his effort hit both posts before rebounding back for Swankie to fire over.

Chris Dodd’s effort flew inches over the bar for the hosts with Grant Adam beaten while Josh Peters hooked over at the other end.

Forfar did take the lead after seventeen minutes through David Cox’s fourth goal in eight matches. Danny Denholm’s cross was dealt with poorly by Mark Nicholson and the attacker rifled home past the keeper.

Two minutes later Jim Weir’s men were level when Chris McLeish swept home Shane Sutherland’s ball across goal.

Cox saw another effort held by Cammy Mackay however it was the hosts who went in to half time ahead as Darryl McHardy rose to head home Daniel Moore’s corner.

The hosts wasted a fantastic chance to kill the game two minutes after the break; Sutherland’s cut back sliced over by McLeish.

Peters was unlucky not to pull Forfar level shortly after when he raced on to Cox’s through ball and poked it past Mackay but could only watch as it flew wide of the mark.

Forfar were dealt a blow just before three hour mark when Stuart Malcolm was sent off for two bookable offences. Gary Bollan was forced in to a change and put Michael Travis on for his first appearance since suffering a serious injury a year ago.

Despite being a man down, the Loons looked the stronger side and equalised in the 64th minute when Denholm bundled home a loose ball despite claims from Munro for the goal with the big defender’s effort cleared off the line before Denholm made sure it was in for his seventh of the season.

McLeish saw his header from a Moore cross held before winger Jamie Reid had an effort deflected over.

Cox almost grabbed a late winner for the Loons for the third week in a row when he corner was misjudged and had to be cleared off the line meanwhile his second effort was met by Munro; his header hooked off the line again.

Substitute Jim Lister was inches away from racing on to a poor header back to his keeper by Nicolson but Mackay was able to gather the loose ball.

The result along with the Angus derby ending in a stalemate means that Forfar continue to be seven points ahead of Arbroath before their trip to Annan on Saturday.

Elgin City: Cammy Mackay, Matthew Cooper, Archie McPhee, Darryl McHardy, Mark Nicolson, Jamie Reid, Brian Cameron, Chris Dodd (Robbie Bruce 89), Chris McLeish (Craig Gunn 74), Shane Sutherland, Daniel Moore

Subs not used: Ben Cullen, Michael Watson, Errol Watson (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Grant Adam, Michael Kennedy, Jamie Bain, Stuart Malcolm, Andy Munro, Martyn Fotheringham, Josh Peters (Michael Travis 62), Eoghan McCawl, David Cox, Gavin Swankie (Jim Lister 73), Danny Denholm

Subs not used: Kerr Hay, Marc Scott, Allan Smith, Murray Mackintosh, Joe McGovern (gk)

Interview with Forfar Athletic’s David Cox

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David Cox was delighted to grab the winner against Clyde after having to settle for setting up the winning goal the previous week.

The 27 year old nodded home Jamie Bain’s cross in the last minute to seal the side’s second 4-3 win in a row and ensure they kept their seven point lead at the top of League Two.

Speaking after the game, the attacker spoke of his joy at the victory and feels his hard work in training is now paying off.

“It was such a fantastic win, we had a great start to the game but after we scored I felt we stopped playing a bit. To be fair to the boy it’s a great strike from him and with the header we need to better defending wise with that but it was good to pull it back, it was the same again last week the boys dug in and it just shows what kind of character we have in the team.”

He continued: “It was brilliant to get the winner, like I said last week obviously we came from behind again and it was good to set Swanks up for the winner but to get the winner today was great. We’ve worked in training trying to get me to stay in the middle and stop wandering around the pitch as much, it’s proved it’s working so long may it continue.”

The former Airdrie man believes he is excelling after moving up to a striker position with four goals since the beginning of November but feels he can perform whether it is there or out on the wing.

“I wouldn’t say I have a preference really, because I’m quite pacy and that I can play on defender’s shoulders in this league if you’re quick enough you can outpace most defenders. I do like playing in both positions I can put away my fair share of goals as well so it’s just a case of it being hard going from one position to another and getting changed every game.”

“Now I’m in a settled position however and I’ve spoken to the gaffer so we’re working on things in training and that, everything is coming together so setting up goals, scoring goals, the boys are doing absolutely brilliant.”

Cox also reckons squad morale is at a high at the moment, pointing to the side coming back from 3-2 two games in a row as a sign of the team’s strength.

“It’s a great dressing room, great bunch of boys and it just shows there, last week as well, how we can just pull together after being 3-2 down in both games near the end and to bring it back to get the win. It was a great turnout from the fans today as well, they were brilliant and the boys are loving it.”

Forfar Athletic 4 Clyde 3 (League Two) 26th December 2016

Forfar Athletic 4

Gavin Swankie 9, Martyn Fotheringham 50, Jim Lister 80, David Cox 90

Clyde 3

Ewan McNeil 20, David Gormley 42, Peter MacDonald pen 67

It was a case of déjà vu for Forfar Athletic as another 90th minute winner earned them a 4-3 victory after coming from behind twice.

Gavin Swankie’s stunning opener was cancelled out by Ewan McNeil’s equally as impressive volley with Martyn Fotheringham and Jim Lister cancelling out David Gormley and Peter MacDonald’s goals before David Cox nodded home the late winner.

The win now sends Forfar seven points clear at the top of League Two, with Clyde now thirteen points off the pace while still two points behind third placed Elgin City.

After a stuttering start, the Loons took the lead after nine minutes when David Cox made his way down the left before laying the ball off for Swankie who cut in before curling the ball into the top corner.

Cox saw an effort deflected inches past the post with Danny Denholm unlucky not to reach the ball as it rolled across goal.

Clyde equalised in the 20th minute with a fantastic effort from Ewan McNeil as he volleyed home from 25 yards.

Swankie volleyed just over the bar shortly after with John Gibson beaten meanwhile Clyde’s Matthew Flynn saw a header cleared off the line.

David Gormley nodded home a Linton free kick to ensure that the Bully Wee went in to half time in front.

Forfar came out for the second half with intent and pulled themselves level within five minutes of the restart as Martyn Fotheringham and Cox played a neat one two before the former nipped the ball under the advancing Gibson.

Lewis Milne hit the post while Flynn failed to trouble Grant Adam from long range as both sides looked to take the lead again.

Referee Mat Northcroft awarded the visitors a penalty in the 67th minute and Peter MacDonald stepped up to fire home the spot kick.

Gary Bollan brought on Jim Lister in the 75th minute as he returned from injury and the big striker showed his worth within five minutes when he rose to flick home Jamie Bain’s cross.

Forfar looked to be forcing pressure on the visitors as Denholm, Cox, Thomas O’Brien and Eoghan McCawl went close in the last ten minutes.

They did however grab a last ditch winner when Bain’s neat cross was bulleted home by Cox to seal Forfar’s second 4-3 win in a row.

Forfar Athletic: Adam, Bain, Kennedy, Malcolm, O’Brien, Fotheringham, Peters (Lister 75), Milne (59), Cox, Swankie (Scott 90), Denholm

Subs not used: Travis, Munro, Smith, King (gk)

Clyde: Gibson, McNeil, McNiff, Smith, Flynn, Gormley, Perry, Johnston, McLaughlin, Linton, MacDonald

Subs not used: S. Ferguson, K. Ferguson, Miller, Tiffoney, Davidson, Millar, Caddis (gk)