Interview with Forfar Athletic’s Chris Templeman

Striker Chris Templeman was delighted to score against Dunfermline on Saturday, a familiar face for him having started his career at the Pars.

The goal was his fifth of the season and helped the side go joint top of the league with just one game of the season left.

Speaking after the game “I’m delighted with my goal, I hesitated a wee bit getting there and just went round the keeper and put the ball in the net. You obviously start every game trying to get in about the opposition, they’re a good side, they showed that in the second half.”

“We were the better side in the first half but we’d have to admit, they played better than us in the second half.  Rab had a couple of very good saves, we’d have taken any kind of win before we started so we’re delighted with it.”

He assisted with the third goal as well, being awarded a penalty after a foul by Finn Graham in the 35th minute. Despite some claims he dived, the striker was adamant he was fouled “He’s caught me when I’ve came across the front of him, got the legs tangled up. One of the boys had grabbed my shirt to start with and my leg got caught with the other guy.”

Templeman has his eyes on next week now, with the Loons in a battle with Morton for the title, with Stranraer still in the mix “It’d be great to win the league, we’ve had a good season but I suppose Morton and Stranraer will be saying the same. We’ll need to just try and win our game, it’s not going to be easy against Ayr, they’re a good side as well and have their own fight with play offs.”

This Saturday will be a nervy one for all associated with Forfar Athletic as the Loons, Greenock Morton and Stranraer all have 90 minutes left to win the title.

At the moment, Morton and Forfar have 66 points, with the west coast side having a goal difference of +23 compared to Forfar’s +20. Stranraer on the other hand are on 64 points.

The games that may decide where the title goes are Forfar Athletic vs Ayr United, Greenock Morton vs Peterhead and Brechin City vs Stranraer.

How Morton can win the title: They need to win and hope Forfar don’t win by four more goals than they do. They can draw as long as Forfar also drop points. In other words, they just need to match the Loons’ result.

How Forfar can win the title: If Morton were to win, the Loons need to win by at least four more goals than them. For example, if Morton win 1-0, Forfar must win 5-0. They can win by just one goal if Morton were to drop points.

How Stranraer can win the title: Stranraer are the outsiders for the league now and can only win if both Morton and Forfar were to lose. They could win if they both draw but would need to win by at least five clear goals.

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Interview with Forfar Farmington’s Gemma Collier

Forfar Farmington’s Gemma Collier thought the side did better in the second half in their defeat against Celtic after a poor first half.

The 24 year old defender played all ninety minutes but believes the side can push on and possibly get something against Hibs this Sunday.

Collier said “I’m quite disappointed, I feel that we sat off a bit in the first half and let them play rather than take the game to them but we did better in the second half.”

“I think it’s really important that the girls stay positive and we try and play our own game when facing the other sides, we need to go out with the mentality that we’re going to win games.”

“I don’t see why we can’t get something next week, it’s 11vs 11 and it’s anyone’s game if you go out with the right attitude and want to win the game, I feel like we’ve got a good chance to take something from it.”

“I feel like it’s disappointing today but we have to put that behind us and take what we can learn from it and go into the next game with the mentality that we can win.”

Collier returned to the club at the beginning of the season after taking a year out, with her last appearance before returning coming back in October 2013.

“I’m happy to be back, it’s a great bunch of girls, we all get on really well and I feel like we’re going to grow as a team throughout the season.”

Forfar Farmington 0 Celtic 4 (SWPL) 26th April 2015

Forfar Farmington           0

Celtic                                     4

Ruesha Littlejohn 18, 29, 86, Sam McManus 62

Forfar Farmington head coach Damon Neish was disappointed after a 4-0 defeat at home to Celtic on Sunday.

After the win over Inverness two weeks previous, the side will have wanted to carry on the momentum but Celtic were too strong for the side

Speaking after the game, Neish said “We were poor, we never executed well, we gave them too much respect, we stood off them too much and let them play a bit too much.”

“We’re still young and growing and will have inconsistent game and unfortunately when we come up against some of the bigger teams like Celtic, you’re punished at this level and that’s what we need to try and get through our heads sooner or later that we need to be better from the start.”

“Next week is away to Hibs, another tough one, it’s good that we get all of our really tough games out of the way at the start of the season. Hibs will be incredibly tough to play against but we’ll prepare and go into as ready as the girls can be.”

Farmington started with just one change to the side, with Sophie Milligan coming in for the injured Sydney Cairns. Kayleigh Noble and Megan Burns returned to the squad but had to be content with a place on the bench.

Celtic had the best of the opening ten minutes, with Kylla Sjoman and Sam McManus firing wide before Kirstin McGuire forced Fiona McNicoll into a save in the fourteenth minute.

The Glasgow side took the lead in the 18th minute, Ruesha Littlejohn firing home after good work by Sjoman down the left.

Cara McBrearty then had two chances in quick succession saved by McNicoll as Celtic looked for a second.

They got that in the 29th minute when Littlejohn spotted McNicoll off her line and lobbed her from thirty yards.

Farmington had their first chance just after half an hour, Derrian Gollan, making her third appearance for the senior side saw a shot from the edge of the box saved by Laura Hamilton.

They went close to another chance five minutes before half time, Keira Johnstone made her way down the left but her cross was caught by Hamilton, with both Gollan and Amy Gallacher waiting to pounce on the ball.

Just before half time, Joanne Paton rattled the crossbar for Celtic while Chloe Craig saw a header cleared off the line five minutes into the second period.

McBrearty was next to go close, seeing her effort hit the post as Forfar’s defence battled a strong attack.

Holly Napier saw a free kick held by Hamilton while Celtic added a third in the 62nd minute, McManus sweeping home Sjoman’s cross.

Napier fired wide from long range with Forfar starting to play better in the last half hour. Despite this Littlejohn missed three chances as she looked to complete her hat trick.

With less than ten minutes left Jade McLaren nodded a Nicola Davidson free kick just over the bar.

Littlejohn grabbed her third with four minutes left, curling a low shot past McNicoll.

The side now look to next week, when they travel to face Hibernian.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Kayleigh Brough (Megan Burns 89), Jade McLaren, Gemma Collier, Nicola Davidson, Sophie Milligan (Kayleigh Noble 64), Lindsey Dunbar, Keira Johnstone, Holly Napier, Amy Gallacher, Derrian Gollan.

Sub not used: Nivana Crighton

Dunfermline Athletic 1 Forfar Athletic 3 (League One) 25th April 2015

Dunfermline Athletic    1

Faissal El Bakhtaoui 76

Forfar Athletic                  3

Martyn Fotheringham 8, Chris Templeman 18, Dale Hilson pen 35

Martyn Fotheringham netted his fourth goal in four games to help Forfar towards a 3-1 win over a lacklustre Dunfermline on Saturday.

The midfielder’s eighth minute free kick deceived Pars debutant Jamie Wilson and flew into the bottom corner. His goal will have relaxed the Loons faithful, having only ever lost three games when he has scored, the last defeat back in February 2012.

Fotheringham enjoyed his goal, speaking after the game “I seen the young keeper cheating, he was reading that I was going to cross the ball in so I thought I’ll give it a bash and go for the near post because we did say that we were going to have shots early doors and luckily enough it went in.”

The win takes Forfar up to second after Morton’s win over Stranraer but both sides are level on points, with Morton enjoying a better goal difference.

“All you can ask before the game is to take it to the last week, we’ve managed that, the first half was unbelievable, the boys were brilliant. Second half you expected Dunfermline to come back at us but it was just a case of digging in and seeing the result out.”

The long serving Fotheringham is now on six for the season, with four of those coming in the last four games “I said at Stenhousemuir my target was eight for the season and that’s me up to six now so I’ll take two next week!”

“I’m not really bothered, like I say, we’ve taken it to the last day, as long as we win our game, that’s all we can ask, if we end up in the play offs, we end up in the play offs. I think for a club like us to be fighting for the title on the last day of the season, that’s some achievement”

The Loons made two changes to last week’s defeat to Peterhead, Stuart Malcolm coming in for Iain Campbell, who returned to Cowdenbeath after his loan expired and former Par Stephen Husband for Derek Young.

They had the first opportunity of the game three minutes in when Chris Templeman fired straight at the keeper but were celebrating five minutes later. A foul on Dale Hilson saw a free kick awarded and while everyone expected a cross into the box Martyn Fotheringham curled the ball into the bottom corner at the near post.

Fotheringham went close from forty five yards soon after, the Pars young keeper Jamie Wilson looked to get his fingertips to touch it wide but the referee saw differently and awarded a goal kick.

Wilson looked nervous after only being told he was starting less than ten minutes before kick off due to an injury to Ryan Scully but did well to deny a Templeman header at the back post in the 16th minute.

Two minutes later the big striker nabbed a goal against the club he started his career with, a trademark big header from Michael Travis allowed Templeman to race clear of the defence before rounding the keeper and slotting home despite the best efforts of a defender on the line, his fifth goal of the season and one he clearly enjoyed celebrating.

Dunfermline came close a few times as well, with Faissal El Bakhtaoui firing past the post before forcing Rab Douglas into a save in the 29th minute.

Forfar went three goals ahead in the 35th minute, Templeman was fouled inside the box by Finn Graham and Andy Geggan, Graham receiving a yellow for his part in it. Dale Hilson stepped up and fired home the spot kick.

Captain Gavin Swankie was set up by Templeman a minute before half time but his effort was dragged wide.

Dunfermline came out for the second half looking a better side and almost grabbed a goal two minutes after the break, Rab Douglas missing a kick with El Bakhtaoui close but Darren Dods raced back to clear the ball from almost on the goal line.

The Moroccan went close again in the 56th minute, a Falkingham cross was met with a bicycle kick, the shot driving into the ground before bouncing up and forcing a fantastic save from Douglas.

Alex Whittle then blasted over in the last chance for almost fifteen minutes, with the Forfar defence organised and strong against a Dunfermline side desperate for a consolation at least.

They got their goal with fourteen minutes left and it was the always dangerous El Bakhtaoui who scored, curling past Rab Douglas from just inside the box.

In the 80th minute, Douglas pushed a Whittle shot over before Declan O’Kane saw a shot crash off the Loons crossbar from the corner.

Forfar held on despite pressure from a Pars side and will go into next week’s game high on confidence.

Dunfermline Athletic: Jamie Wilson, Ryan Williamson, Alex Whittle, Lewis Martin, Declan O’Kane, Finn Graham, Josh Falkingham, Andy Geggan, Michael Moffat, Shaun Byrne (Ryan Thomson 67), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

Subs not used: Gregor Buchanan, Kyle McAusland, Allan Smith, James Thomas, Cammy Gill (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop, Michael Travis, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Stephen Husband, Danny Denholm (Omar Kader 61), Martyn Fotheringham (Gavin Malin 67), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie (Craig Smith 73), Dale Hilson.

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

Peterhead 1 Forfar Athletic 0 (League One) 18th April 2015

Peterhead                          1

Jamie Redman 36

Forfar Athletic                  0

Dick Campbell was “shattered” after the league leaders  Forfar Athletic fell to third when they lose by a solitary goal to Peterhead on Saturday.

Jamie Redman nodded home a corner in the 36th minute and despite Martyn Fotheringham and Stephen Husband going close, the Loons left Balmoor Stadium with nothing.

Campbell said ““It was always going to be a tight game, and I’ve no doubt that Peterhead deserved to win the game. I couldn’t see that coming to be honest, we’ve won six out of seven and beat every team around us. We were slack today, never got going at all, we never completed the basics that we’re good at. The goal’s a set piece, we had a chance to clear it and we don’t, we give them a corner and the boy gets a free header, we’ve not lost a goal at a set piece all season.”

The manager was disappointed with the result but was already looking ahead to next week’s trip to Dunfermline “I don’t think we created a chance to be perfectly honest with you and I thought Peterhead deserved to win the game. I don’t think we played well enough at all today and that must be down to Peterhead or down to a lack of effort but the situation now is that we’ve got two games to go, Stranraer play Morton next week and we play Dunfermline, so we’ll lick the wounds if they’re needing licked and get on with it. I’m really, if you can detect by my tone of voice, I’m shattered at that result, because I was confident.”

The defeat meant Forfar dropped to third after Stranraer and Morton won, although the Loons are just a point behind new leaders Stranraer while Peterhead are unable to reach the play-offs after Brechin dismantled Dunfermline 3-0 at Glebe Park.

“Peterhead won today, but it’s done them no good at all because that’s them not even in the play-off race now after Brechin winning. Don’t take anything away from Peterhead though, they deserved to win the game and it was a goal worthy of winning the game, it was a great set piece.”

Campbell fielded the same side that defeated Airdrie last week, with the same bench as well after Mark Baxter was deemed to still not be fit enough for the game. This was Iain Campbell’s last game before he returned to Cowdenbeath with his loan expiring.

The Blue Toon had the first chances of the game, with veteran striker Andy Rodgers lobbing over Rab Douglas but the ball fell wide before Nicky Riley sent former Loon Jordon Brown’s cross past the post.

Gavin Swankie saw a shot from the edge of the box curl into Graeme Smith’s arms, although the keeper spilled it but was able to gather the loose ball before Chris Templeman was able to reach it.

Brown then saw a header go into Douglas’ arms from inside the six yard box, Riley swinging the ball into the area.

In the 33rd minute Brown had a fantastic chance to put Peterhead in front when he found himself past defenders with only Douglas to beat, with the big keeper making a great stop to deny the midfielder.

Three minutes later they were ahead, winning a corner after some poor defending, captain Steven Noble found Jamie Redman with the set piece and his free header found its way past the keeper.

Forfar almost grabbed an equaliser two minutes before half time, Chris Templeman’s ball in the box found Derek Young but his shot was blocked and the rebound was held before Omar Kader could get his foot to it.

At half time, Young was taken off for Danny Denholm as Forfar looked to get back into the game and went close in the 48th minute, Templeman heading wide from Iain Campbell’s cross.

Five minutes later, Martyn Fotheringham saw a free kick twenty five yards out fly inches past Smith’s post, with the Loons looking the better side so far in the second period. The popular midfielder then fired wide with a low effort just after the hour mark.

The game started to peter out in the last half hour, with chances few and far between, Andy Rodgers sending a long range volley over the bar before sub Dean Cowie missed a great chance with fourteen minutes left, firing Kevin Dzierawski’s cross across the face of goal and wide.

The final chance of the game came for the Loons in the 85th minute, a counter attack ending in sub Stephen Husband sending a long range strike towards goal, his effort took a bounce before it reached the goal but Smith managed to get a hand to it to push it wide.

Despite the defeat, everyone associated with Forfar will look ahead to next week as they chase the League One title, travelling to face a Dunfermline side who have been struggling this season, dropping to seventh in the table.

Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Ross Smith, Steven Noble, Ryan Strachan, Scott Ross, Gary McDonald, Nicky Riley (Dean Cowie 64), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (David Cox 77), Jordon Brown, Andy Rodgers (Kevin Dzierawski 69)

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop, Iain Campbell, Michael Travis, Darren Dods, Derek Young (Danny Denholm 46), Omar Kader (Gavin Malin 71), Martyn Fotheringham, Chris Templeman (Stephen Husband 71), Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson.

Subs not used: James Dale, Stuart Malcolm, Kerr Hay, Jason King (gk)

Post match interview with Forfar Athletic’s Iain Campbell, 18th April 2015

A devastated Iain Campbell believes the 1-0 defeat to Peterhead was his worst performance since returning to Forfar on loan at the beginning of the year.

The left back said of the game “It’s pretty upsetting talking about it, just a bad performance all round really, a bit of a shocker, just didn’t get started at all, didn’t get going the whole day. That was probably my worst performance in a Forfar jersey since I came back. We just need to go again, but that was really bad. We’ll go again, the boys will dig in next week.”

“That wasn’t like us at all, I think we had one shot on goal the whole game, it’s a sore one, because we were in a great position, we never thought we were there already, we knew they’re tough opposition after getting beat up here the last time. It’s devastating, just need to apologise to everyone, it was chronic.”

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Campbell will miss the last two games of the season against Dunfermline and Ayr with his loan ending on Monday, returning to parent club Cowdenbeath.

“It was my last game, I was hoping to stay obviously, but it was only a 93 day emergency loan. It’s been going great, I’ve really enjoyed it. The boys still have a chance, it’ll go down to the last game of the season obviously, I wish I could help them. My performance today wasn’t what I wanted to give with it being my last game, I’m gutted.”

Despite going back to Cowdenbeath, Campbell won’t be staying there past this season, having not met clauses in his deal but hasn’t ruled out a return to Station Park for a third spell.

“I’ll be out of contract at Cowdenbeath, I had to play a certain amount of games and had to stay up and stuff like that, but I’ll be out of contract in the summer so I was hoping to finish on a high really.”

“I’m sure after watching me out there some folk wouldn’t want to see me back again! I’ve done really well since I’ve come back, I’m quite happy with myself, the manager has told me I have been, the players have been great with me.”

“Difficult personal problems is the reason why I left, it was nothing against the club, I’ve been delighted here since I came back. They’ve not spoken to me at all about what’s going to happen in the summer, just trying to get through the league campaign and take it from there. I don’t know if I’ll come back to be honest, we’ll get to the summer and see.”

Before departing the club, he had one last comment ” I want to thank the supporters and apologise for my performance today, it’s an exciting time for them, hopefully they can go on and win the league.”

Inverness City 1 Forfar Farmington 2 (SWPL) 12th April 2015

Inverness City                   1             

Natalie Bodiam 31

Forfar Farmington           2

Keira Johnstone 50, Holly Napier 56

Forfar Farmington head coach Damon Neish was delighted with his side after their comfortable win against Inverness City up north on Sunday.

Despite the 2-1 scoreline, the side could have had more, hitting the post three times and missing two great chances while not really being threatened by the home side.

Neish said “Three points is three points, I think that’s the most important thing from today, we’re on the board now, we’re up and running. It wasn’t a case of performance, although we played incredibly well, the important thing was getting three points and we’ve done that, so mission accomplished.”

Farmington were missing Sophie Milligan and Megan Burns so were forced into changing their side, with Kayleigh Brough switching from striker to right back, Jade McLaren going out to left back and development squad striker Derrian Gollan making her first start for the Premier side at 16.

Neish was happy with all three player’s performances too, noting “Derrian had a really good year last year, playing at under 15’s level and we moved her up to the development squad this year, her performances have been fantastic, she’s maybe not got the goals she’s deserved for them, but today, her performance was unbelievable and she was unlucky not to get the goal she deserved but you can’t fault the girl’s work rate and effort.”

“I thought both Jade McLaren and Kayleigh Brough were up there with players of the game, Kayleigh was outstanding, nothing got past her, she held her ground and she performed excellently. Jade’s a striker playing in defence really, she likes getting up the park and attacking, she likes doing her rollovers and stepovers, it was great to see Jade have such a good performance.”

Inverness had the first chance of the game in the 6th minute, Sheena Nicol firing wide before a great passing move gave Forfar the chance to open the lead, Jade McLaren, Gemma Collier, Kayleigh Brough and Keira Johnstone all involved, with Amy Gallacher firing over from the edge of the box.

In the eleventh minute, Holly Napier swung in a corner that Nicola Davidson met, but her shot came off the post and was cleared.

Farmington hit the post again three minutes later, Gallacher’s low cross finding Derrian Gollan but her shot trickled towards the post, before Jade McLaren fired the rebound wide from close range while under pressure from defenders.

Lindsey Dunbar then fired straight into the keeper’s arms as Forfar looked more dangerous than the hosts.

Keira Johnstone latched onto a McNicoll kick out, beating defenders but she also saw her shot held by Kim Jappy.

Gollan rounded Jappy in the 25th minute but her touch was too heavy and the ball went out for a goal kick before she could fire home.

Poor defending handed Inverness the lead against the run of play six minutes later, Natalie Bodiam collecting a poor pass back before slotting under McNicoll.

Holly Napier sent a free kick wide as well as seeing a shot held in the 38th minute.

Less than a minute into the second half, Jade McLaren sent a long range effort into the arms of the keeper, with Johnstone also seeing a great chance smothered on the line.

Amy Gallacher met McLaren’s free kick in the 48th minute but for the third time in the game, Forfar hit the woodwork.

The equaliser two minutes later was a bizarre goal, a scramble in the box saw the referee award a penalty for handball before then changing his mind and deeming a Johnstone shot to have crossed the line.

Forfar then took a deserved lead just eleven minutes into the second half, a break ending in Gallacher sending Gollan down the right, she cut the ball in for Holly Napier to fire home from the edge of the box.

Dunbar then had a shot fly over the bar before having another blocked as Forfar looked to kill the game off.

Amy Gallacher made her way down the right in the 64th minute, entering the box and sending a low cross to the back post that Johnstone was inches away from connecting with.

The last twenty five minutes was quiet, with Farmington retaining possession well without being pressed by City, the only chances coming from a Sheena Nicol shot flying over before Nicola Davidson’s long range effort did the same.

Farmington’s game ended with worry after midfielder Sydney Cairns went in for a challenge to stop an Inverness break, Cairns won the ball but stayed down after injuring her knee and had to be carried off.

The result means the side have their first three points of the season and move up to 8th, with their next game coming in a fortnight at home to Celtic.

Kayleigh Brough was pleased after the game, adding “It was a very good win, we deserved it. I didn’t feel too comfortable at first being put at right back but as the game went on I felt like I was building more to that position, it felt more comfortable than being a striker. I think we’ll give Celtic a tough game in two weeks.”

Inverness City: Kim Jappy, Emma Paterson, Claire Masterton, Megan Gillies (Julia Scott 62), Nicola Ross, Lisa McKenzie, Finella Annand, Leigh Aitken, Sheena Nicol, Lorna Macrae, Natalie Bodiam.

Sub not used: Kirsten Shearer

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Kayleigh Brough, Gemma Collier, Nicola Davidson, Jade McLaren, Sydney Cairns (Ellice Brannan 90), Holly Napier, Lindsey Dunbar, Keira Johnstone, Amy Gallacher (Sally Patterson 83), Derrian Gollan (Nivana Crighton 67)