Young Loons defeated in final

Forfar Athletic                2    Hay (30, 47)

Hamilton Academical    5    Brophy (20, 37), Ryan (26, 29), Finnie (84)

Forfar Athletic’s Under 19 squad finished runners up in the SFL Under 19’s League Cup after being defeated 5-2 by a strong Hamilton side.

Over 300 spectators turned up to cheer on the young Loons who played tremendously against a full time side who had at least four players with first team experience.

The Hamilton side started the stronger with striker Andrew Ryan flashing a shot just past the post and Eamonn Brophy firing over.

Despite the home side getting more and more possession, the Accies took the lead after twenty minutes when Brophy was left with the simple task of nodding home from a Lee Kilday cross.

They doubled their lead in the 26th minute with Ryan’s shot took a deflection off Ben Smith deceiving Loons custodian Ross Salmon.

Ryan notched his second of the night three minutes later when a cross into the area was nodded out towards him and he lashed home from 16 yards.

Straight from kick off Forfar raced up the pitch and reduced the deficit immediately as excellent work from Paul McLellan on the right saw him beat two defenders before crossing for Kerr Hay to head into the net.

Hamilton had been focusing their attacks down Forfar’s left side constantly with all three goals so far coming from that side and when they made it 4-1, it was no surprise to see it had come from there again, Brophy also nabbing a second after Andrew Ryan set him up.

The Accies almost added a fifth five minutes before half time, Ross Salmon doing well to push a dipping shot from Darren Lyon over the bar.

The second half the Loons started much stronger and within two minutes had pulled another goal back, Jamie McLachlan sending in a low cross for Kerr Hay to tap in from close range.

Forfar were enjoying the majority of the possession in the second half but couldn’t find the space to create chances, while Hamilton saw efforts from Watson, Brophy and Johnston go wide of the mark.

After 66 minutes Gavin Thomson missed an excellent opportunity when McLellan ran through the Accies half and cut inside a defender, threading the ball to Thomson who saw his shot from inside the box blocking by an onrushing defender.

Accies right back Ryan Finnie had been bombing up and down the park all night almost grabbed a goal for his efforts with 8 minutes to go, his long range effort touched over the bar by Ross Salmon. Finnie was celebrating two minutes later when a strike from the same area took a wicked deflection off defender Ben Smith and looped over Salmon into the goal.

The squad played brilliantly despite the defeat, several of them looking very capable of challenging for the senior squad next season.

Forfar Athletic: Ross Salmon, Alastair Smith, Scott Mollison (Liam McIntosh 84), Connor Gray, Jack Syme, Ben Smith, Paul McLellan, Liam Keiller, Gavin Thomson, Kerr Hay, Jamie McLachlan (Matthew Adam 77).

Subs not used: David Steel, Frank Lannen, Leighton Davidson.

Hamilton Academical: Jordan Allan, Ryan Finnie, Scott McMann, Aldin El Zubaidi, Lee Kilday, Darren Lyon, Eamonn Brophy (Daniel Armstrong 83), Craig Watson, Andrew Ryan, Greg Docherty (Darren Smith 89), Craig Johnstone (James Martin 69).

Subs not used: Jack Harrison, Chris Shaw.

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The most bizarre game I have ever seen..

Dunfermline Athletic   6   Dunlop (og 36), Thomson (62), Millen (pen 83), Smith (102), Husband (110, 118)

Forfar Athletic               1   I Campbell (6)

The 2012-2013 season is over for Forfar Athletic after a game of indiscipline and horrendous refereeing at East End Park ended in a 6-1 win for Dunfermline to send the Loons crashing out of the play-offs 7-4 on aggregate.

Two busloads and several cars made their way down to Fife hoping they would see a performance similar to Wednesday’s heroic 3-1 win, with the same sixteen players being unchanged.

The away side started off well and put the travelling fans into wonderland after 6 minutes when IAIN CAMPBELL swung a corner to the near post and keeper Michal Hrivnak flapped the ball into the net to make it 1-0 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate.

Dunfermline’s top goalscorer Ryan Wallace had been a doubt before the game due to a dislocated shoulder although started, but was forced off in the first ten minutes holding the injured shoulder to be replaced by veteran Craig Dargo.

After fourteen minutes referee Steven O’Reilly deemed Mark McCulloch’s challenge in the box on Alan Smith to be worthy of a penalty and a straight red, despite looking like a fair challenge from the angle of the reporter. Stephen Husband stepped up to take the penalty, but put his attempt wide to the delight of the Loons fans.

Darren Hill was keeping Forfar in the lead with some excellent saves, one of the best in the 23rd minute when he showed amazing reactions to claw the ball off the line after the ball pinged around in the box.

Ten minutes before half time Dale Hilson came close to extending the Loons lead further but his run and shot was saved well by Hrivnak. From that Dunfermline piled on the pressure and less than two minutes later had equalised through an own goal, Alan Smith made his way down the right wing and his attempt at a cross was diverted past Hill at a tight angle by a unfortunate MICHAEL DUNLOP to make it 4-2 on aggregate.

Hilson had another chance to give the Loons the lead again just before half time but his shot from the edge of the box hit Templeman on its way and went just past the post. Omar Kader came on at half time for Ross Campbell.

Gavin Malin was unlucky with a free kick near the corner flag in the 50th minute, his attempt floating to the back post and coming off the post and ending up coming off Templeman for a goal kick.

Three minutes later the Loons were down to nine men when Michael Dunlop lost the ball and both him and the Pars player went for the ball with feet up and collided after missing it, with O’Reilly deciding Dunlop deserved a red, a very harsh decision, the challenge was a booking at best. An enraged Dick Campbell and Neil McCann were also sent from the technical area for clashing.

Just after the hour mark Dunfermline took the lead after through ball in between a stretched defence

allowed RYAN THOMSON to collect the ball and slot past Hill with ease.

Dunfermline again dominated the game, with the nine men in orange camped in their own half constantly, although one counter attack left Gavin Swankie running with the ball the length of the Pars half with one defender matching him for pace but he was able to fire off a shot in the box, Hrivnak saving and then smothering Swankie’s second attempt.

The third goal for Dunfermline today and the equaliser on aggregate came with eight minutes to go when O’Reilly seen an apparent handball in the box by Omar Kader and youngster Millen stepped up and placed the ball past Darren Hill. Forfar were then reduced to eight men straight after the penalty when Iain Campbell was given his second yellow for abusing the referee.

The game went into extra time much to the disappointment of the away support and things didn’t get much better for them with three goals by Dunfermline in the half hour. ALAN SMITH saw his shot get deflected in after 102 minutes, STEPHEN HUSBAND added a double in the second period, with the pick of the goals today being a 25 yard shot that rifled into the top corner to make it 5-1 and added a sixth in the final minute.

The final whistle went and the majority of the Loons fans stayed to applaud the players and management for their efforts this season who in turn thanked the fans.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Man of the Match: Darren Hill – Pulled off numerous excellent stops.

Dunfermline Athletic: Hrivnak 5, Millen 7, Whittle 6 (Kane 111, 5), Young 6, Potter 6, Geggan 6 (Byrne 91, 5), Wallace 4 (Dargo 11, 6), Husband 8, Smith 8, Falkingham 6, Thomson 7.

Subs not used: El Bahktoui, Goodfellow.

Forfar Athletic: Hill 9, Dunlop 5, I Campbell 6, McCulloch 4, Bolochoweckyj 7, Malin 6 (Brown 71, 5), R Campbell 5 (Kader 46, 6), Robertson 6, Templeman 6, Swankie 7, Hilson 6 (Sellars 93, 5).

Subs not used: King, Salmon.

Referee – Steven O’Reilly

Attendance – 4,252