Forfar Athletic 1 East Stirlingshire 1 (Pre Season Friendly) 11th July 2015

Forfar Athletic                  1

Derek Young 17

East Stirlingshire              1

Kris Faulds pen 68

Forfar Athletic defender Thomas O’Brien said he joined the club after being impressed by what was said by other players.

The former Cowdenbeath man was speaking after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with East Stirling, in which Derek Young netted the opener, and the 23 year old believes the side can go on and win promotion this season as well as saying how Cowdenbeath was one of the first games he looked for on the fixture list.

“I spoke to Dick and Pink and another few people, everything they said was positive, like I said they weren’t far away last year, hopefully this year they can go all the way.”

“It’s a good squad, a few good boys, a few younger and older, a good mix. Last year they were a bit unlucky but with a few more boys hopefully we can do it this year.”

“The squad are working hard in pre-season with Ewan and all his heart rate monitor stuff, nobody can hide with that, we’re looking good, a couple more games before the cup games start and then hopefully by the time we play Airdrie in the league we’re flying.”

“I looked for the fixture when the list came out, I think it’s the sixth or seventh game we’ve got them down there so I’m looking forward to going down and see a few old faces.”

Speaking about the game, O’Brien reckons the result doesn’t matter, with fitness the main priority “It was just a pre-season game, I thought in the first half we done well and then in the second, we took our foot off the gas a bit, they had a bit more possession but the main aim of pre-season is to build fitness, a few young boys played today as well so that was good.”

Forfar were missing seven senior players for the game on Saturday, with Rab Douglas, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Bryan Hodge, Martyn Fotheringham, Danny Denholm and Chris Templeman all missing through injury or holidays. Only four subs were named, James Yates, Jack Neave, Frankie Devine and a trialist keeper meanwhile Jason King was in goal from the start for his first senior game.

Forfar started off the better team and had the first chance in the sixth minute when Craig Smith nodded a Gavin Malin free kick past the post. Four minutes later Kerr Hay saw his header saved after rising to meet Michael Travis’s pinpoint cross.

East Stirlingshire had their only shot of the half in the fourteenth minute when Ross Gilmour fired over from the edge of the box.

The Loons took the lead three minutes later when Gavin Swankie blocked a clearance on the byline, Craig Smith held off his marker to set up Derek Young, who fired the ball home from twenty yards.

The first half turned into a drab affair, with the only efforts of note were Swankie and Malin’s shots from an angle being blocked by the visitors trialist keeper.

The second half was as exciting as the first in that there was just one goal and very little goalmouth action.

Four minutes in Kris Faulds saw a shot blocked before substitutions started to disrupt the flow of play.

In the 64th minute Gavin Swankie went close with a free kick but could only hit the post meanwhile at the other end East Stirlingshire equalised after Wallace was fouled by O’Brien, Faulds stepping up to fire home the penalty with King unlucky not to save it.

Craig Smith hit the sidenetting with an off balance shot in the 76th minute, before the goal kick was taken a familiar face took to the field for the visitors, former Loons player and manager George Shaw came on as a trialist, although Shaw is Shire’s assistant.

In the final moments of the game Connor Greene headed over for the away side while sub Frankie Devine had a shot blocked for the Loons after being set up by Derek Young as the game ended all square.

Forfar Athletic: Jason King, Kerr Hay, Michael Kennedy, Michael Dunlop, Michael Travis (James Yates 73), Thomas O’Brien (Jack Neave 79), Gavin Malin (Frankie Devine 79), Kevin Nicoll, Craig Smith, Gavin Swankie, Derek Young

Sub not used: Trialist (gk)

East Stirlingshire: Trialist, Lloyd Kinnaird (Trialist 76), Nathan Shepherd (Trialist 59), Reece Donaldson, Connor Greene, Trialist, Ross Gilmour (Trialist 46), Neil McCabe (Trialist 59), William Vidler (Michael Wallace 59), David McKenna (Trialist 59), Kris Faulds

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