Interview with Forfar Athletic’s Michael Travis

Forfar Athletic captain Michael Travis was elated with the three points on Saturday as they defeated Albion Rovers 4-2.

The centre back also praised defensive partner Andy Munro after his man of the match performance on his return to the club following a loan spell at Clyde.

Travis netted twice in Saturday’s win and felt the side got a rub of the green that had evaded them on many occasions this season.

“I’m delighted to get the win, the last few performances we’ve worked hard and stuck together, you need a bit of luck at times and felt we got that today.”

He continued: “It was nice to get two goals, especially with Andy Munro getting one as well, hopefully we can now build on it.”

The Loons conceded goals just eleven and three minutes after netting their first and third respectively with Travis disappointed to concede so quickly.

“It was disappointing to concede the two goals, they say you’re at your most vulnerable after you score and it happened today as well but I thought we showed good fight to get the three points.”

Rovers were reduced to nine men after Michael Hopkins and Alan Trouten were sent off in the same incident in the 62nd minute at 3-2, Travis felt the Loons were more than worthy of their win despite this.

“The red cards killed their momentum a little bit, but I thought we were dominant, we had chances, Josh could have scored when he went round the keeper but it’s hit off his heel and went to the man.”

“Obviously there were the red cards, they change games, we took advantage and killed the game off with the fourth, we just need to build on this now.”

With the Scottish Cup taking over the league schedule next weekend, Forfar have to wait until January 27th for their next league game away to East Fife.

Jim Weir has arranged a friendly against an Aberdeen XI for Thursday and Travis reckons this will be a tough test ahead of their trip to a tricky New Bayview.

“It’s a nice break, obviously we have a game on Thursday so the gaffer will probably give a few boys that haven’t been playing games recently a good run out against Aberdeen.”

“That should be a tough test so hopefully again we can apply ourselves and we are prepared for East Fife in a fortnight, which is again another tough game. Another three points would be nice and let’s keep moving up.”

The captain expressed his delight as Andy Munro returned to the club following a loan spell at Clyde; while he reckons he is a good guy to have around the club, the same can’t be said for trips to training.

“It was good to have Andy back, obviously with having played alongside him and known him for so long. He’s a presence, a good guy, he’s loud in and around the club, obviously not in your car when you’re trying to have a nap on the way up to training and he’s shouting about in your ear. It’s good to have him back and hopefully I can get a good partnership with him.”

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Forfar Athletic 4 Albion Rovers 2 (League One) 13th January 2018

Forfar Athletic
Mark Millar pen 7, Michael Travis 21, 87, Andrew Munro 57

Albion Rovers 2
Gary Fisher 18, Jason Marr 59
Michael Hopkins sent off 62, Alan Trouten sent off 64

Defence was the best form of attack for Forfar Athletic on Saturday as they won at home for the first time since November.

Centre backs Michael Travis and Andy Munro netted three of the goals in a 4-2 win over Albion Rovers with Mark Millar also scoring a penalty.

Gary Fisher and Jason Marr were on target for Rovers who were reduced to nine men after a horrific challenge by Michael Hopkins with Alan Trouten following him.

There were three changes for Jim Weir’s side, with Andy Munro, Kevin McNaughton and Dylan Easton replacing Conner Duthie, Matthew Aitken and trialist Jordan Hornby, who had signed with League Two side Cowdenbeath.

The Loons went ahead after just seven minutes when Eddie Malone was brought down inside the penalty area; Mark Millar stepped up to blast home the spot kick and net their first home goal since November 11th.

Rovers were level eleven minutes later; an attack by Victoria wasn’t clearly properly and Gary Fisher sent a low strike from distance into the bottom corner.

It wasn’t long until there was a third goal in the game as Forfar went ahead again in the 21st minute. A lofted ball from Munro was missed completely by keeper Daniel Potts and Michael Travis was on hand to sweep the loose ball into the net.

The hosts had further chances to extend their lead with Malone and Millar denied by Potts while Ross Davidson saw two efforts fly off target and failed to trouble McCallum at the other end.

Both sides were forced into a half time switch as Malone and Joao Victoria were replaced by Matthew Aitken and Michael Hopkins respectively.

Rovers had the first chance of the second half through Hopkins but he saw his shot pushed away by McCallum in the 49th minute.

Forfar added a third in the 57th minute from a Cox corner and it was a fantastic bullet header from the returning Munro with his first goal for the side since November 2016.

Just two minutes later Rovers pulled a goal back; Davidson sending a cross into the box and Jason Marr forced the ball over the line.

Any momentum the visitors had gained from the goal was halted in the 62nd minute when Hopkins was shown a red card for a poor challenge on Darren Whyte. Almost every player was involved in the scrap that ensued and it took four minutes for play to restart; Alan Trouten was also sent off for Rovers after raising his hands with Munro was booked for his part.

With the Loons holding a goal and two man disadvantage, they looked to kill the game off with Peters, Easton and sub Conner Duthie all kept at bay by Potts.

Cox saw his 83rd minute shot deflected wide but it was a defender who made sure the Loons took all three points with three minutes remaining.

A Cox free kick wasn’t cleared properly and when Duthie sent the ball back into the danger zone, Travis was unmarked and was more than happy to net his second of the afternoon and third of the season.

The result, coupled with Queen’s Park’s loss to Arbroath, means that the Loons are level on points with the Spiders, however are still bottom due to goal difference.

There is no competitive action this coming weekend sue to the Scottish Cup, but Jim Weir’s side have a friendly scheduled for Thursday when they take on an Aberdeen XI.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Whyte, Bain, Munro, Travis, McNaughton, Easton (Duthie 73), Millar, Cox, Peters (McBride 83), Malone (Aitken 46)

Subs not used: Cregg, Lochhead, Starkey, Adam (gk)

Albion Rovers: Potts, McLaughlin, McMullin, Reid, Marr, Fisher, Shields, Davidson, Higgins, Trouten, Victoria (Hopkins 46)

Subs not used: McDonald, Gallagher, Watters, O’Kane, Wright (gk)

Raith Rovers 2 Forfar Athletic 1 (League One) 6th January 2018

Raith Rovers 2

Greig Spence 12

Jordan Hornby own goal 25

Forfar Athletic 1

Josh Peters 20

Despite an improved performance, Forfar Athletic fell to another defeat as Raith Rovers won by the odd goal in three.

Greig Spence and a Jordan Hornby own goal were enough for the hosts with the Loons’ Josh Peters netting in between.

Forfar made three changes following their derby defeat earlier in the week as Darren Whyte, David Cox and Mark Millar replaced Ousman See, Kevin McNaughton and Patrick Cregg.

The Loons had the first opportunity after two minutes when David Cox’s corner found captain Michael Travis but his effort was blocked.

In the tenth minute Raith’s Dario Zannatta sent a shot from the edge of the box; Marc McCallum couldn’t keep hold of the ball but the Loons cleared their lines.

The opening goal came two minutes later; a Jamie Bain’s cross was inches away from finding Matthew Aitken but the hosts broke forward and Greig Spence was on hand to stroke home Ross Matthews’ low cross.

Cox couldn’t find the target on the quarter hour mark, however the Loons were back on level terms in the 20th minute. Aitken played the ball to Cox; he created space for himself on the right and his cross was lashed home by Josh Peters.

Five minutes later there was another goal, this time for Raith to make it 2-1. Jordan Hornby was playing his third game as a trialist for the Loons and he was unfortunate to divert Zanatta’s cross into the back of the net.

David McKay and Liam Buchanan saw efforts blocked following a Vaughan corner before the latter sent a free kick into the wall despite being in a dangerous position.

The Loons made one change at half time as Hornby was replaced by Dale Hilson, the attacker making his sixth debut for the club.

Eddie Malone looked to try his luck in the opening sixty seconds of the half but couldn’t keep his long range attempt down and it flew over the bar.

Hilson and Peters combined to set up Conner Duthie in the 53rd minute and the Dunfermline loanee saw his shot deflected wide.

Two minutes later Hilson was involved again; setting up Peters but he couldn’t find the target with an off balance shot.

On the hour mark Raith could perhaps count themselves unlucky not to be awarded a penalty as Bain and Buchanan collided in the box as the latter prepared to shoot.

Peters headed wide from a Cox cross while at the other end Zanatta and McKay failed to beat the Loons defence.

As the game entered the final twenty minutes Vaughan sent an effort over the bar before Matthews fired straight at McCallum.

In the 78th minute Jason Thomson forced his way to the byline before cutting the ball back however Buchanan couldn’t get his shot on target.

Vaughan and Zanatta were denied once again in the final five minutes as Rovers took all three points with Forfar falling further behind Queen’s Park at the bottom.

Raith Rovers: Smith, Thomson, Murray, Spence, Robertson, Buchanan (Court 89), Vaughan, Matthews, Davidson, McKay, Zanatta

Subs not used: Osei, Herron, Hendry, Watson, Berry, Lennox (gk)

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Bain, Hornby (Hilson 46), Whyte (McNaughton 70), Travis, Malone, Cox, Millar, Aitken, Peters (See 67), Duthie

Subs not used: Cregg, Lochhead, McBride, Adam (gk)

Forfar Athletic 0 Arbroath 1 (League One) 2nd January 2018

Forfar Athletic started the new year with a defeat as a first half goal was enough for derby rivals Arbroath to take all three points.

Leighton McIntosh’s 42nd minute winner means that the Loons are yet to pick up a point in derby clashes this season.

Despite the signing of Dale Hilson, Weir was unable to call upon him but made three changes following Saturday’s win over Ayr United. Lewis Milne, Mark Millar and Scott Lochhead were replaced by Ousman See, Jamie Bain and Josh Peters. Jordan Hornby continued as a trialist after his goal against Ayr.

Arbroath fielded new signing Ryan Wallace along with McIntosh in their two changes; Gavin Swankie and Ryan McCord the players dropping out.

Both teams had chances to open the scoring in the first ten minutes; Ousman See sent clear after two minutes but his effort was blocked by a defender. At the other end a long ball was misjudged by Marc McCallum and after it bounced over him, Michael Travis had to outmuscle Leighton McIntosh to clear the danger.

Mark Whatley sent a shot straight into the arms of McCallum before the Loons’ Josh Peters and Conner Duthie failed to find the target from distance.

McCallum had to look sharp to palm away a fierce free kick from former Forfar favourite Thomas O’Brien in the 20th minute.

Just before the half hour mark an Arbroath attack was stopped and Forfar broke up the park with See opting to square the ball for Peters; his shot diverted wide. From the corner See’s header was cleared off the line by another former Loon in Scott Martin.

In the 42nd minute the deadlock was broken; Wallace controlled a long ball before seeing his effort saved by McCallum, however the keeper was unable to stop McIntosh slotting home the rebound.

The visitors almost added a second four minutes after the break when McIntosh sent a header wide after connecting with a Wallace cross.

A minute later McCallum denied Blair Yule before O’Brien sent Linn’s corner just wide of the post.

Forfar’s first chance of the second half fell to Patrick Cregg after being set up by Matthew Aitken, however the midfielder couldn’t find the target from the edge of the box.

Aitken had an opportunity of his own in the 65th minute; firing straight at Hutton. Ten minutes later Wallace curled wide while captain Mark Whatley saw his effort blocked as the game entered the last ten minutes.

Both sides had chances in the 83rd minute as Yule’s header was saved before a counter attack ended with Dylan Easton dragging his shot past the post.

Mark Millar was denied by Hutton with four minutes remaining while Dylan Easton’s corner in injury time failed to threaten despite McCallum racing up from his own box.

The Loons now fall two points behind Queen’s Park as they look to bounce back in a tricky trip to Raith Rovers on Saturday.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Duthie, Bain, McNaughton (Millar 62), Travis, Cregg, Aitken, Malone, See (Cox 66), Peters, Trialist (Easton 57)

Subs not used: Lochhead, Starkey, Warwick, Adam (gk)

Arbroath: Hutton, Little, Hamilton, O’Brien, Yule, Whatley, Linn (Gold 62), Martin, McIntosh (Prunty 71), Wallace (Hester 87), Denholm

Subs not used: McCord, Henry, Gomes (gk)