Raith Rovers 3 Forfar Athletic 1 (League One) 19th August 2017

Ten man Forfar Athletic were defeated 3-1 at the home of title contenders Raith Rovers on Saturday.

Despite Forfar going ahead through Mark Millar, Raith took all three points after Lewis Vaughan, Liam Buchanan and Greig Spence all netted.

Five changes were made after the midweek defeat in Dingwall with Andy Munro, Ousman See, Marc Scott and Patrick Cregg replaced by Scott McBride, Simon Mensing, Jim Lister and latest signing Rodrigue Nanitelamio. Conor Quigley was injured in the warm up as Michael Kennedy took his place.

Less than a minute in the hosts had their first chance with Simon Mensing doing well to deny Greig Spence inside the box.

Mark Millar saw his shot parried by Rovers debutant Rory Brian before a defender blocked a fierce Dylan Easton volley in the tenth minute.

Two minutes later Lewis Vaughan came close with a free kick meanwhile at the other end Eddie Malone fired over after Raith failed to clear their lines.

The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes; Mark Millar sending a stunning 20 yard free kick into the top corner for his fifth goal of the season.

Rovers looked for a quick equaliser through Buchanan however his effort was saved by Marc McCallum.

They did equalise on the half hour mark; Vaughan ending a run forward with a smart finish past the keeper.

McCallum denied Barr and Buchanan in quick succession and Forfar were dealt a blow in the 39th minute; Jamie Bain fouling Buchanan on the edge of the box for a red card.

Lister and Millar combined six minutes into the second half as the former’s through ball found the latter and despite Millar’s touch taking him away from goal, his shot was deflected wide for a corner.

From the corner the debutant Rodrigue Nanitelamio had a header cleared away with Cox curling over minutes later.

Kevin McHattie had a great chance to put Raith ahead in the 56th minute but could only blast over; his shot landing a couple of rows away from the back of the stand.

The hosts’ main threat seemed to be Lewis Vaughan, with the wide man causing problems for the Loons with a cross-cum-shot that McCallum had to look sharp to tip over.

Cox had another effort deflected wide while Vaughan was denied by McCallum yet again in the 69th minute.

Vaughan was determined to net another but could only watch as his shot after 72 minutes was deflected into the arms of the Loons keeper.

Ross Callachan had a low driven effort parried by McCallum as the game entered the final ten minutes.

Scott McBride fired over after a beat one two with Millar but it was Vaughan involved yet again in the 84th minute when his low cross was touched past McCallum by Buchanan to give Raith the lead.

The lead was extended two minutes later; Simon Mensing’s header back to McCallum was short and Spence nipped in to slot home for Raith’s third.

Spence could have added a fourth in added time but saw his close range shot deflected past the post.

The result means Forfar drop to ninth ahead of their next home game against Albion Rovers.

Raith Rovers: Rory Brian, Jason Thomson, Kevin McHattie, Ross Callachan, Kyle Benedictus, Greig Spence, Scott Robertson (Jonny Court 79), Liam Buchanan (Ross Matthews 85), Lewis Vaughan, Bobby Barr, Iain Davidson

Subs not used: Yaw Osei, Euan Murray, David McKay, James Berry

Forfar Athletic: Marc McCallum, Jamie Bain, Michael Kennedy, Eddie Malone, Rodrigue Nanitelamio, Simon Mensing, David Cox (Patrick Cregg 75), Mark Millar, Jim Lister (Ousman See 82), Dylan Easton (Michael Travis 39), Scott McBride

Subs not used: Andy Munro, Matthew Aitken, Conor Quigley, Jason King (gk)

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Ross County U20 2 Forfar Athletic 1 (Irn Bru Cup First Round) 15th August 2017

Forfar Athletic exited the Irn Bru Cup at the first hurdle following a 2-1 defeat to Ross County’s U20 side in Dingwall.

Goals from Billy McKay and Ross Maciver in the first half had the Staggies ahead and despite Mark Millar’s late free kick, the Loons couldn’t pull it back.

Forfar came into this after a 3-0 defeat at Ayr United while the young Staggies, including experienced striker Billy McKay, were not to be taken lightly after their SPFL Development League win last season.

The Loons made three changes from their weekend defeat with Andy Munro, Ousman See and debutant Patrick Cregg replacing Jim Lister, Michael Travis and the injured Simon Mensing.

Dylan Easton had the first opportunity in the fifth minute when David Cox’s cross was headed down by Marc Scott but the midfielder’s shot was blocked and eventually cleared.

County were unlucky not to go ahead two minutes later; James Wallace did well to get a shot away off balance however his effort crashed off the post with McCallum beaten.

Easton curled over shortly after but it was the hosts who took the lead after 24 minutes. Russell Dingwall teed up Billy McKay and he expertly lobbed McCallum. It was 2-0 within three minutes as Ross Maciver slotted home from inside the box.

Greg Morrison saw his shot turned over the bar by McCallum before McKay was also denied as the Staggies looked to add to their tally.

Forfar were unlucky not to pull one back on the stroke of half time; Patrick Cregg setting up Easton however his long range effort flew just over the bar.

Andy Munro nodded over from a Millar corner a minute into the second half before McKay saw a header held by McCallum at the other end.

Millar fired over in the 49th minute and from the goal kick, County were instantly on the attack with Morrison having his shot tipped wide.

Another Millar corner created a stramash that ended with Munro’s powerful strike blocked by Morrison as the game approached the hour mark.

In the 63rd minute a Conor Quigley throw was flicked on by Ousman See; allowing Michael Travis to connect with a volley that Ross Munro smothered.

Two minutes later Morrison weaved his way past two defenders but couldn’t net County’s third as his shot rattled the bar.

A long ball by Aitken up to Jim Lister was just inches too heavy by the youngster as the County keeper nipped it away before Lister could get a shot away.

Wallace thought he had scored with eight minutes left when he slipped the ball under McCallum but Munro did well to clear the ball off the line.

Forfar did pull a goal back in the 87th minute to give themselves some hope with a Millar free kick. See and Munro had efforts off target in injury time but the Staggies held on to go through to the next round.

Ross County U20: Ross Munro, Tom Kelly, Kyle Johnson, Sam Morrison, Tom Grivosti, Max Ashmore, Greg Morrison, Russell Dingwall, Billy McKay (Nathan Turner 66), James Wallace, Ross Maciver

Subs not used: Ben Johnston, Mark Gallagher, Jack Murray, Jack Grant, Joel MacBeath, Lee Herbert (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Marc McCallum, Jamie Bain, Conor Quigley, Patrick Cregg, Andy Munro, Eddie Malone, David Cox (Jim Lister 46), Mark Millar, Ousman See, Dylan Easton (Michael Travis 53), Marc Scott (Matthew Aitken 40)

Subs not used: Greg Warwick, Scott McBride, Michael Kennedy, Jason King (gk)

Ayr United 3 Forfar Athletic 0 (League One) 12th August 2017

Forfar Athletic were comfortably defeated 3-0 in their first away game in League One at Ayr United on Saturday.

Goals from Craig Moore and Declan McDaid had United ahead at half time before Robbie Crawford completed the scoring late in the second half.

The Loons made just one change from their opening day win over Airdrieonians, Ousman See dropping to the bench in favour of Dylan Easton.

The hosts had the first chance of the game six minutes in when Craig Moore nodded wide from a Craig McGuffie cross.

A counter attack on the quarter hour mark led to Marc Scott setting up Dylan Easton and the midfielder forced a terrific save from Jordan Hart.

Simon Mensing had a header cleared off the line with Eddie Malone’s follow up cleared shortly before Michael Moffat and Paddy Boyle were denied by Marc McCallum at the other end.

Ayr were awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute after Michael Travis was adjudged to have held Moffat; the hosts angered by the referee’s decision to award the spot kick after Michael Rose had netted.

Craig Moore stepped up to take the spot kick and was denied by McCallum, however the striker found the net with the rebound.

Malone headed wide from Jamie Bain’s cross as Forfar looked for a leveller, but it was the hosts who found the net again just four minutes after going ahead when Andy Geggan’s ball was flicked over the head of McCallum by Declan McDaid.

Travis powered a header over from another Millar corner on the stroke of half time.
Just five minutes into the second half and Malone was unlucky not to pull a goal back for the Loons; a Bain cross was met by a diving header and Hart had to look sharp to deny the former Ayr man.

Cox had an effort held before McGuffie was denied by an excellent save at the other end just before the hour mark.
Easton did well to win the ball back on the edge of the box in the 61st minute before cutting the ball back; Lister beating Hart but seeing his shot cleared off the line by Higgins.

There were chances wasted at both ends in quick succession as Moore sent an effort over the stand before Scott lobbed Hart at the other end; the ball landing on the roof of the net.

Former Loons loanee Rose curled a free kick over but they extended their lead with ten minutes left when Alan Forrest set up Crawford and he slipped the ball under the keeper.

Sub Ousman See had a couple of late chances to net a consolation with Easton also firing over but it wasn’t to be for Forfar against a strong Ayr side.

Ayr United: Jordan Hart, Chris Higgins, Paddy Boyle, Michael Rose, Andy Geggan, Michael Moffat (Alan Forrest 69), Robbie Crawford, Craig Moore, Declan McDaid (Brian Gilmour 75), Craig McGuffie (Craig Reid 62), Ross Docherty

Subs not used: David Ferguson, Stuart Faulds, Leon Murphy, Lyle Avci (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Marc McCallum, Jamie Bain, Conor Quigley, Eddie Malone (Scott McBride 74), Michael Travis, Simon Mensing, David Cox (Matthew Aitken 83), Mark Millar, Jim Lister (Ousman See 74), Dylan Easton, Marc Scott

Subs not used: Andy Munro, Greg Warwick, Michael Kennedy, Jason King (gk)