Stranraer 1 Forfar Athletic 1 (SPFL League One) 9th August 2014

Forfar Athletic kicked off their 2014-2015 League One season with a draw down in Stranraer on Saturday after Stuart Malcolm cancelled out Jamie Longworth’s opener.

After last week’s extra time defeat to Raith Rovers in the League Cup, three changes were made, with Stephen Husband and Darren Dods suspended, James Dale and Malcolm came into the starting eleven. Gavin Swankie was originally in the starting eleven but was replaced by Gavin Malin after he pulled up in the warm up. Youth player James Yates was named on the bench as a trialist.

The Loons had the first chance of the game when Dale Hilson’s effort was fumbled wide after he was set up by Denholm’s flick on before at the other end Jamie Longworth hit the sidenetting.

Longworth gave the home side the lead after 17 minutes, curling the ball home from Stephen Stirling’s lay off. Stirling almost put them two ahead a minute later, firing straight at Rab Douglas.

Malin threatened with a free kick from 30 yards in the 19th minute, David Mitchell doing well to save the set piece.

Longworth had a header go inches past the post after 22 minutes at the Stair Park outfit looked to extend their lead.

Ten minutes before half time Mitchell produced a fantastic save to deny Chris Templeman’s close range header on the line from Hilson’s cut back after good work by the winger.

Sean Winter went close for Stranraer just before half time but never troubled Douglas.

HALF TIME: Stranraer 1 Forfar Athletic 0

Five minutes into the second half Stuart Malcolm had a header from Denholm’s corner tipped over the bar.

The Loons equalised in the 63rd minute after Michael Dunlop’s shot earned them a corner. Denholm swung the ball in and Stuart Malcolm’s diving header bulleted past the keeper to the delight of the small travelling support.

It was almost a second goal for the Loons in the exact same style two minutes later, Malcolm’s header was saved by the alert Mitchell.

Douglas produced two good saves in quick succession from Longworth and Winter before at the other end Dale Hilson nodded wide after he was set up by Templeman from Malin’s corner.

In the 83rd minute Denholm sent a great ball across the midfield to Omar Kader, who made his way to the home side’s box, sending in a cross at the back post for Hilson but he could only stab the ball wide at the back post.

Stranraer had two great chances to steal a winner in the dying moments of the game, firstly after a defensive mix up, sub Adam Forde was one on one with Douglas but instead of firing either side of the big keeper, he sent his shot straight at the advancing shot stopper and the ball was cleared. Fellow sub Chris Aitken was also clean through and did the same as his team mate, blasting the ball straight at Rab.

The Loons did have the ball in the net in the 89th minute but the referee booked Chris Templeman after what looked like a push in the box saw him hit the ball with his hand as he fell.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Aaron James

Stranraer: David Mitchell, Scott Rumsby, Jackson Longridge, Craig Pettigrew, Frank McKeown, Stephen Stirling (Anthony Marenghi 67), Scott Robertson, Grant Gallagher, Craig Malcolm, Jamie Longworth (Adam Forde 84), Sean Winter (Chris Aitken 73).

Subs not used: Barry Russell, Sam McCloskey, Chris Fahey.

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop, Andrew Steeves (Omar Kader 38), Derek Young, Stuart Malcolm, Aaron James, Dale Hilson (Craig Smith 87), James Dale, Chris Templeman, Gavin Malin, Danny Denholm.

Subs not used: Martyn Fotheringham, Paul McLellan, Liam Keiller, Trialist, Ross Salmon.

Queen’s Park 0 Forfar Farmington 2 (Scottish Women’s Premier League) 10th August 2014

Queen’s Park                                  0

 

Forfar Farmington                          2

Amy Gallacher 12, Alana Bruce 70

The Premier League side moved out of the relegation spots with a deserved 2-0 win over Queen’s Park at a wet Woodfarm High School on Sunday, with 15 year old keeper Hannah Dryden keeping a clean sheet on her senior debut.

Four changes were made from the defeat to Hamilton, Fiona McNicoll, Kayleigh Brough, Nicky Grant and Laura Parsley all being replaced by the aforementioned Dryden, Sydney Cairns, Kayleigh Noble and Megan Burns.

Farmington started off well despite the horrific surface that barely resembled an artificial pitch with Jade McLaren nodding wide from Nicola Davidson’s free kick before Amy Gallacher opened the scoring in the 12th minute, latching onto Alana Bruce’s through ball to slot home past Laura Williamson.

Gallacher had another chance three minutes later but had her shot and Lindsey Dunbar’s follow up volley flew wide of the mark.

The Spiders’ Nicole Montoya had a free kick go over the bar from 25 yards whilst Amber Clark fired straight at Dryden.

Noble and Gallacher both had opportunities in quick succession five minutes before half time in a quiet first half, Gallacher having two shots blocked by Williamson whilst Noble sent her shot over after being set up by Dunbar.

In the second half the home side looked to get back into the game and almost equalised five minutes into the half, Caitlin O’Hara seeing her shot cannon off the bar before being cleared.

Sub Alex Russell was unlucky with a long range effort that the keeper saved well in the 54th minute.

Despite some pressure from Queen’s Park they couldn’t do anything with the ball and the next chance came from the young Farmington side, Noble cutting the ball back for Holly Napier to fire towards Williamson, who pulled off a great save, the ball being cleared just before Russell could stab home the rebound.

Less than a minute later it was 2-0, Alana Bruce scoring a fantastic effort from the touchline that looped over the keeper and in.

Queen’s Park tried desperately to get a consolation at least but missed two sitters in the final ten minutes, Sara Paterson hitting the bar from a few yards out whilst Helen MacLeod sent her shot from a similar area over when it was easier to score.

Amy Gallacher could have added a third in the last minute when she rounded the keeper but her shot swerved into the sidenetting. The miss didn’t matter though as all three points were safe and deservedly so, allowing the side to move above the Spiders into tenth place.

The side will take on Spartans next Sunday in the Scottish Cup Third Round at Station Park, kick off at 2pm, admission £3.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Alana Bruce

Queen’s Park: Laura Williamson, Lesley Birell Palmer, Nicole Montoya, Helen MacLeod, Susan Hamilton, Katherine Jaycock, Mhairi Lyle, Stephanie Mallon, Ceara MacIntyre (Sara Paterson 72), Amber Clark (Valentina Mazzoni 46), Caitlin O’Hara.

Subs not used: Rebecca Madgin, Lauren Grant.

Forfar Farmington: Hannah Dryden 7, Sydney Cairns 6, Megan Burns 6, Jade McLaren 7, Nicola Davidson 7, Murron White 6 (Alex Russell 46, 7), Lindsey Dunbar 6, Alana Bruce 7, Holly Napier 6, Kayleigh Noble 7, Amy Gallacher 7.

 

Raith Rovers 4 Forfar Athletic 2, after extra time (League Cup First Round) 2nd August 2014

Raith Rovers         4

Ryan Conroy 33, Calum Elliot 63, 103, Derek Young og 118

Forfar Athletic       2

Danny Denholm 25, 73

Despite being the better side, two extra time goals saw Forfar Athletic exit the first round of the League Cup as they lost 4-2 to Championship side Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park on Saturday.

After last week’s defeat to East Fife, Dick Campbell made three changes, the suspended Stuart Malcolm along with Mark Baxter and Omar Kader being replaced by Chris Templeman, Darren Dods and Aaron James.

Forfar went close in the first minute, Gavin Swankie’s lofted ball was chased by Templeman who got his foot to it but keeper Kevin Cuthbert blocked the effort and the ball was cleared.

At the other end Ryan Conroy’s free kick found Christian Nade, whose shot was pushed away by Rab Douglas but only as far as Calum Elliot but he could only knock the ball across the goal and out when it looked a certain goal when it came to him.

Nade had another shot blocked in the 8th minute before Dale Hilson sent a free kick from 25 yards out flying over the bar.

Hilson went close again after 11 minutes, collecting Andrew Steeves’ cross after Rory McKeown missed it but Dale’s shot was punched wide by Cuthbert.

The Loons took a deserved lead 25 minutes into the tie, great work from Gavin Swankie allowed him to thread a ball through a static Raith defence for Danny Denholm to slot home.

Just after the half hour mark Nade had yet another shot, this time firing wide before the Kirkcaldy outfit equalised in the 33rd minute. Nade sent a ball across the box that Conroy swept home from close range.

Conroy and Elliot both had chances to put Raith ahead before the break with Swankie firing over for Forfar after a great move.

A defensive blunder by Rovers almost allowed Swankie to score just two minutes into the second half, a clearance by Dods was missed completely by Ross Perry and another defender, letting Swankie clean through but as he advanced on goal, Perry did well to race back and deny him a shot.

Nade headed over in the 50th minute before forcing Douglas into another save four minutes later.

In the 63rd minute the home side were awarded a penalty after Dods’s boot hit Nade in the face as a ball came into the box. Calum Elliot stepped up and sent Douglas the wrong way to give them the lead for the first time in the tie.

With twenty minutes to go Dick Campbell made all three changes at once, Dale, Malin and Kader coming on for Templeman, Husband and Steeves as the Loons went to three at the back.

The move paid off within three minutes, Malin’s corner was touched back out to him and when he swung in another cross Danny Denholm beat Liam Fox to nod home via the back post for his second of the game.

Swankie and Denholm went close to scoring a winner in the last fifteen and the Loons should have had a penalty when Omar Kader was bundled over in the box by Nade, referee Brian Colvin waving play on despite the obvious foul.

The ninety minutes of normal time ended in a draw so for the second year in a row, Forfar went to extra time in the first round of the League Cup.

Raith had the first chance of extra time, Jason Thomson cutting the ball back for sub Grant Anderson but his effort was deflected wide and the corner came to nothing.

Swankie blasted straight at the keeper before Forfar fell behind for the second time in the 103rd minute. Nade and Martin Scott exchanged passes, setting up Elliot to for a very good goal from outside the box, Douglas having no chance with the shot.

Danny Denholm had a great chance to potentially take the game to penalties and grab his hat-trick with ten minutes left, another fantastic passing move ending in Gavin Malin’s through ball being collected by him but he fired across goal when he had more time to compose himself before getting a shot away.

Michael Dunlop headed wide from Denholm’s corner before Raith made sure of the result in the 118th minute, Anderson’s cross unfortunately deflected past Douglas by Derek Young who had tried to block the cross.

The side can be happy with the performance, were the better side with fantastic passing which should give them hope for the coming league season, which kicks off with a short trip to Stranraer, where they ended their league campaign last season.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Danny Denholm

Raith Rovers: Kevin Cuthbert, Jason Thomson, Ross Perry, Paul Watson, Liam Fox (Lewis Vaughan 105), Mark Stewart (Grant Anderson 70), Calum Elliot, Martin Scott, Ryan Conroy, Rory McKeown, Christian Nade (Ross Callachan 119).

Subs not used: Kevin Moon, Laurie Ellis, Ross Matthews, Ross Laidlaw (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Michael Dunlop 6, Andrew Steeves 6(Omar Kader 70, 5), Derek Young 7, Darren Dods 6, Aaron James 7, Dale Hilson 7, Stephen Husband 6 (Gavin Malin 70, 6), Chris Templeman 6 (James Dale 70, 5), Gavin Swankie 7, Danny Denholm 8.

Subs not used: Craig Smith, Liam Keiller, Paul McLellan, Ross Salmon (gk)