Forth 2 Blantyre Vics 0 150912

Forth 2 Blantyre Vics 0

Forth won a hard fought match against Blantyre Vics by two goals to nil at Kingshill Park this afternoon. A third consecutive clean sheet for the Wanderers who have now gone 348 minutes without conceding a league goal.

Forth made two changes to the team which defeated Vale of Clyde a fortnight ago, Glenn Weir replacing the unavailable JC Hutchison in goal and Barry Canning coming in for Tony Traynor who dropped to the bench. Vics manager Davie Greig named no less than 6 players from his previous club St. Roch’s in his starting eleven.

 

The visitors began the game brightly and good play between Greg Harvey and Stephen Watson after 6 minutes forced home keeper Weir into a good save at full stretch from the latter’s shot. Craig Fry was next to test Weir but again the big keeper got down well to block after 11 minutes. The Vics were certainly fired up for this game and Chris McGroarty was the recipient of a couple of hefty challenges during the opening exchanges.
After 13 minutes visiting keeper Paul Burns was yellow carded for knocking the ball away with his hand outside the box as Forth threatened. The resulting free kick from Jamie McKenzie was certainly fizzing towards the target but the Vics wall stood firm and did it’s job deflecting the shot away for a corner which keeper Burns dealt with comfortably.
There was a moment of controversy on 22 minutes when Vics stopper Alan Shields flattened Barry Canning with a shocking challenge, leaving the Forth player needing treatment and leading to his substitution minutes later, being replaced by Tony Traynor. Despite the majority of those present expecting a red card to be brandished, the referee decided a yellow would suffice deeming the challenge merely late. Not content with his good fortune, Shields then began remonstrating with the Forth bench but his colleagues were able to restrain him and the game continued.
An excellent three man move involving Canning,Murphy and Gordon ended with Chris Gordon having a clear sight of goal but visiting keeper Burns was equal to the shot from the Forth striker. Burns then held a McGroarty free kick before Gordon Murphy did well to win a header allowing Martin Harty to fire a first time shot narrowly over. Vics were causing problems on the break, with Greg Harvey prominent throughout the half, and only tremendous tackles from firstly Alan Stevenson and then Jamie McKenzie prevented them getting further shots away. The final chance of the half again fell to the visitors when a Craig Fry cross which seemed to be dipping in under the bar was touched over by Weir.

Presumably the Wanderers received a half-time tongue lashing from manager McKenzie for they began the second half in a determined manner. Martin Harty shot narrowly wide on 49 minutes as the home side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession. The Vics were still dangerous on the break however and David Grant was on hand to clear when a Stephen McDonald cross took out keeper Weir.

Forth were beginning to find gaps in the Blantyre defence and Tony Traynor did well to create an opening for himself but keeper Burns blocked the initial shot and the rebound was cleared for a corner. Burns was again called into action minutes later when he showed excellent handling to hold a rasping McKenzie shot.

The Vics then had their best spell of the 2nd half, forcing a couple of corners and calling Weir into action to deal with a header. Then on 71 minutes, a neat one two between Gordon and McGroarty ended with Chris Gordon being tripped in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Despite a delay while the Vics made a substitution and some verbals from Terry Hewitt, an unfazed Jamie McKenzie confidently stepped up and blasted the ball past the helpless Burns. Greg Hughes had an opportunity to level minutes later but he blasted wildly over from a good position inside the left of the box.

The Wanderers continued to push for second and Burns easily held a Murphy shot before Shields managed to deflect a Harty effort away for a corner with 10 minutes to go. Impressive Forth substitute James Hughes was tormenting the Vics defence with his pace and movement and good work between him and Chris Gordon set up a chance for Jamie McKenzie whose shot seemed to be heading into the top corner until the head of Mark Devaney diverted it for a corner. Chris McGroarty whipped in the corner and it was curling in at Burns’ near post until the keeper managed to punch the ball clear but only to the unmarked Gordon Murphy who buried a header into the empty goal to seal the win.

An excellent three points for the Wanderers which the Vics certainly made them work for. On the evidence of this afternoon, Davie Greig will soon have the Vics climbing the table.

More photos from the game can be found here.

Forth team : Weir,Howson,McQuade,McKenzie,Grant,Canning(Traynor),Stevenson(Gibb),
McGroarty,Harty(Hughes),Gordon,Murphy

Vics team : Burns,Devaney,Gumley,McIntosh,Shields,Hewitt,Harvey,Green,McDonald,
Watson,Fry  Subs: Christie,Paterson,Mulholland,Cassidy,Gibson