Arbroath 3 Forfar Athletic 1 (Irn Bru Scottish Second Division) 26.01.2013

Ten man Forfar Athletic’s stuttering form continued after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Angus rivals Arbroath on Saturday.

The Loons fielded two new signings, Aberdeen loanee Jordon Brown, whose loan spell last season was cut short by a horrific cruciate ligament injury and keeper Darren Hill, released from the Gayfield side earlier in the week.

Arbroath had most of the possession and chances in the early stages with Graham Bayne heading straight at Hill in the first 60 seconds and even took the lead after 7 minutes when a stramash in the box ended in the ball breaking to Lee Sibanda, and he lashed the ball into the net.

They almost extended their lead in the 14th minute when Steven Doris forced an excellent save from the keeper, from the resulting corner, left back Colin Hamilton headed wide.

Three minutes later Forfar were made to pay for their slackness when Ross Chisholm broke through the defence and floated in a cross that was headed home by Bayne.

With 5 minutes to go in the half Lee Sibanda was booked for a foul on Martyn Fotheringham, despite it being committed by Mark Baxter, referee David Somers failing to notice his error. Forfar had an excellent chance to pull one back 60 seconds later when Chisholm fouled Willie Robertson in a dangerous position, but Iain Campbell hit the wall with his attempt and it was cleared.

Player-manager Paul Sheerin and Graham Bayne joined Sibanda in the book before half time, Sheerin for dissent, and Bayne for an elbow on Martyn Fotheringham. From the resulting Bayne foul Jordon Brown but he squandered his shot.

At half time, Danny Denholm went off injured and defender Stephen Tulloch came on in his place. Dale Hilson saw his volley blocked by a defender from Fotheringham’s corner in the 50th minute, and Arbroath broke up the park, with Doris running clear from a through ball, but Darren Hill did well to rush out and clear the ball.

Arbroath made sure of the three points in the 56th minute when more poor defending allowed Ross Chisholm to have a shot which was fumbled by Hill, Graham Bayne poking home a second on his debut. On the hour mark the Red Lichties’ Mark Baxter was replaced by Scott Robertson.

Forfar then had a perfectly fine goal chalked off after the ball was played in from the byeline back to Chris Templeman who nodded into the goal, but the stand side assistant ruled him to be offside.

Templeman was replaced by Ross Campbell, who set up a chance almost instantly, Gavin Swankie playing the ball to him, before he threaded the ball to Jordon Brown, who skied his shot over. Paul Currie then replaced Ross Chisholm for Arbroath.

The Loons were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute after Willie Robertson weaved his way into the box before being bundled over by Brian Kerr. Iain Campbell stepped up to slot home his fourth penalty of the season and give Forfar a slim lifeline.

Stephen Tulloch almost pulled another goal back when his header from Iain Campbell’s corner forced Tony Bullock into a good save. Gavin Malin replaced Martyn Fotheringham as the Loons’ final substitution.

With ten minutes left Forfar were reduced to ten men when David Somers adjudged Willie Robertson’s challenge on Colin Hamilton to be worthy of a straight red, when it really only deserved a yellow at best, Ross Campbell also received a booking in the handbags after.

The Loons do not have league duty again until the 9th of February with their Scottish Cup fifth round tie away to Falkirk this coming Saturday.


Forfar Athletic 2 Ayr United 1 (Irn Bru Scottish Second Division) 12.01.2013

Forfar Athletic grabbed their first win of the year on Saturday with a 2-1 win over struggling Ayr United.

Faroese international Odmar Faeroe came back into the starting XI for the first time since being injured while representing his country in October, replacing Barry Sellars. Omar Kader and Michael Bolochoweckyj also replaced Charlie King and Jamie Bishop on the bench.

The game started off evenly with no one really coming close to troubling either keeper, bar Gavin Malin’s volley that went wide in the 6th minute.

Two minutes later Chris Templeman had a shot deflected past the post, and Danny Denholm’s pinpoint corner was headed into his own goal by Ayr defender John Robertson who had been pressured by Faeroe.

Ayr United had their first real chance in the 19th minute when David Sinclair’s free kick from the corner of the box went just over the bar.

After half an hour they came even closer to scoring when their free kick, which looked as if it had been practised on the training ground many times, led to Kyle McAusland’s header being cleared off the line by Iain Campbell.

Mark McCulloch came close to scoring a rare goal after Chris Templeman set him up and his shot from outside the box went out for a corner. From the resulting corner the ball went out to Iain Campbell, whose cross was headed over by Danny Denholm.

The Honest Men had the final chances of the first half with McAusland heading over when no-one else was near him and Robbie Crawford’s long range shot was straight at Jack Hamilton.

David Sinclair was rewarded for his efforts in the 48th minute when Ayr were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and he curled his attempt into the bottom left corner much to the delight of the 40 or so Ayr fans who were already making a lot of noise.

Within five minutes the Loons had retaken the lead when good play allowed Gavin Malin to thread the ball to Gavin Swankie who placed the ball past ex-Loon Ally Brown for his 12th goal of the season.

Two minutes later Swankie almost made it 3-1 when he capitalised on a poor pass back by Darren Brownlie but Brown did well to stop his attempt. Odmar Faeroe was then replaced by Michael Bolochoweckyj as he felt the effects of playing his first game in 3 months.

With an hour gone Ayr almost equalised when John Robertson’s cross was headed out to David Sinclair, who saw his powerful shot saved by the keeper. In the 69th minute Dale Hilson was subbed before he was sent off after he was booked earlier, with Omar Kader coming on for him.

Three minutes later Michael Bolochoweckyj was booked for a rash challenge and Sinclair’s free kick from the foul threatened but was cleared for a corner. Michael Donald’s corner was poor and the ball broke to Gavin Swankie who ran at the Ayr defence then switched the ball across the park to Denholm and he cut inside and curled his effort over the bar.

Two minutes later John Robertson headed over from yet another Sinclair free kick. Robbie Crawford was then subbed for Adam Hunter.

In the last 15 minutes there wasn’t much to report about apart from Ayr making two subs, with Anthony Marenghi and Ross Robertson coming on for John Robertson and Michael Moffat, Forfar also made a sub, Ross Campbell replacing Danny Denholm.

In the last minute of injury time Ayr sub Marenghi almost scored a late leveller after the ball broke to him, and his shot from outside the box was deflected and Jack Hamilton did well to catch it before it looped over him.