Greenock 3 Forth 1 – 17th September 2016

Greenock Juniors 3  Forth Wanderers 1

On a sunny day in Inverclyde, The Wanderers finally unveiled their new white away kit at the third time of asking, the referee happy there was no colour clash this time. As well as a new strip, Forth also had a new player in the starting 11, David Dunn who was signed from Cambuslang on Friday lined up wearing number 11.

Due to traffic problems the game finally got under way 11 minutes late and it’s fair to say the Wanderers got off to a catastrophic start, the hosts scoring within the first minute. A long ball though the middle eluded the Forth defence leaving Reece Williams with time to run on and pick his spot past David Cherrie. Things almost got worse with barely 3 minutes on the clock when only the width of the post stopped Greenock going two up, with the Forth defence all at sea.

Credit to the Wanderers however as they reacted positively to the early setback and drew level from the penalty spot after 6 minutes. A great Barry McGeechan through ball sent Taylor Scott clear and he reached the ball before the home keeper only to fire wide before being clattered to the ground and a penalty awarded. McGeechan calmly sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Scott was prominent down the right wing at this stage and his teasing cross was just missed by McGeechan who was playing in a more advanced role than usual. McGeechan then came close with 10 minutes gone, receiving the ball with his back to goal and turning to fire a shot across the goal which went narrowly wide. McGeechan was causing the home defence all sorts of problems and unfortunately couldn’t get a good connection on his shot when meeting a long throw from Lachlan Tait and the keeper comfortably saved.

Forth looked the more likely at this stage but that changed on 19 minutes when Kristopher Dick was robbed of the ball in the midfield, it was played out right and then quickly into the box where Ryan Craig was waiting to stroke home. The Wanderers tried to reply but the omnipresent McGeechan shot straight at the keeper. The Wanderers were dealt a blow when the unwell Craig Gupwell had to be replaced by Stephen Tait and before the defence had fully re-organised, a Craig header made it 3-1 a minute later. The interval arrived with no further goals and a scoreline which was harsh on the Kingshill men after an entertaining half in which both teams created several chances.

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Greenock had the first chance of the second half with a close range header but Cherrie saved comfortably and the Wanderers then began to take the game to the hosts. Jason Corbett rifled one home but the referee had already blown for a foul and as the Kingshill men increased the pressure the Greenock defending became more frantic and several home players found their way into the referees book. Unfortunately for Forth they could make nothing of the free kicks, several of which failed to even breach the defensive wall.

The Wanderers came close to reducing the deficit after 71 minutes when a screamer from Kristopher Dick flashed narrowly past the post with the keeper beaten. At the other end, only a marvellous Cherrie save from a close range header kept Forth in it and the Wanderers keeper did it again with 10 minutes remaining when he got down well to his left to save a penalty, after Stephen Tait had been penalised for handball. Neil Schoneville had the Wanderers final chance of the match, getting up to meet a corner but his header was straight at the keeper. In the final minute Schoneville was the victim of a two footed tackle from Greenock substitute Jasper Donnelly, which saw the Greenock man sent off, but 3-1 it remained at the final whistle.

Another defeat, but the Wanderers played some excellent football at points and created several chances, with the majority of the second half played on the front foot. Still no points on the board however which is obviously a concern, but we’ve yet to be dominated in a game and if we can tighten up at the back and develop more of a cutting edge there is absolutely no reason why we can’t start climbing the table.

‘Mon the Forth !

Forth team : Cherrie,L.Tait,Corbett(Grenfell),McMullen,Gupwell(S.Tait),Schoneville,Watson(Haley),
Dick,Scott,McGeechan,Dunn

Crowd : c50