Forth 1 Lanark 1 (1-3 pens)
Forth lost 3-1 on penalties to local rivals Lanark at a bitterly cold Kingshill Park this afternoon after the game finished 1-1. Yamikani Misanjo scored his first goal for the club in the opening minute but Lanark equalised through a Jack Marriot penalty on 63 minutes.
The Wanderers began brightly and took the lead in the opening minute. A Jamie McKenzie free kick was swung invitingly into the box and when keeper Murray elected to stay on his line Yamikani Misanjo stooped to head home at the back post to open his account for the club. A perfect start for Forth as they tried to get back to winning ways.
Lanark created their first chance of the match when a Stuart Tullis pass from the right found Ryan Docherty in the box but he snatched at his shot and pulled it wide. Forth countered when Stephen McQuade found Craig Crawford wide on the left but the midfielder’s cross was inches too high for Kenny Wright who was unable to direct his header on target. The vistors then called Wanderers stopper Hutchison into action, the keeper easily saving shots from Tulloch and Marriot. At the other end, Lanark keeper Murray seemed to crash into Misnanjo as both went for the ball but the referee waved away the Forth penalty appeals.
The Yowes then enjoyed a period of dominance and David Middleton should have done better when a cross from the right found him unmarked at the far post but his header flashed wide when hitting the target would undoubtedly resulted in a goal. Daniel Burns was next to test Hutchison with a shot but again the keeper saved well before easily smothering another Middleton shot. Tullis then flashed a header wide before Johnstone header over as the visitors sought to regain parity. Forth went close with a Craig Crawford shot which had keeper Murray at full stretch and relieved to see the ball roll just wide of the post. Half time arrived with the Wanderers holding the slenderest of advantages after a half which raged from end to end.
Play continued to swing from end to end at the beginning of the second half but it was Forth who created the first chance. Skillful play by Crawford on the left touchline allowed him to beat a couple of Lanark players and feed Misanjo but the striker shot wide on 59 minutes. This was to prove costly as 4 minutes later Lanark were awarded a penalty after Martin Harty was penalised for a foul. Jack Marriot stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
However, this seemed to galvanise the Wanderers into action and an inviting Kenny Wright cross found no takers on 65 minutes before Wright carved out a further couple of openings for himself shooting wide on both occasions. Crawford then dipped a free kick narrowly over before Yowes keeper Murray mis-kicked a pass-back to Misanjo but the forward seemed to rush his shot and screwed it wide. Between these incidents Forth keeper Hutchison made a fantastic save pushing a 20 yard shot through a ruck of players wide for a corner. As the game wore on penalties began to look inevitable and so it proved.
Lanark scored their first penalty before Wright netted for Forth. Hutchison then saved the second Lanark penalty to give the Wanderers the advantage but Craig Crawford then hit the post with the next kick. Lanark then scored before Martin Harty fired wide for Forth. The Yowes scored again to make it 3-1 and won the tie when Jamie McKenzie fired his penalty over the bar.
Despite the loss, Forth showed up well against their higher league opponents and exhibited desire, determination and excellent team spirit throughout the game. Hopefully they can take this into next week’s match against Blantyre Vics, who will be on a high after a shock 3-2 win away to high flying Cambuslang today.
‘Mon the Forth
Forth team : Hutchison,Gibb,McQuade,McKenzie,Grant,McGroarty,Harty,Canning,