Forfar Athletic 3
Gavin Swankie 19, 71, Danny Denholm 52
Greenock Morton 2
Declan McManus 37, Reece Hands 88
Forfar Athletic defeated their second League One full time side at home in two games on Saturday, beating Greenock Morton 3-2 in a game that wasn’t as tight as the scoreline suggests.
Aaron James and Chris Templeman missed out through injury, with Mark Baxter and Omar Kader taking their places in the starting eleven.
The game started off slowly, with neither side really having a chance until the 12th minute, Kader’s cross being nodded out towards Stephen Husband by the defence and as he prepared to shoot, the ball was nicked off his toes. Four minutes later at the other end Joe McKee sent a low shot wide of the mark from the edge of the box.
Forfar opened the scoring after 19 minutes, Husband winning the ball in midfield and then sending a lofted ball into the box for Gavin Swankie to chest down before sending a half volley into the bottom corner out of Derek Gaston’s reach.
Thomas O’Ware missed a sitter just before the half hour mark, Declan McManus knocking the ball towards him but O’Ware sliced his shot over the bar from close range.
They equalised in the 37th minute, Danny Denholm lost the ball on the edge of his own box and it allowed McManus to slot home under Douglas.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Greenock Morton 1
The Loons took the lead again seven minutes into the second half, Swankie becoming the architect this time as he glided his way past the Morton right back before cutting the ball back for Denholm to slot home and make up for his earlier mistake.
Less than a minute later it was almost 3-1 with a very similar chance, Swankie getting the beating of the number two time and time again, his cut back to Denholm saw the winger’s backheel saved by Gaston.
Denholm and Hilson combined well in the 64th minute, the latter receiving the ball from Denholm’s drive forward but his shot was pushed away well by the keeper.
Forfar gave Morton some more bad news when they further extended their lead with nineteen minutes to go, a great clearance by Michael Dunlop found Swankie and as he advanced on Gaston he fired home for his second of the game.
Dunlop then had a chance of his own in the 78th minute, flashing a header wide of the mark from a Husband cross.
Rab Douglas held a McKee free kick easily in a rare Morton chance while Dunlop almost set up another goal with a clearance, this time Hilson ran onto it but when he was one on one with the keeper, his shot was parried.
The Greenock side grabbed an undeserved second with two minutes to go to make the final moments of the game very nervy for the Loons after last week’s late goals. A Mark Russell shot was parried by Douglas but Reece Hands was there to stab the ball home ten minutes after coming on.
They had the final chance of the game and could have equalised if it wasn’t for the largely ineffective McManus wasting his chance and firing straight at Douglas.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Gavin Swankie – Ripped the Morton defence to bits time and time again.
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Michael Dunlop 7, Mark Baxter 6, Stuart Malcolm 6, Darren Dods 6, Stephen Husband 6 (James Dale 78, 3), Omar Kader 6 (Craig Smith 81, 2), Derek Young 7, Dale Hilson 7, Gavin Swankie 9, Danny Denholm 6 (Martyn Fotheringham 81, 2)
Subs not used: Gavin Malin, Andrew Steeves, Liam Keiller, Ross Salmon (gk)
Greenock Morton: Derek Gaston, Lee Kilday, Ricki Lamie, Michael Miller (Mark Russell 67), Sean Crighton, Stefan Milojevic, Joe McKee, Connor Pepper, Declan McManus, Thomas O’Ware (Reece Hands 77), Stefan McCluskey(David McNeil 79)
Subs not used: Jordan Allan, Jon Scullion, Nicolas Caraux (gk)