Forfar Farmington 0 Aberdeen 2 (SWPL) 29th March 2015 and Amy Gallacher on her Euro disappointment

Forfar Farmington           0

 

Aberdeen                           2

Jade McLaren og 63, Rachael Small 65

Forfar Farmington fell to two goals in quick succession against Aberdeen despite a determined performance in their first home game of the 2015 season.

Two changes were made from the defeat to Spartans, with Gemma Collier dropping to the bench and Amy Gallacher in Poland with the Scotland under 17s. Sydney Cairns and Kayleigh Noble came into the starting eleven to replace them.

Aberdeen started well, with Nikki Smith firing wide in the third minute. The visitors had most of the chances in the first half whilst Forfar did well to contain the Dons.

Hannah Stewart saw two efforts saved before Smith had a header smothered by Fiona McNicoll. Former Farmington player Rachael Small went close but her shot was deflected wide.

Forfar started to do better in the second half, with Nicola Davidson close to connecting with Holly Napier’s corner but a defender cleared the ball at the last second.

In the 55th minute Davidson swung a free kick into the box and Jade McLaren rose to meet the ball at the back post, forcing Becky Flaherty into a great save with her header.

McLaren put the ball in the net eight minutes later, unfortunately in the wrong end, Sophie Milligan blasting a clearance off the back of the defender and past McNicoll.

It was two in the 65th minute, Hannah Stewart laying the ball off for Small to rifle home from close range.

Aberdeen created more chances but couldn’t force their way past the home side, Stewart firing wide more than once and forcing McNicoll into a great one handed save.

In the closing stages of the game Forfar went close again, with Kayleigh Noble and Davidson having shots held from long range.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Sophie Milligan, Megan Burns (Gemma Collier 70), Sydney Cairns, Jade McLaren, Nicola Davidson, Lindsey Dunbar, Kayleigh Noble, Holly Napier, Keira Johnstone, Kayleigh Brough (Derrian Gollan 62)

Amy Gallacher was in Poland with the Scotland under 17’s this past week and despite two wins, a 3-1 loss to France meant they finished second in their Elite Stage group of the UEFA Under 17’s Women’s European Championships, with only the winner going through.

Gallacher scored twice in the opening win against Slovakia and also took part in the 1-0 win over Poland.

The attacker was disappointed to fall at this stage to one of the top ranked countries, with Scotland showing they are good enough to compete with the top sides.

“It was really gutting not to qualify for the finals because the team deserved it so much after doing so well in previous games. We worked so hard for each other in every game and unfortunately we were knocked out by one of the best teams in Europe. I think we just have to be proud of how far we have come and look back on what we have achieved.”

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Forfar Athletic 4 Stirling Albion 0 (League One) 28th March 2015

Forfar Athletic                  4

Dale Hilson 19, Michael Dunlop 21, Omar Kader 71, Chris Templeman 88

Stirling Albion                   0

Forfar Athletic extended their unbeaten run to three games with a comfortable 4-0 win over strugglers Stirling Albion at a windy Station Park.

Goals from Dale Hilson, Michael Dunlop, Omar Kader and Chris Templeman wrapped up all three points, with Dunlop and Iain Campbell also rattling the crossbar in the second half.

There were two changes from last week’s derby win, with Gavin Malin and Michael Dunlop coming in for Derek Young and the suspended Michael Travis. There were also four of the impressive under 20’s squad on the bench, the freescoring pair of Kerr Hay and Cameron Clark along with Jason King and defender Michael Kennedy.

Stirling had the first couple of chances, with Andy Stirling seeing a shot touched wide before Chris Smith put Sandy Cunningham’s free kick over the bar.

The opener came in the 19th minute with Forfar’s first real opportunity, Martyn Fotheringham with a great pass allowed Dale Hilson to race clear before lobbing Callum Reidford.

Less than a minute later Danny Denholm raced to the byline before cutting the ball back for Gavin Malin, the midfielder took aim but his shot took a touch off a defender and flew over.

From Fotheringham’s corner, Michael Dunlop nodded home with a diving header, the defender’s third of the campaign.

On the half hour mark Hilson had a shot blocked before Swankie fired inches over as the Loons started to control the game.

Swankie set up Hilson in the 37th minute but he could only blast his effort over the bar.

Chris Templeman fired low at Stirling’s sub keeper Cameron Binnie three minutes into the second half before fellow half time sub Omar Kader saw his shot inside the box blocked.

In the 51st minute Templeman laid the ball off for Fotheringham, whose long range effort was inches away from going in.

Kader saw his shot from Swankie’s cross pushed past the post before Dunlop fired wide from Iain Campbell’s corner.

With twenty five minutes of the game left Stephen Husband set up Campbell and similar to Fotheringham earlier, his thirty yard shot was agonisingly close to going in.

In the 71st minute it was three for the Loons, a great ball from Hilson allowed Kader to race towards goal, slotting home under Binnie.

Three minutes later Dunlop almost had a second of the afternoon, his header from Campbell’s corner crashing off the cross bar and coming down on the goal line before being cleared.

With less than fifteen minutes left Campbell saw a free kick spilled over the bar before then hitting the bar himself, his corner poorly cleared and his cross coming off the underside of the bar, Dods failing to knock the ball home.

Chris Templeman delivered the coup de grâce in the 88th minute, heading home Stephen Husband’s cross from the right.

The result means Forfar are still a point behind Stranraer and level with Morton after their victories as well and look ahead to facing Stenhousemuir at Ochilview next week, with the Warriors having never scored against Forfar in three meetings this season.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Michael Dunlop

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 6, Iain Campbell 6, Michael Dunlop 8, Darren Dods 7, Gavin Malin 6 (James Dale 64, 5), Danny Denholm 6 (Omar Kader 46, 7), Martyn Fotheringham 7 (Stephen Husband 64, 5), Chris Templeman 7, Gavin Swankie 7, Dale Hilson 7.

Subs not used: Michael Kennedy, Kerr Hay, Cameron Clark, Jason King (gk)

Stirling Albion: Callum Reidford (Cameron Binnie 46), Ross McGeachie, Ross Forsyth, Willie Robertson, Adam Cummins, Chris Smith, Lee Hamilton (Phil Johnston 71), Craig Comrie, Lewis Coult, Andy Stirling, Sandy Cunningham (Gordon Smith 80)

Subs not used: Scott Davidson, Jordan Sinclair, Jordan Herron

Brechin City 2 Forfar Athletic 3 (League One) 21st March 2015

Brechin City                       2

Paul McLean 5, Andy Jackson 84

Forfar Athletic                  3

Derek Young 12, Chris Templeman 14, Darren Dods 64

Forfar Athletic kept their title hopes alive with a comfortable 3-2 victory over derby rivals Brechin City at Glebe Park.

Goals from Derek Young, Chris Templeman and Darren Dods were enough for the win, with Paul McLean and Andy Jackson scoring for City. The result keeps the side a point behind Stranraer and equal with Morton.

There was one change from the win over Stranraer a week before, fan favourite Martyn Fotheringham coming in for Stephen Husband to do what he does best and pull the strings in midfield.

Brechin took the lead in the fifth minute, Paul McLean blocking a Danny Denholm run and making his way towards goal before firing home from twenty five yards despite Rab Douglas getting a hand to it.

Forfar went close to a quickfire equaliser when Gavin Swankie fired low at Graeme Smith but they eventually netted in the twelfth minute, Denholm making amends for his error that led to Brechin’s goal, darting towards goal from the halfway line and setting up Derek Young, whose shot took a slight deflection and looped over Smith for Young’s first of the season.

Chris Templeman, a former City player, put Forfar in front two minutes later, latching onto a Gavin Swankie cross before having all the time in the world to slot home with a static home defence claiming for offside.

Templeman was having a great game and almost grabbed an assist of his own in the 28th minute, receiving a throw in from Baxter before juggling the ball with his back to goal several times, surrounded by defenders, laying the ball off for Denholm to send to the back post, where Gavin Swankie went for an overhead kick, which was blocked.

Hilson and then Templeman had shots saved as Forfar looked to kill the game before half time, although Brechin had a couple of chances on the stroke of half time, with Craig Molloy heading over before ex-Loon Andy Jackson had an effort blocked by the excellent Darren Dods.

After a slow start to the second half Templeman and Hilson put Swankie through on goal but his shot was blocked. In the 64th minute Templeman also saw a shot saved and from the resultant corner by Fotheringham Darren Dods powered a header home.

Templeman almost added a fourth a minute later after racing onto a poor passback but his effort was saved. Robert Thomson then nodded wide from Barr’s corner.

Swankie fired Denholm’s low cross inches over in the 74th minute before combining with Templeman yet again, with Smith doing well to deny the striker.

Brechin gave themselves hope of taking a point in the 84th minute when Jackson headed home a Callum Tapping corner.

City had the final chance of the game in the last minute with a free kick at the edge of the Forfar box and brought on Steven Jackson to take the set piece, he failed to threaten Rab Douglas though, firing low and nowhere near goal.

Brechin City: Graeme Smith, Ewan McNeil, Paul McLean, Darren McCormack, Gerry McLauchlan, Gary Fusco (Ryan Ferguson 59), Craig Storie (Callum Tapping 71), Craig Molloy, Andy Jackson, Robert Thomson, Bobby Barr (Steven Jackson 90)

Subs not used: Ollie Durojaiye, Patrick O’Neil (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Michael Travis, Darren Dods, Derek Young (James Dale 25), Danny Denholm (Omar Kader 90), Martyn Fotheringham (Stephen Husband 76), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson

Subs not used: Michael Dunlop, Gavin Malin, Kerr Hay, Jason King (gk)

Spartans 5 Forfar Farmington 0 (SWPL) 15th March 2015

Spartans                                              5

Sarah Ewens 29, 33, Michelle Russell 62, Louise Mason 64, Trisha McLaughlin 69

Forfar Farmington                           0

Keira Johnstone 

Keira Johnstone was pleased despite Forfar Farmington losing 5-0 to Spartans in their opening league game after returning from a serious knee injury that kept her out for almost a year.

Other than a thirty minute sub appearance in July, this was the winger’s first start since suffering the injury last March.

“It was good to get ninety minutes under my belt after being out for so long, it’s great to be back.”

“I thought it was a good game despite the defeat, I think we played better as a team in the second half once we got into it, got the ball down and started passing it.”

“We’ll work on things in training that we know we need to improve on and I feel it’ll be a closer game against Aberdeen in a fortnight.”

Two short periods of quick goals were enough for Spartans at Ainslie Park, with Sarah Ewens scoring twice in the first half, with second half goals from Michelle Russell, Louise Mason and Trisha McLaughlin.

Alana Marshall fired over for Spartans in the first ninety seconds before Rachel Harrison had to look sharp to hold Amy Gallacher’s cross after she beat two defenders on the right flank with Keira Johnstone lurking behind the keeper.

Louise Mason wasted several chances for the Edinburgh side before they took the lead in the 29th minute, a counter attack after Lindsey Dunbar’s shot was held ended in Sarah Ewens firing home.

She grabbed her second four minutes later, sweeping home Ronaigh Douglas’s cross.

Forfar started off well in the second half and went close in the 48th minute, Amy Gallacher collecting Davidson’s throw in before laying the ball off for Kayleigh Brough, who saw her shot held by Harrison.

Four minutes later Gallacher played a one two with Holly Napier, with Napier striking the ball into the keeper’s arms.

Farmington were starting to play better but were dealt a blow in the 62nd minute when Michelle Russell headed home Mason’s corner.

Mason grabbed a goal of her own two minutes later, firing home after being set up by Marshall.

It was five in the 69th minute, Trisha McLaughlin curling the ball past Fiona McNicoll just inside the box.

In the 71st minute Sarah Ewens almost netted her hat trick but McNicoll pulled off a great double save.

Farmington didn’t let their heads go down and still threatened, with Gallacher and Napier combining to allow Brough a shot on goal, the effort going inches wide.

Johnstone made her way down the left and found Gallacher with her cross in the 74th minute but her shot was pushed wide.

They went close yet again in the 83rd minute, Nivana Crighton giving the ball to Napier who fired wide.

Spartans had a couple of chances late on but blasted over from close range when it looked easier to score.

Spartans: Rachel Harrison, Nicola Mawson, Ciara Barnes, Bobbie Beveridge (Christie Kerr 78), Ronaigh Douglas (Michelle Russell 61), Alana Marshall, Louise Mason (Trisha McLaughlin 68), Danni Pagliarulo (Kirsty McLaughlin 61), Katie Reilly, Sarah Ewens, Suzy Shepherd.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Sophie Milligan, Megan Burns, Jade McLaren, Gemma Collier (Sydney Cairns 61), Nicola Davidson, Lindsey Dunbar (Kayleigh Noble 79), Amy Gallacher, Holly Napier, Keira Johnstone (Nivana Crighton 81), Kayleigh Brough.

Interview with Forfar Farmington’s Amy Gallacher

Amy Gallacher

Forfar Farmington’s Amy Gallacher was celebrating good news earlier this week with yet another Scotland call up.

The Dundonian based 16 year old was called up for the under 17’s for their UEFA European Women’s Under 17 Championship Elite Stage campaign later this month, where they take on hosts Poland, Slovakia and France.

“It feels really good to be called up again, I got called up for the last stage so it’s great for it to happen again and I’m looking forward to facing the three sides in our group”

The team won their Qualifying Round group comfortably, defeating Montenegro 9-0 with Gallacher scoring once before putting three past Croatia. In their final game they beat Sweden 3-1, with the Scandinavians the higher seeded side.

Amy G action2

Gallacher reckons Scotland can have similar success in their elite group “No reason why we can’t advance from the group, as a team we’ve improved since last time so I think we can get a result in all three games.”

The Scottish Women’s Premier League starts this Sunday, with Forfar Farmington travelling to Ainslie Park in Edinburgh to face Spartans at 1pm.

The teams met twice last season, Spartans winning comfortably 16-0 in April when the squad were just finding their feet in a senior league after the majority had been playing under 15 and 17 level football the year previous. The second meeting in the Scottish Cup in August finished 5-2 to Spartans and was a close affair, with the score 2-2 until the last ten minutes.

“We’re a lot fitter and stronger than last season, it’ll be a hard game against Spartans but I think we can take something from it.”

Interview with Forfar Athletic’s James Dale

Forfar Athletic midfielder James Dale was delighted to be back in the squad on Saturday and help the side to a deserved victory over league leaders Greenock Morton.

The young Englishman scored the opener in the 24th minute in his first start since the beginning of November although Dale was keen to stress the win was more important.

“It was a brilliant feeling to be back in the squad, I’ve been wanting to do that for a couple of months now, just push myself back in but the most important thing is the victory for the team.”

James Dale

With Cappielow a difficult venue, the former Bristol Rovers and Stirling Univeristy player reckons everyone can be pleased with the part they played in the win.

“Being away to the top of the league, it’s a very hard game, we had a bad time here in November as well but the boys produced well, great performances all around the pitch and it produced a good victory for us”

Dale hopes the side can build on the win and grab all three points again tonight against Peterhead, which would put them joint top with Morton.

“That’s the thing, every game’s important, we’ve got away to Peterhead on Tuesday, again a massive game, and then you’ve got to focus on Saturday against Stranraer, so every game from now on is going to be difficult, we’ve just got to go out and produce the same as we have here, high intensity, energetic, keep our positions and just get three points, that’s all we can do”

Greenock Morton 0 Forfar Athletic 2 (SPFL League One) 7th March 2015

Greenock Morton                           0

 

Forfar Athletic                                  2

James Dale 24, Gavin Malin 78

Goals from James Dale and Gavin Malin pulled Forfar Athletic to within three points of the top of League One with a game in hand with a 2-0 over leaders Greenock Morton on Saturday.

Dale netted after Iain Campbell had missed a penalty midway through the first half, with Malin making sure of the points with ten minutes to go.

Dick Campbell made three changes after last week’s defeat, Dale, Malin and Mark Baxter replacing Dale Hilson, Stephen Husband and Omar Kader.

Morton started off with the first chance when Declan McManus dragged his shot wide before Chris Templeman laid the ball off for Gavin Swankie, who also fired wide from a tight angle.

McManus went close again in the second minute, nodding former Loon Jamie McCluskey’s cross straight at Rab Douglas.

In the fifth minute Swankie again was set up by Templeman but this time his shot was held by Gaston.

Three minutes later McManus had a third chance in a fast paced start, racing clear of the Loons defence but he couldn’t put his shot either side of Douglas and his parried effort was cleared by Malcolm.

Malin blasted wide with Stefan McCluskey’s header being touched over the bar before Forfar were awarded a penalty in the 24th minute, Sean Crighton fouling Templeman as they went for a header.

Iain Campbell stepped up to take the spot kick but Gaston saved the effort but couldn’t stop James Dale firing home the rebound.

In the 38th minute the Loons went close three times in quick succession, first Malin set up Swankie and his shot was saved before Campbell had his blocked with Malin then sending a free kick inches over the bar.

Three minutes into the second half Stuart Malcolm rose to meet Campbell’s corner but the Morton defence cleared the ball before it reached the goal.

McCluskey fired McManus’ knock down into Douglas’ arms before Thomas O’Ware fired miles over the bar in the 53rd minute.

In the 65th minute Baxter and Swankie combined to release Malin but when the midfielder was in on goal Gaston palmed the effort away.

Malin eventually got the better of him with twelve minutes to go, playing a one two with Swankie before side footing the ball home for his third of the season.

Declan McManus could have grabbed a consolation for the Greenock side in the last few minutes but as he raced towards goal Darren Dods made a great tackle to deny the Aberdeen striker.

The result moves the Loons to within three points of Morton, with a game in hand on them, which will be played this Tuesday away to Peterhead.

Greenock Morton: Derek Gaston, Lee Kilday, Mark Russell, Thomas O’Ware, Sean Crighton, Stefan Milojevic, Conor Pepper (Peter MacDonald 60), Jamie McCluskey, Ross Caldwell (Jon Scullion 74), Declan McManus, Stefan McCluskey (Ross Forbes 60)

Subs not used: Michael Miller, Ricki Lamie, Grant Adam (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Travis, Mark Baxter, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Derek Young, James Dale (Omar Kader 67), Iain Campbell, Chris Templeman (Danny Denholm 82), Gavin Swankie (Martyn Fotheringham 87), Gavin Malin.

Subs not used: Dale Hilson, Stephen Husband, Michael Dunlop, Jason King (gk)