Blantyre Vics 4 Forth 0
The Wanderers lost 4-0 to a resurgent Blantyre Vics at a muddy Castle Park on Saturday. Forth were missing Craig Crawford, Barry Canning and Scott Gibb but welcomed back Marc Howson and Tony Traynor with Paul Cawley making his first start.
The game started slowly with both teams trying to adapt to the testing underfoot conditions, but it was the home side who made the breakthrough on 12 minutes. A defence splitting pass put a Vics attacker through on goal and Forth keeper Hutchison brought him down as the forward tried to round him. A clear penalty and a yellow card for the Forth stopper. Terry Hewitt made no mistake from the spot sending Hutchison the wrong way. The impressive David Green then had a shot easily saved by Hutchison before he nearly doubled the Vics lead on 21 minutes when his cross come shot rattled off the top of the Wanderers crossbar with Hutchison rooted to the spot. Forth were trying to attack at every opportunity, with Misanjo prominent, but were struggling to create any clear cut chances at this stage.
Stephen McDonald was next to test Hutchison after a clever through ball sent him clear, but the big keeper rushed from his goal to block, as he has done so often this season. Two minutes later he pulled off another great save from McDonald before Forth raced up the park and Yamikani Misanjo made space for himself inside the box but the striker’s final shot sailed over the bar. Misanjo tried his luck again on 41 minutes, but his shot was comfortably gathered by Burns in the Vics goal. Forth were now in the ascendancy and had a great chance to equalise in the 42nd minute. Neat play sent Chris McGroarty through on goal, but he elected to round the keeper rather than shoot and Burns got down well at his feet to gather the ball. Half time arrived with the Vics holding on to their slender advantage.
Hutchison had to look lively in the opening minute of the second half, when he raced from his goal to clear the danger and the Vics threatened soon after when a Green shot flew just wide. Hutchison then blocked from James Ronald as the Vics sought to increase their lead. Forth were struggling to get a foothold in the second half and it was no surprise when Blantyre increased their lead on 73 minutes when Alan Christie beat the offside trap and shot past the despairing Hutchison. Worse was to follow 5 minutes later when James Ronald was picked out in space in the Forth box and he made no mistake firing high into the net. Barely one minute later and it was 4-0 to the Vics and job done. A cross from the left found Alan Christie in acres of space and he slotted the ball into the empty net from around 10 yards. Forth threatened briefly when a McGroarty shot slipped inches by the post with Burns struggling and Hutchison hit the the Vics bar with a free kick which was the last kick of the ball, but it was all too little too late.
Vics manager Davie Greig has this to say after the game, “I thought we deserved to win and was delighted with the clean sheet. Both teams tried to pass the ball in dreadful conditions. I thought the Forth goalkeeper was outstanding and the number 9 very lively in the first half. Good luck for the rest of the season.”
No game this Saturday, but we face Wishaw at home on March 30th.
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchison,Howson,McQuade,Stevenson,Grant,McGroarty,Traynor,McKenzie,
Vics team : Burns,Eadie,Shand(Amos),McIntosh,Hewitt,Green,Harvey(Christie),McGarry,