Forfar Farmington 1 Hutchison Vale 2 (SWPL) 25th May 2014

Forfar Farmington     1       Hutchison Vale       2

Parsley 59 pen                     Russell 55

                                             Galbraith 76

 

Forfar Farmington undeservedly lost out to the odd goal in three against fellow strugglers Hutchison Vale on Sunday at Station Park in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

Despite Paul White’s side enjoying the majority of possession, Hutchison Vale had the first chance of the game, Michelle Russell firing wide from the edge of the box.

Nicola Davidson and top scorer Amy Gallacher saw shots in quick succession blocked by the visitors before Becky Galbraith sliced her effort towards the corner flag after 19 minutes.

Nicky Grant nodded into Ashley Watson’s arms minutes before Watson fumbled a corner, Grant unlucky not to bundle the ball home before the defence cleared it.

Laura Parsley shot wide in the 32nd minute before hitting the crossbar with a cross from the touchline while Galbraith fired into the keeper’s arms at the other end.

Sub Lindsay Dunbar touched the ball over the bar from a Parsley corner towards the end of the half, the sides going into the second half goalless.

Despite Nicky Grant testing Watson from long range and Forfar pressuring the Hutchie defence, the visitors opened the scoring in the 55th minute, Russell beating two defenders before lashing home inside the box.

The lead lasted four minutes when Galbraith handled a Grant free kick, Parsley blasting home the penalty.

Grant and Kayleigh Brough, who had been sent up front after Amy Gallacher was subbed, saw their efforts saved on the line by Watson in between Jamie Torrance and Russell’s missed chances for Hutchison Vale.

Brough set up Dunbar with a flick in the 75th minute and Dunbar turned a defender and fired off a shot but the effort flew inches over the bar.

The Edinburgh outfit took an undeserved lead a minute later when Galbraith made amends for giving away the penalty as she headed a hanging ball home from almost on the goal line.

Despite a mountain of pressure and Kayleigh Brough firing just wide, Farmington couldn’t find their way to another goal, missing out on a point, the very least they deserved for their performance.

The side dropped to bottom spot after Buchan won against Queen’s Park and now look forward to next week when they play Rangers away from home.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Nicky Grant/Kayleigh Brough: Grant’s experience was a much needed boost to the squad and she played well while Brough did a great job in defence and even when she moved up front.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Sydney Cairns, Murron White (Lindsay Dunbar 27), Jade McLaren, Kayleigh Brough (Cheryl Kilcoyne 86), Laura Parsley, Holly Napier (Steph Ward 83), Amy Gallacher (Kayleigh Noble 64), Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce, Nicky Grant (Claire Thoms 72)

Sub not used: Megan Burns.

Hutchison Vale: Ashley Watson, Jennifer Rodgers, Nicole Clark, Jennifer Malone, Michelle Russell, Laura Gavin, Claire Ditchburn, Louise Moultray, Ann Taylor, Jamie Torrance, Becky Galbraith.

Subs not used: Amy Henderson, Lisa McFarlane.

 

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Aberdeen Ladies 7 Forfar Farmington 2 (SWPL) 18th May 2014

Aberdeen Ladies        7     Forfar Farmington       2

Cowper                               Gallacher

Dempster (5)                      Dunbar

Hermans

Forfar Farmington travelled up to Heathryfold Park in Aberdeen on Sunday to play Aberdeen Ladies in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, unfortunately losing 7-2.

Aberdeen took the lead in the 6th minute when Cassie Cowper headed home but Farmington equalised two minutes later through striker Amy Gallacher after poor defending by the home side.

The Dons hit the bar twice in the ten minutes after the equaliser as they pushed to retake the lead.

Rebecca Dempster put them back in front after 27 minutes and then for the third time in the 37th minute after Lindsay Dunbar equalised for the visitors again with her first goal of the season in between both Dempster goals.

In the second half Dempster grabbed another quickfire double with around twenty minutes to go to make it 5-2 to Aberdeen and four for her for the day.

With ten minutes to go she scored her fifth and Aberdeen’s sixth before Hermans scored the seventh in injury time, the scoreline flattering the Dons with the visitors putting in a determined performance.

Farmington are still in eleventh position with two points from seven games and now look to next week when they take on strugglers Hutchison Vale at Station Park.

The 2013/2014 Ramblings of a Loon’s End of Season Awards

With the season over I decided I would conduct my own awards through player ratings and stats from games I have reported on.

Player of the Year

3rd Place: Rab Douglas (Average rating of 6.39 from 18 games)

Rab signed for the Loons as a player/goalkeeping coach in the summer and had to settle for a place on the bench to begin with, bar an appearance at former club Dundee in the Challenge Cup in August. After Darren Hill suffered an injury in late October/early November, Douglas took over the number one shirt, putting in the type of performances that endeared him to Dundee fans including a great penalty save in the Scottish Cup replay victory over Angus rivals Brechin City. An injury ruled him out of the rest of the season in mid March, but the big keeper has signed on at Station Park for another year.

2nd Place: Gavin Swankie (Average rating of 6.55 from 29 games)

Appointed captain for the season after a serious injury to Mark McCulloch, Swankie had a great start to the season when he scored twice in the 2-1 League Cup victory over Rangers. He struggled to score between then and the end of the year, scoring just twice , in September against East Fife and Rangers again in December. He scored six in six between early February and mid March before injuries and suspensions forced him to miss games towards the end of the season. Thirteen goals saw him finish joint top goalscorer with Dale Hilson, Swankie also signing a new two year contract during the season to keep him here until 2016.

The first Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Year goes to…

1st Place: Dale Hilson (Average rating of 7.19 from 27 games)

A completely different player from his last three loan spells. He came back to Station Park in late August for the fourth time and I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it was a good idea to bring him back, but I soon changed my mind, his performances this season have been great. Stranraer at Stair Park, Ayr United at home, Brechin away and Dunfermline at home amongst his best games. He also more than doubled his goal tally while at the club this season, scoring thirteen when in the previous three seasons he had scored just ten.

Dale has possibly broken a record for the amount of appearances made at a club while on loan, making 113 appearances for Forfar.

Top Goalscorer: Dale Hilson (12 goals in 27 games)

Performance of the Year: Stranraer 0 Forfar Athletic 4, 11th March 2014

Possibly one of the best performances I have seen in my time watching Forfar.

Going down to Stranraer on a cold Tuesday night when we don’t particularly have a good record there, I wasn’t expecting much so to see us win 4-0 was a shock.

Goals from Dale Hilson, Gavin Swankie, Omar Kader and a Martyn Fotheringham penalty sealed a magnificent night for the Loons, who had been playing for over an hour with ten men due to Darren Dods being sent off for a last man foul.

Honourable mentions to Martyn Fotheringham, Ross Campbell and Chris Templeman for reaching the 200th game milestone during the course of the season. Iain Campbell passed the 150 games mark while loanee Dale Hilson made his 100th appearance in sky blue towards the end of the season.

Stranraer 3 Forfar Athletic 1 (SPFL League One) 3rd May 2014

Stranraer      3    Forfar Athletic    1

Winter 40             Swankie 4

Rumsby 54

McKeown 72

Forfar Athletic brought the curtain down on a mixed 2013/2014 season with a poor 3-1 defeat away to Stranraer, missing out on the promotion play-offs, other results meaning they also dropped down to finish seventh in the League One table.

With Gary Fusco and Dale Hilson ruled out through suspension, Gavin Swankie and Stuart Malcolm returned from their own suspensions in the only changes from the previous week’s win.

The Loons went into the game with a slim chance of reaching the play-offs and gave those hopes a boost in the fourth minute, a long punt up the park by Darren Hill was flicked on by Chris Templeman, the ball was met by a Stranraer defender but his headed clearance cannoned off the home side’s captain Frank McKeown, letting Gavin Swankie clean through on goal and he calmly slotted home past David Mitchell.

Two minutes later Stranraer hit the post, David McKenna hitting a speculative effort from outside the box that bounced in front of Hill and came off the post, bouncing across the goal and out for a goal kick.

The Stair Park outfit then hit the bar in the 19th minute, an Andy Stirling corner was met by McKeown, his header being flicked by McKenna onto the bar before being cleared for a corner. From that Scott Rumsby’s shot inside the box was cleared off the line by Ross Campbell as Stranraer hunted for an equaliser.

In the 22nd minute Omar Kader had three efforts in a row blocked by the Stranraer defence, the ball ending up with Gavin Swankie on the byline and his shot from a tight angle went over.

Stranraer’s Sean Winter fired wide and the Loons’ Marvin Andrews nodded past the post before the home side equalised in the 40th minute, Andy Stirling crossing for Ryan Borris who knocked the ball back for Winter to slam home.

HALF TIME: Stranraer 1 Forfar Athletic 1

Stranraer took the lead nine minutes into the second half, Andy Stirling, who was putting in the type of performance that earned him plaudits from Dick Campbell as his League One player of the year beforehand, whipped in a great free kick for Scott Rumsby to head into the net.

The Loons went close in the 57th minute, Swankie setting up Jamie McCluskey but his effort was saved well by David Mitchell. At the other end Darren Hill had to be sharp to push away a long range strike by Mark Docherty.

Andy Stirling had his third assist of the game in the 72nd minute, his corner being nodded home by Frank McKeown, who was allowed a free header inside the box.

Stirling almost had a fourth assist with ten minutes left, setting up his namesake Stephen Stirling but his shot was pushed out for a corner by Hill, the effort looking to be going wide regardless.

Martyn Fotheringham headed past the post from a Stuart Malcolm cross in the 84th minute before Iain Campbell sent a low free kick into the keeper’s arms.

The final whistle brought the curtain down on the season for Forfar, despite the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs there has been highs such as the defeat of Rangers in the League Cup, dismantling teams like Dunfermline in October, Brechin in January and Stranraer at Stair Park in March and even outplaying Rangers in both home games in the league.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Normally I pick a Forfar player, which is Omar Kader in this case, but for this game I’m picking Andy Stirling of Stranraer, caused bother for the Forfar defence the whole game and every attack had him at the forefront of it.

Stranraer: David Mitchell, Scott Robertson, Mark Docherty, Scott Rumsby, Frank McKeown, Stephen Stirling, Sean Winter (Steven Bell 67), Ryan Borris, Martin Grehan (Jamie Longworth 46), David McKenna, Andy Stirling.

Subs not used: David MacGregor, Lloyd Kinnaird, Adam Forde, Chris Fahey (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill, Stuart Malcolm, Iain Campbell, Marvin Andrews, Darren Dods, Jamie McCluskey (Martyn Fotheringham 60), Omar Kader, Gavin Malin (James Dale 60), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie (Liam Keiller 65), Ross Campbell.

Subs not used: Paul McLellan, Chris Duggan, Keith Gibson, Rab Douglas (gk)

 

Forfar Farmington 1 Inverness City 1 (Scottish Women’s Premier League) 4th May 2014

Forfar Farmington      1       Inverness City        1

Webster 13                            Main 23

Forfar Farmington put in an encouraging performance as they were unlucky not to get all three points in a 1-1 draw at home to Inverness City.

From last week’s defeat at Spartans, Paul White made three changes with Fiona McNicoll returning in goal after her facial injury suffered at Glasgow City two weeks ago, Ellice Brannan, who was in goal for the Spartans game, moved to left back in place of Megan Burns. Caren Webster and Holly Napier both played for the side last season and were making their first appearance of the new season, Napier having returned from the USA for a few months.

Inverness started brightly with Lisa McKenzie seeing two chances fly over the bar before Rachel McLauchlan hit the woodwork with an effort from outside the penalty area in the 8th minute.

Forfar’s first chance was two minutes later, a quick free kick from Nicola Davidson over the defence found Amy Gallacher and her lob over the advancing Kim Jappy went the wrong side of the post and wide.

Holly Napier fired into the keeper’s arms before the home side took the lead on 13 minutes. A Webster cross wasn’t handled properly by the defence and after blocking shots by Gallacher and Parsley, the ball fell to Webster again and she curled the ball home beautifully from the edge of the box.

Inverness equalised ten minutes later, a corner from McLauchlan wasn’t cleared and Sarah Main blasted through a ruck of bodies into the net.

After this goal Forfar started to dominate play, with Inverness not really troubling the defence, Jade McLaren and Kayleigh Brough sweeping up any ball in the Forfar half.

Amy Gallacher went close for Farmington twice before half time but Jappy covered her efforts well.

HALF TIME: Forfar Farmington 1 Inverness City 1

Three minutes into the second half a Parsley corner was laid off to Nicola Davidson by Amy Gallacher but Davidson could only fire over.

Kim Jappy saved a Davidson free kick in the 52nd minute and from the counter attack Main’s cross was put over the bar by Natalie Bodiam.

Substitute Lindsey Dunbar went close in the 56th minute,  she and Caren Webster combined and Dunbar’s shot was palmed away by Jappy before Dunbar sent a great ball to Gallacher who advanced on Jappy, her shot being stopped by the on form keeper.

Inverness looked to be on the back foot for the whole half but had chances themselves through Lisa McKenzie and Bodiam, both players struggling to find the target.

In the 73rd minute Nicola Davidson had a shot take a slight deflection and go out via the post, from the resulting corner Kayleigh Brough had a header blocked and a shot pushed wide. After another corner and a throw in Jappy saved an overhead kick by Holly Napier.

Davidson set up Gallacher in the 78th minute, a long ball found the talented striker and she cut inside a defender before curling a shot towards goal, Jappy saving well again.

Kayleigh Brough hit the sidenetting, Webster fired wide and a great run by Gallacher again ended in a long range strike being brilliantly palmed over by the Inverness keeper in the final ten minutes. Gallacher saw her corner after her effort crash off the crossbar with no takers for the ball as it came off it.

Farmington should be happy with the performance, arguably their best of the season so far, they were very unlucky not to take all three points off newly promoted Inverness. They now look to the next game in a fortnight’s time when they travel to Heathryfold Park to take on Aberdeen.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Players of the Match: Amy Gallacher and Kayleigh Brough. Gallacher deserved at least a goal for her efforts today, very unfortunate not to grab one while Brough swept up most Inverness attacks and looked dangerous inside the visitor’s box too.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll 7, Sydney Cairns 7, Ellice Brannan 6 (Megan Burns 44, 6), Murron White 6 (Lynsey Dunbar 46, 7), Jade McLaren 7, Kayleigh Brough 8, Laura Parsley 7 (Katy Dickson 77, 3), Holly Napier 7, Amy Gallacher 8, Nicola Davidson 7, Caren Webster 7.

Sub not used: Lori Allan.

Inverness City: Kim Jappy, Nicola Ross, Sarah Main, Emma Paterson, Lorraine Cadden (Sheena Nicol 70), Megan McCarthy, Lisa McKenzie, Rachel McLauchlan, Hannah Gordon, Veronika Klechova, Natalie Bodiam.

Sub not used: Teri Fox