Forfar Athletic 3
Paul McLellan 11, Kieran Stewart 49, Danny Denholm 79
Cove Rangers 0
A mixture of experience, youth and trialists helped Forfar Athletic keep their unbeaten run in pre-season with a 3-0 win over Highland League outfit Cove Rangers.
There were seven changes from last Thursday’s draw with Livingston, Douglas, Keiller, Smith, Templeman, McLellan and trialists Kieran Stewart and Andrew Steeves replacing Salmon, Malin, Dale, Malcolm, Swankie, Hilson and Denholm.
Cove fielded a familiar name or two in the form of ex-Loons keeper Sandy Wood and former Aberdeen player Chris Clark. They had the first chance of the game in the opening minute, John Smith seeing his long range effort tipped over by Rab Douglas.
Youngster Paul McLellan had excellent vision to swing a ball from the middle of the park to the left wing for Omar Kader to run on to, Kader reaching the touchling before cutting the ball back for Craig Smith but he could only send his volley wide. A minute later Jamie McAllister knocked the ball wide from a Danny Park cross.
The Loons took the lead after eleven minutes, Kader sent a great through ball for McLellan to run onto before slotting home inside the box past Wood.
They had a chance to extend the lead eight minutes later, Kader sending Smith clear this time and as Smith advanced on goal, he tried to round Wood but was taken out by the keeper and referee Steven Traynor awarded a penalty. Chris Templeman stepped up but his shot was pushed away by the keeper.
McLellan went close to grabbing his second of the game in the 26th minute, stepping up to fire a 25 yard free kick over. Smith also fired wide as the youngsters looked to give Dick Campbell food for thought over the coming season.
Michael Dunlop had a massive run down the right wing on the stroke of half time, sending in a great ball to Chris Templeman, the ball unfortunately getting tangled in his feet before the Cove defender poorly cleared, McLellan fired wide from the poor defending.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Cove Rangers 0
Four minutes into the second half it was two-nil, sub Gavin Malin swinging in a great corner for trialist Kieran Stewart to bullet home a header.
Fellow trialist Aaron James made a good block to deny Jamie McAllister in the 52nd minute, before McAllister nodded wide minutes later from a Chris Clark free-kick.
On the hour mark Cove sub Michael Selfridge should have scored when he collected a cross in the box before rounding sub keeper Ross Salmon, his shot then being blocked by a pile of bodies, Connor Scully blasting the loose ball wide.
The game started to slow down as each side made mass changes, seven being made in the space of fifteen minutes.
The third Loons trialist Andrew Steeves and then Gavin Swankie went close in a matter of minutes as the Loons started to get back into their stride after making their subs.
Danny Denholm added a third in the 79th minute, Dunlop sending a great ball forward for Dale Hilson to collect before pinging a ball across the face of Sandy Wood’s goal, Denholm popping up at the back post to stab home.
The closest anyone came to scoring in the final ten minutes was in the dying seconds when Kader’s cross was met by the defending Darren Kelly, his header fortunately for them flying inches past the post for a corner.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Paul McLellan
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6 (Ross Salmon 56, 6), Michael Dunlop 8, Andrew Steeves (t) 7, Darren Dods 6 (Stuart Malcolm 46, 6), Aaron James (t) 7, Liam Keiller 6 (Gavin Malin 42, 7), Craig Smith 7 (Danny Denholm 62, 6), Kieran Stewart (t) 6, Chris Templeman 6 (Gavin Swankie 62, 6), Paul McLellan 8 (Dale Hilson 62, 6), Omar Kader 8.
Sub not used: James Dale.
Cove Rangers: Sandy Wood, Chris Clark (Stuart Taylor 86), Alan Redford (Ryan Robertson 81), Darren Kelly, Eric Watson, Clark Bain (Ryan Stewart 70), Danny Park (Adam McMillan 85), Connor Scully (Blair Yule 86), Jamie McAllister (Eric Thomson 76), John Smith (Michael Selfridge 55), Jamie Lennox (Daryll Nicoll 59).
Subs not used: Barrie Stephen, Craig Reid.