CARLUKE ROVERS 2 FORTH WANDERERS 1
The Wanderers winning run came to an abrupt end at the John Cumming Stadium this afternoon when they lost 2-1 to Carluke Rovers.
An abject first half showing saw Carluke deservedly two goals up at the interval through a Kieran Lafferty double, the Rovers striker scoring after 5 and 40 minutes to put the hosts in a commanding position.
Mirroring recent performances however, the Wanderers improved after the break and trialist Anthony Duffy slotted home a knockdown just before the hour mark to give them hope. Forth continued to press and a great individual run from Connor McArdle almost brought the equaliser, but ex-Forth man David Cherrie somehow turned his shot over the bar. Rovers threatened on the break and came close to increasing their lead on a couple of occasions, while the Wanderers couldn’t take advantage of several set pieces in dangerous areas as the clocked ticked down and 2-1 it finished.
Next week, it’s a long journey to Ellon United in the Scottish Junior Cup.
ANNBANK UNITED 2 FORTH WANDERERS 3
The Wanderers made it a hat-trick of wins in Ayrshire in consecutive weeks with a 3-2 victory over Annbank United at New Pebble Park this afternoon. However, Forth did it the hard way, coming back from 2 goals down at the interval to record the win.
Annbank had the better of the first half and could have been further ahead than the two goals from the impressive Lee McClymont that they did manage. The hosts caused the Forth defence problems each time they attacked and although the Wanderers were also seen as an attacking force at points, they struggled to create any clear chances and Annbank were well deserving of their 2-0 half-time lead.
Forth made a change at the interval, replacing Aidan Meechan with Martin Janik and began the second period positively, taking the game to Annbank. The pressure paid off on 57 minutes when the Wanderers pulled a goal back through the unlikely figure of Kieran Brown. Kieran had failed to score in his previous 34 starts, despite hitting the woodwork on several occasions, but he unleashed a speculative 25 yard shot which seemed to wrong foot the home keeper before hitting the net to make it 2-1.
Forth seemed to grow in confidence after this and it was no surprise when they leveled things up 10 minutes later and again it was that man Brown who notched it, pouncing when the ball broke to him after a corner and coolly slotting home. The Wanderers were now in complete control and completed the comeback on 67 minutes when Stephen Larkin fired home one of his trademark shots which left the home keeper with no chance.
Credit to Annbank however, as rather than capitulating meekly they fought their way back into the game and only a couple of fine saves from Forth Keeper Ryan Cherrie kept the Wanderers ahead and ensured the three points were heading back to Kingshill.
Next up, we travel along the road to face Carluke Rovers, currently sitting 5th in the league a point ahead of the Wanderers.
MUIRKIRK JUNIORS 2 FORTH WANDERERS 3
The Wanderers made it two wins on the bounce with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Muirkirk at Burnside Park this afternoon.
Forth got off to the best possible start when Stephen Larkin neatly lobbed the keeper, after a long ball had evaded the ‘Kirk defence, to make it 1-0 with barely a minute on the clock. Peter Marshall equalised for the hosts direct from a corner after 12 minutes but the Wanderers were looking the more likely and Nathan Cassidy restored the advantage on 19 minutes after good work from Michael McGarahan on the right. Both sides had further chances as the half progressed and both were left frustrated by some inconsistent refereeing, but 2-1 it remained at the break.
Forth were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Kris Jarvie was red-carded for retaliation after being on the receiving end of a hefty challenge, but a Muirkirk player received a second yellow for dissent during the same incident so their numerical advantage lasted seconds. Both teams were looking dangerous on the attack as the game swung from end to end but it was the Wanderers who increased their league on the hour mark, thanks to a huge slice of luck. Michael McGarahan chased down a back pass to the ‘Kirk keeper in what appeared to be a lost cause but the shot-stoppers clearance deflected off a defender and back over the line, making it 3-1 to Forth. Chances came and went at both ends before Marshall notched his second for the ‘Kirk to make it 3-2 after 78 minutes. This setup a nervy finish, with Muirkirk piling players forward in search of an equaliser, but some decent defending and a couple of good saves from Forth keeper Ryan Cherrie ensured the points returned to Kingshill.
It’s another visit to Ayrshire next week, the ongoing drainage work at Kingshill meaning the Annbank United match has been switched to New Pebble Park.
SALTCOATS VICTORIA 0 FORTH WANDERERS 2
The Wanderers got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Saltcoats Victoria at Campbell Park yesterday. Second half goals from Stephen Larkin and debutant Michael McGarahan sealed the points after a hard fought game in which chances were at a premium. The three second half substitutions helped to swing the game in the Wanderers favour, with all three (Jarvie,Tait and McGarahan) making telling contributions.
ASHFIELD 3 FORTH WANDERERS 1
A 3-1 defeat to Ashfield in Glasgow this afternoon saw the Wanderers fall to second bottom of the league, while the hosts made it 5 wins from 5 to stay top.
A poor first half Forth performance saw Ashfield comfortably two goals ahead at the interval through Friel and Parker and when Friel made it 3-0 from the penalty spot early in the second half, it looked all over for the Wanderers. However, the introduction of Scott Watson injected a bit of life into a stagnant Wanderers and Kris Jarvie pulled one back just before the hour mark but Forth couldn’t add to their tally and Ashfield saw the game out to claim the points.
VALE OF LEVEN 3 FORTH WANDERERS 1
The Wanderers fell to a 3-1 defeat to Vale of Leven at Milburn Park yesterday but, in truth, it could have been a heavier loss were it not for the hosts profligacy in front of goal, especially in the first half.
The Forth cause wasn’t helped when they were reduced to 10 men after only 19 minutes, Jordan Grant being sent off after receiving two yellow cards, the second of which seemed rather harsh. The Vale made the most of their numerical superiority, creating numerous chances throughout the half, but a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping and the woodwork kept the game scoreless. On the cusp of half time a goal finally arrived and, completely against the run of play, it was the Wanderers who notched it. A rare Forth attack saw the ball played into Aidan Meechan in space and the midfielder strode forward before unleashing a fine strike into the top corner to make it 1-0 at the interval.
The Wanderers began the second half brightly, some neat passing football belying their numerical disadvantage and Kris Jarvie came close to making it 2-0 just after the hour mark, but his shot on the turn was just the wrong side of the post. This was to prove significant as the Vale equalised minutes later, Mark Butler turning home a corner from close range. The hosts were back in the ascendancy and the pressure told when Richie Stewart made it 2-1 on 79 minutes before Anthony Pilkington wrapped up the points from the penalty spot a couple of minutes later.
Back to the drawing board for the Wanderers management, who will need to address our defensive frailties ahead of a tough away encounter against league leaders Ashfield, who have won 4 out of 4, next Saturday.
FORTH WANDERERS 2 NEWMAINS UNITED 5
Newmains picked up their first three points of the season, with a deserved 5-2 victory over a lacklustre Wanderers at Kingshill this afternoon.
Chances were at a premium in a fairly even first half and although Forth had the better of the possession, the visiting defence dealt comfortably with the Wanderers tactic of throwing high balls into the box. The game looked to be heading for a stalemate at the interval until Kris Dick headed home a Lee Pettigrew corner on 42 minutes to give the Wanderers the lead. Forth couldn’t see the game through until half time though, Michael Barton sliding in to turn a David Banks cross into the net on 45 minutes to level things up.
The prolific Stephen Larkin had a chance to put Forth back in front just before the hour mark, but visiting keeper Banks narrowed the angle and blocked his goalbound effort. Wanderers keeper Robbie Kelly then saved well from Barton before McGlone made it 2-1 to Newmains on 65 minutes. The visitors lead lasted barely two minutes however as Larkin capitalised on a mistake by the United keeper to fire home. Undaunted Newmains were back in front a minute later when Barton punished some hesitant defending to fire home. Forth were then denied what looked like a certain penalty when Lee Pettigrew was bundled over in the box, but when a penalty was awarded minutes later it was to Newmains, ex-Forth man John Watson coolly slotting home to make it 4-2. The Wanderers misery was compounded two minutes into injury time when Mooney fired home to make it 5-2 and complete the scoring.
One to forget with the Wanderers beaten by the better side on the day. Another tough encounter awaits next Saturday when Forth travel to Alexandria to face Vale of Leven.
THORNIEWOOD UNITED 3 FORTH WANDERERS 6
The Wanderers claimed their first three points of the season with a 6-3 victory against Thorniewood United at Robertson Park tonight, on fire Stephen Larkin notching a hat-trick, taking his tally to 8 goals in the last 4 games.
Forth had been guilty of missing several first half chances on Saturday, but the lesson seemed to have been learned as they raced into a 3-0 lead with barely eight minutes on the clock. Stephen Larkin opened the scoring after just two minutes and added a second two minutes later before Kris Jarvie made it three as the Wanderers threatened to run riot. Larkin came close to a fourth before the ‘Wood pulled one back on thirteen minutes with a fine finish from McLelland. Forth continued to dominate however and Scott Watson hammered home a Lee Pettigrew cross just after the half hour to make it 4-1, completing the first half scoring.
Forth appeared to be on easy street but Thorniewood had other ideas and began the second half strongly, taking the game to the Wanderers and Welsh reduced the deficit from the penalty spot after sixty-three minutes. This spurred the ‘Wood on and with Forth a shadow of their first half selves , the hosts missed several chances before Welsh netted again on seventy-five minutes to reduce the deficit to one. The Wanderers goal lead a charmed life as Thorniewood pressed for an equaliser but it wouldn’t come and Forth gradually began to be seen as an attacking force once again as the game drew to a conclusion. With the Wanderers support nervously looking at their watches, trialist Kevin Hamill sealed the points with a neat lob with four minutes remaining before Larkin completed his hat-trick two minutes later to give Forth a 6-3 victory.
Job done although we do make it hard for ourselves at times. Next up we host Newmains United at Kingshill on Saturday, the visitors having started the season with two narrow defeats.
FORTH WANDERERS 3 JOHNSTONE BURGH 5
Forth began their league campaign with a 5-3 defeat to Johnstone Burgh at Kingshill this afternoon. The Wanderers got off to the worst possible start, Ryan Officer putting the Burgh ahead with barely 40 seconds on the clock, but reacted positively to this setback forcing a series of corners as they sought to restore parity. The pressure paid off after 8 minutes when Stephen Larkin cracked a beauty into the bottom corner to equalise. Forth continued to press and spurned a couple of good opportunities to edge ahead but were punished for their profligacy when Burgh regained the lead through a fine solo goal from Sam Esplin after a rare attack. Despite further Forth pressure, 2-1 it remained at the interval.
It was Burgh who began the second half on the front foot with the lacklustre Wanderers struggling to gain a foothold and the visitors pressure paid off on 63 minutes when Scott Arthur made it 3-1, before Ross Geddes made it 4-1 six minutes later, to effectively seal the points. Kris Dick headed home a corner on 81 minutes to make it 4-2 but any hopes of a late Wanderers comeback were extinguished three minutes later when Officer made it 5-2 for the Burgh. Stephen Larkin scored a consolation for Forth in injury time, his fifth in three games, to make the final score 5-3 to the visitors.
Next up in the league is a trip to Thorniewood on Wednesday.
WISHAW JUNIORS 3 FORTH WANDERERS 3 (5-3 Pens)
With Shotts already having won the group, this tie was always going to be a low key affair and so it proved. Nevertheless, both sides served up an entertaining game, sharing six goals before the hosts took the bonus point after a penalty shoot out.
Wishaw started the stronger and two McGuire goals after 25 and 31 minutes had them deservedly ahead, before Forth rallied and Stephen Larkin reduced the deficit 5 minutes from the interval. The Wanderers seemed rejuvenated after the break and began to dominate and it was no surprise when Craig Nicholson equalised after 63 minutes before a clever Larkin header made it 3-2 to Forth eight minutes later. After the Wanderers spurned chances to kill the tie, it was Wishaw who finished the stronger, getting their reward 5 seconds from the end of injury time when Gary McStay hooked home. This setup a penalty shootout for the bonus point which Wishaw won 5-3, scoring all their penalties while Forth missed their first.
Next up is the start of the League campaign on Saturday when the Wanderers play host to Johnstone Burgh.
FORTH WANDERERS 0 CAMELON JUNIORS 5
The Wanderers were comprehensively beaten 5-0 by impressive East of Scotland League side Camelon at Kingshill tonight. The visitors led 2-0 at the interval courtesy of a brace from Kieran Anderson and a second half hat-trick from Ross Crawford completed the scoring. In truth it could have been more, but Forth keeper Callum Rankin had some fine saves to keep the score down. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile exercise against a good side and allowed many of the squad some game time. Next up it’s the short trip to Harthill on Saturday, for a four team tournament featuring Luncarty and Gartcairn along with the hosts.
SIGNING NEWS – ROBBIE KELLY
The club are delighted to announce the signing of ex-Johnstone Burgh keeper Robbie Kelly. Robbie impressed in the first half at Wigtown and the full games against Lesmahagow and Lanark and has yet to concede a goal. So, no pressure there then Robbie …
Welcome to Kingshill, here’s to a few more clean sheets!
FORTH WANDERERS 1 LANARK UNITED 0
Forth Wanderers lifted the Clydesdale Cup at Kingshill tonight, defeating Lanark United 1-0 thanks to a fine finish from Scott Watson after 35 minutes. Scott hit the by-line and with everyone expecting a cross, he chose to drag to the ball back before curling an unstoppable shot into the far corner, giving Lanark keeper Martyn Meek no chance. Chances had been at a premium in an even first half until this point and the goal gave the Wanderers a slender advantage at the interval.
Lanark began the second half on the front foot and had much the better of the half, but just couldn’t find a way past a resolute Forth rearguard. The Wanderers had to withstand sustained Lanark pressure as the game wore on but stood strong and almost sneaked a goal on the counter when Meek did well to block an effort from Euan Scott. The visitors continued to press but it wasn’t to be their night and Forth held on to lift the Cup.
STONEYBURN 1 FORTH WANDERERS 3
The Wanderers continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 victory over Stoneyburn at Beechwood Park this afternoon. A Kris Jarvie penalty gave Forth a slender advantage at the interval after a first half of few clear chances and following a raft of Wanderers changes at the break, Stephen Tait made it 2-0 with a fine finish after 49 minutes. Forth began to dominate and it was no surprise when Stephen Larkin made it 3-0 on 64 minutes. Credit to the Fulshie however, who rallied and pulled one back 3 minutes later when a Forth defender turned the ball into his own net, trying to clear the rebound after a Stoneyburn penalty had been saved by Forth keeper Rankin. Both sides had further chances but 3-1 it remained at the final whistle. Thanks to Stoneyburn for the match and their hospitality, we wish them well for the season ahead.
FORTH WANDERERS 1 LESMAHAGOW 0
The Wanderers progressed to the Clydesdale Cup final with a hard fought victory over Lesmahagow tonight. A Jordan Grant goal, his second in as many games, after 14 minutes was the difference between the sides although the ‘Gow arguably had the better chances on the night. However, a mixture of good goalkeeping, resolute defending and poor finishing means that it’s Forth who will host the winners of the Lanark v Carluke tie in the final at Kingshill next Monday.
The Wanderers pre-season continues with a friendly away to Stoneyburn on Saturday.
WIGTOWN AND BLADNOCH 1 FORTH WANDERERS 5
The Wanderers began their pre-season fixtures with a 5-1 victory against Wigtown and Bladnoch at a sunny Trammondford Park yesterday. A first half hat-trick from Kris Jarvie and another from Martin Janik had Forth four ahead at the break against a young Wigtown side. The Wanderers made 9 changes at the interval but it was one of the two remaining starters, Jordan Grant, who made it 5-0 on 50 minutes. Wigtown rallied late on and pulled one back with 10 minutes to go and that completed the scoring.
Overall, a good workout ahead of the Clydesdale Cup semi-final at home to Lesmahagow on Monday.
Ahead of our first pre-season friendly away to Wigtown and Bladnoch on Saturday, the management have added ex-Wishaw and Lesmahagow defender John Barclay to the squad. Welcome to Kingshill John. Also pictured is ex-Albert man Josh Anderson who we finally have a picture of !
The nature of football at all levels means that as new players arrive others leave and it’s no different at the Wanderers. As such, the club would like to wish Gary McMullen all the very best as he seeks a new football challenge. A mainstay of the Wanderers defence over the past three seasons, making 78 starts and 3 substitute appearances, Gary never shirked a challenge and had the bumps and bruises to prove it. A fine footballer and a top lad to boot. The fact that he took time to make contact and wish us all the best speaks volumes.
Gary, as with all players leaving the club this summer, goes with our thanks and best wishes for the future and all will be made welcome back at Kingshill anytime they wish to visit.
The club are pleased to announce the signings of midfielder Scott Watson, whose previous clubs include Colville Park and Kilsyth, ex-Eddlewood centre back Jordan Grant and former Royal Albert man Josh Anderson. Only two photos, as getting one of Josh has proved elusive!
We welcome all three to Kingshill and wish them every success.
The club are pleased to announce that defender Christopher Dunlop has agreed to extend his stay with the Wanderers for another season. Also arriving at Kingshill are defender Michael Anderson previously with Royal Albert, ex-Kilsyth midfielder Martin Janik and forward Nathan Cassidy formerly with Blantyre Vics. We welcome them all to the club and wish them every success. More signings will be announced in due course.
SIGNING NEWS – STEPHEN LARKIN
The club are pleased to announce that forward Stephen Larkin has agreed to extend his stay with the Wanderers for another season. Arriving at Kingshill towards the end of last season, Stephen scored 5 goals in 12 league starts and hopefully he can contribute a similar goals to games ratio in the season ahead. Welcome back Larky !
THE CO-MANAGER SPEAKS – IAN RANKIN
I caught up with co-managers Ian Rankin and Thomas Devine and coach Stephen McMullen at training on Saturday and asked Ian about their football philosophy and aspirations for the club. Here’s what he had to say :
“First of all, we want to thank everyone who has welcomed us to Forth Wanderers, we are all delighted to be here.
As a managerial team we believe in a strong work ethic, professionalism and pride, which we feel are the foundations to lead players on the training field and match days. We will be well prepared and organised, therefore the players will know the requirements needed to compete every week.
We have aspirations to do well for the club, the supporters and the committee who work tirelessly week in and week out for the club and the community.
Our aim is to put a competitive team on the field and instill a winning mentality, plus we want our players to go out and express themselves by showcasing their talents with pride and dignity. We want to play with an attacking style that allows them to do so, taking into account the many factors when setting a team up to play – opposition, weather conditions, the width of parks and even 4G pitches.
We strongly believe in player development, helping improve players technical ability, fitness, game awareness and coping with the physical demand of games.
We’re already at work organising pre-season and player recruitment and are looking forward to the season ahead. Rest assured, the managerial team will give it their best shot.”
SIGNING NEWS – KRIS JARVIE
The club are delighted to announce that Kris ‘Jarvmeister’ Jarvie has signed on for another year at Kingshill. The evergreen striker rolled back the years last season with some excellent performances and his vast experience will be invaluable in the upcoming campaign.
The club are delighted to welcome goalkeeper Ryan Cherrie, formerly of Lesmahagow, and ex-Hamilton Accies pro-youth defender Matthew Innes to Kingshill. We wish both every success in their Wanderers careers.
SIGNING NEWS – STEPHEN TAIT
The club are pleased to announce that Stephen Tait has signed on for another year at Kingshill. Having had to wait for his chance last season, Stephen finished the campaign strongly and, freed from his full back shackles, looks to have some goals in him if his performance at Thorniewood is any indicator.
The Wanderers are delighted to announce that midfield dynamo Warren Grenfell has re-signed for the club, despite strong interest from a number of other sides. Forth are also pleased to announce that on-loan defender Kieran Brown has also agreed to extend his stay at Kingshill for another year, once his current contract at Cumbernauld United ends. Further signing news will be confirmed in due course.
NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM
The Wanderers would like to welcome our new management team of Ian Rankin and Thomas Devine to the club. We wish them every success in their new roles. We’d also like to thank all other applicants for their interest in the position.