Forfar Athletic 3 Brechin City 1 (SPFL League One) 27th September 2014

Forfar Athletic                  3

Danny Denholm 12, Dale Hilson 34, 80 pen

Brechin City                        1

Colin Hamilton 44

Forfar Athletic moved to the top of League One on Saturday, their 3-1 victory over derby rivals Brechin City keeping intact their 100% home record this season.

It was an unchanged side for the third week in a row, and the Loons looked to make up for throwing a lead away last week, taking the game to Brechin from the off, Gavin Swankie having a shot pushed into the post by Graeme Smith after five minutes.

Darren Dods nodded wide from Stephen Husband’s corner before Forfar took the lead twelve minutes into the game, Omar Kader capitalising on poor defending to send a ball across the face of goal for Danny Denholm to bundle home at the back post.

City almost equalised eight minutes later, Gary Fusco having a shot from the edge of the penalty area cleared off the line by Mark Baxter.

Swankie blasted over before at the other end, Alan Trouten lashed past Douglas’ near post from close range.

Smith fumbled a Husband shot after excellent work by Kader again before he grabbed a second assist in the 34th minute, the wide man and Swankie exchanging passes, Kader reached the byline with the ball before cutting it back for Dale Hilson to stab home at the near post.

Brechin notched a goal back on the stroke of half time, Trouten setting up Colin Hamilton who fired home from the edge of the box.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 2 Brechin City 1

Brechin started off the better side in the second half, Paul McLean having a header come back off the post before Hamilton fired miles over.

Denholm sent a long range effort wide of the mark in one of Forfar’s rare chances in the first part of the second half.

Former Loon Andy Jackson headed wide on the hour mark before Trouten’s shot from a tight angle was blocked by the foot of Douglas.

Shots then became few and far between until the 80th minute when Forfar were awarded a penalty after Darren McCormack tripped Dale Hilson as he prepared to shoot. The striker then stepped up to fire the spot kick past Smith for his second of the game.

Swankie had a chance from the edge of the box two minutes later as Forfar looked to add to their tally.

In the final action of the match, Hilson’s long range shot flew past Smith’s post.

The result moves Forfar up to the top of the table, one point ahead of favourites Dunfermline and Ayr United. The loons are also now only one of six clubs in the top four leagues in Scotland in England with a 100% home record for this season, fellow League One side Morton and English Premier League side Chelsea amongst the other five.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Omar Kader

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 6 (James Dale 46, 6), Jim Paterson 6, Stuart Malcolm 6, Darren Dods 6, Stephen Husband 7, Omar Kader 7, Derek Young 6 (Gavin Malin 81, 2), Dale Hilson 7, Gavin Swankie 7, Danny Denholm 7 (Chris Templeman 85, 1)

Subs not used: Martyn Fotheringham, Liam Keiller, Paul McLellan, Ross Salmon (gk)

Brechin City: Graeme Smith, Jamie McCormack, Colin Hamilton, Paul McLean, Darren McCormack, Gary Fusco (Kyle McAusland 57), Alan Trouten, Craig Molloy (Robert Thomson 64), Andy Jackson, Jamie Masson, Bobby Barr.

Subs not used: Steven Jackson, Gerry McLauchlan, Ryan Ferguson, Patrick O’Neill, Ben Tough (gk)

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Hamilton Academical 1 Forfar Farmington 0 (SWPL) 21st September 2014

Hamilton Academical      1

Gillian Sloey 55

Forfar Farmington           0

A solitary goal ten minutes into the second half was enough for Hamilton Academical to defeat Forfar Farmington in an evenly contested SWPL encounter at the John Cumming Stadium in Carluke.

Two changes were made from the win over Inverness two weeks ago, Claire Galloway and captain Nicola Davidson making way for Amy Gallacher and Caren Webster.

Both sides started off evenly, with Hamilton having the first chances, Rachel Halliday and Gillian Sloey both having efforts wasted in the first ten minutes.

Farmington’s opening chance came from Amy Gallacher in the 14th minute, her low shot from the edge of the box smothered well by Megan Cunningham.

Carolina Richardson, who scored twice in the 2-1 win for the Accies in July, went close twice in two minutes, but couldn’t get her shots on target.

Nicky Grant fired at the keeper in the 28th minute, starting off a flurry of Forfar chances, Gallacher having her volley from Alana Bruce’s cross gathered while Bruce almost netted herself after a great run down the right towards goal.

Before half time Holly Napier had a chance from the edge of the box swerve past the post.

HALF TIME: Hamilton Academical 0 Forfar Farmington 0

Forfar kept pressing after the break, Gallacher doing well to win the ball but her shot from a tight angle was blocked. Napier’s corner wasn’t cleared properly allowing Kayleigh Brough to have a go at goal, Cunningham saving the attempt.

Hamilton took the lead ten minutes into the second half, Gillian Sloey capitalising on a mistake to slip the ball under the keeper.

In the 71st minute Richardson skied an effort from close range after Sloey nodded wide from a cross by the tall striker.

Farmington kept pushing to grab a deserved equaliser and almost got their reward in the final minutes, Nicky Grant’s free kick on the corner of the box was knocked inches over by Napier before Alana Bruce fired straight at the keeper.

Bizarre results elsewhere in the day meant both Buchan and Queen’s Park gained points on the side with wins. The latter side now visit Station Park in two weeks in a must win game for Forfar, but will have the upper hand on the Spiders, with four points picked up against them already this season.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Sydney Cairns, Megan Burns, Murron White (Kayleigh Noble 80), Jade McLaren, Kayleigh Brough, Holly Napier, Nicky Grant, Amy Gallacher (Lindsey Dunbar 76), Caren Webster (Alex Russell 70), Alana Bruce

Stirling Albion 2 Forfar Athletic 2 (League One) 20th September 2014

Stirling Albion             2

Sandy Cunningham 72, 86

Forfar Athletic              2

Omar Kader 12, Gavin Swankie 71

Forfar Athletic threw away a two goal lead in the final eighteen minutes on Saturday to draw 2-2 with Stirling Albion at Forthbank to continue their poor away form this season.

There was just one change from the win over Peterhead, Michael Dunlop pulling out due to injury, with Jim Paterson making his full debut for the Loons, Chris Templeman returned to the bench after missing the last two games.

Referee George Salmond caused controversy in the seventh minute, awarding a penalty after Gavin Swankie was fouled by Chris Smith but then changing his mind to a Stirling goal kick.

Forfar took the lead five minutes later, Derek Young threading a through ball to Danny Denholm and his low cross along the face of goal evaded Dale Hilson but Omar Kader was on hand to fire home from close range.

Less than a minute after the opener, it was almost two with a carbon copy chance, Stephen Husband giving Denholm the ball but Kader couldn’t force his cross into the net.

In the 23rd minute Husband had a chance of his own, the influential midfielder’s effort from 25 yards was deflected wide but the resulting corner came to nothing.

Gavin Swankie and Kader combined in the 36th minute, Kader then going on to have a shot but a defender got in the way and knocked the ball wide.

Half time: Stirling Albion Forfar Athletic 1

On the hour mark Husband’s free kick evaded everyone bar Swankie, who did well to keep the ball in play on the by-line before letting fly with a shot to the near post, hitting the sidenetting.

Stuart Malcolm nodded over in the 62nd minute before Chris Smith did the same for Stirling from Graham Weir’s cross six minutes later.

The Loons doubled their lead in the 71st minute, Hilson sending Denholm down the left, his ball across goal was tapped in by Swankie at the back post.

Stirling grabbed a goal back a minute later, sub Sandy Cunningham firing into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Dick Campbell’s men attempted to extend their lead but Hilson’s fantastic effort from long range was just touched past the post by Callum Reidford and the keeper did the same minutes later when sub Martyn Fotheringham received the ball from Hilson, turned a defender and let fly, Reidford doing well to get to the ball to tip it wide.

With four minutes to go Stirling equalised, a throw in into the box caused havoc and Cunningham stabbed home a loose ball for his second since coming on in the 68th minute.

Despite late pressure from the away side they couldn’t find a winner and despite remaining winless away from home this season, stay third in the league, with Ayr and Morton above them by a couple of points.

Stirling Albion: Callum Reidford, Lee Hamilton, James Creaney, David McClune (David McClune 77), Craig Wedderburn, Chris Smith, Graham Weir, Darren Smith, Gordon Smith (Sandy Cunningham 68), Steven Doris, Willie Robertson (Darren Lee Smith 68)

Subs not used: Ross Forsyth, Dale Fulton, Ross McGeachie, Greg Paterson (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Mark Baxter, Jim Paterson, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Stephen Husband (James Dale 80), Omar Kader, Derek Young, Dale Hilson (Chris Templeman 88), Gavin Swankie, Danny Denholm (Martyn Fotheringham 80)

Subs not used: Gavin Malin, Liam Keiller, James Yates, Ross Salmon (gk)

Forfar Athletic 1 Peterhead 0 (SPFL League One) 13th September 2014

Forfar Athletic  1

Danny Denholm 43

Peterhead          0

Forfar Athletic are joint top of League One after a one goal victory over Peterhead at Station Park that really should have had a bigger winning margin, Danny Denholm scoring the solitary goal.

Dick Campbell fielded an unchanged squad from the win over Morton two weeks ago, new signing Jim Paterson having to settle for a spot on the bench.

The Loons didn’t take long to threaten the Blue Toon, a cross from just inside the half found Dale Hilson and his volley was saved well by Graeme Smith in the first sixty seconds.

Captain Gavin Swankie then went close a minute later, forcing Smith to tip his shot from the edge of the area, Darren Dods then nodded wide from Danny Denholm’s corner.

The home side could have been two or three goals up by the fifth minute, Michael Dunlop sent a header over the bar from Stephen Husband’s corner.

At the other end in a rare chance for Peterhead, Dods had to clear off the line from Jamie Redman’s header in the 7th minute, Forfar then having their own shot saved on the line seven minutes later, Denholm swinging a corner in, Stuart Malcolm’s bullet header blocked by Smith.

Two minutes after that, a good passing move ended in Dale Hilson laying the ball off for Husband but he fired straight at Smith. He then had a 30 yard shot swerve wide of the mark in Forfar’s eighth shot at goal in just eighteen minutes.

Peterhead almost opened the scoring in the 25th minute, a through ball allowed the unusually quiet Rory McAllister to race clear but when he tried to lift the ball over Rab Douglas, the big keeper was able to push the ball wide for a corner that came to nothing.

Just after the half hour mark Smith pulled off a fantastic save, Denholm’s free kick was headed towards goal by Malcolm, Ross Smith made a poor clearance and Hilson’s volley was tipped just over the bar by Smith, who had kept his side in the game more than once this half.

Denholm then hit the bar ten minutes before half time, his free kick on the edge of the D was deflected onto the bar, the ball wasn’t cleared properly and Swankie sent a low shot towards Smith.

The Loons took a much deserved lead in the 43rd minute, a counter attack ending in Swankie swinging in a cross that evaded Hilson but Denholm was on hand to volley the ball home into the top corner for his fourth of the season.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Peterhead 0

Peterhead looked a slightly better side in the second half as they looked to keep the Forfar attack quiet but still struggled to threaten much themselves, the first proper shot of the half coming in the 64th minute, Andy Rodgers taking the ball down well but his final product was poor, slicing the ball wide.

McAllister went closest for Peterhead in the second half, his free kick from 25 yards cannoning off the crossbar with Douglas beaten.

Rodgers headed over from Jamie Stevenson’s corner with twenty minutes to go before McAllister fired straight at Douglas.

With ten minutes left Forfar almost doubled their advantage with another counter attack, Hilson driving forward before cutting the ball to Swankie, his shot was saved as was Derek Young’s follow up.

Hilson had a chance of his own deflected into the side netting while Mark Baxter set up Swankie with a short free kick, the attacker turning a defender before having his strike turned wide by another defender as they looked to kill the game off.

In the final minute of injury time Hilson raced clear again, but when he set up Swankie, his shot was fluffed wide.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Stephen Husband 

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Michael Dunlop 6, Mark Baxter 7, Stuart Malcolm 6, Darren Dods 6, Stephen Husband 7 (James Dale 55, 5), Omar Kader 6 (Craig Smith 81, 2), Derek Young 6, Dale Hilson 7, Gavin Swankie 7, Danny Denholm 7 (Jim Paterson 90, 1).

Subs not used: Gavin Malin, Liam Keiller, Paul McLellan, Ross Salmon (gk)

Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Ross Smith (David Cox 69), Scott Ross (Ryan Strachan 56), Reece Donaldson, Andy Rodgers (Bryan Gilfillan 77), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Jamie Stevenson, Dean Cowie.

Subs not used: Jordon Brown, Ryan McCann, Dean Richardson, Paul Jarvie (gk)

Forfar Farmington 3 Inverness City 1 (SWPL) 7th September 2014

Forfar Farmington           3

Holly Napier 50, Alana Bruce 67, Alex Russell 72 pen

Inverness City                   1

Zoe MacLean 60

Forfar Farmington are now four points ahead of their relegation rivals Queen’s Park and six ahead of Buchan after a deserved 3-1 win over Inverness City at Station Park on Sunday.

Three changes were made from last week’s defeat at Buchan, with keeper Fiona McNicoll, Nicola Davidson and Claire Galloway returning in place of Lindsey Dunbar, Kayleigh Noble and Amy Gallacher, who had played almost 180 minutes for Scotland u17’s in Italy in midweek.

Forfar went close early on, with Claire Galloway heading wide from Holly Napier’s corner in the 2nd minute.

Four minutes later captain Nicola Davidson sent Napier down the left but her low cross evaded makeshift striker Kayleigh Brough, eventually making its way to Alana Bruce, her shot on the edge of the box was blocked by a defender and Nicky Grant’s follow up was lashed wide of the mark.

Twenty minutes in Inverness had their first chance, Hannah Gordon setting up Natalie Bodiam but the striker could only shoot straight at McNicoll.

Grant hit the sidenetting minutes before Napier had a great run in the box, weaving her way past three defenders before getting a shot away, keeper Kim Jappy pushing it wide. From the corner Brough sent a header wide.

In the 34th minute Davidson looked to threaten from long range, Jappy doing well to hold the effort before Grant set up Jade McLaren, her shot from outside the box flying just past the post.

Forfar were starting to pressure the visitors more and more the closer it got to half time, Grant and then Alana Bruce going close with efforts.

At the other end, Gordon’s shot was deflected wide, with the resultant corner seeing Kirsten Shearer’s shot blocked by a resilient defence.

HALF TIME: Forfar Farmington 0 Inverness City 0

Four minutes into the second half McLaren sent another effort wide, with this sending the ball out of play, Forfar made a change, Brough coming off for Amy Gallacher. Within thirty seconds the striker had played a big part, spraying the ball to Napier who cut in past a defender before sending the ball past the keeper into the top corner to open the scoring.

Murron White almost doubled the advantage a minute later, a poor clearance by the keeper fell to White just inside the Inverness half and her shot flew just wide of the post with Jappy beaten.

The visitors equalised on the hour mark, Bodiam’s cross was knocked onto the bar before Zoe MacLean netted the loose ball.

Two minutes later Gallacher had a shot blocked and from the corner it created, McLaren sent her header wide.

Forfar regained the lead in the 67th minute, a free kick up the park was collected by Alana Bruce and as she advanced on goal she lashed the ball past the keeper for her second of the season.

It was 3-1 five minutes later, Jade McLaren was bundled over in the box and sub Alex Russell stepped up to slot home the penalty and look to put the game out of reach.

Inverness looked to at least get another goal back to give them hope of a comeback with Bodiam and Sheena Nicol having shots on target in quick succession.

Sydney Cairns had a shot on the D of the box blocked in the 84th minute, the ball falling to Nicky Grant, whose lay off for Gallacher was fired wide by the striker.

Kayleigh Noble’s drive forward late on ended with her sending a shot across the face of goal whilst her corner in the last minute found Alex Russell and her header was hooked wide by Grant.

It was a deserved victory for the home side and gives them breathing space with Queen’s Park losing to Hutchison Vale and Buchan losing to Hamilton.

There is a two week break now with the next game against Hamilton at the John Cumming Stadium on September 21st.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Sydney Cairns, Megan Burns, Murron White (Alex Russell 67), Jade McLaren, Kayleigh Brough (Amy Gallacher 49 (Cheryl Kilcoyne 88)), Claire Galloway, Nicky Grant, Holly Napier (Kayleigh Noble 67), Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce.

Sub not used: Lindsey Dunbar

Inverness City: Kim Jappy, Claire Masterton, Zoe MacLean, Sheena Nicol, Kirsten Shearer, Megan McCarthy, Lisa McKenzie, Kirsty Deans, Hannah Gordon, Lorraine Cadden, Natalie Bodiam