Forth 2 Royal Albert 2
The Wanderers drew 2-2 with Royal Albert, for the second time this season, at Kingshill Park yesterday. Both Forth goals were scored by Yamikani Misanjo, the second from the penalty spot.
Forth began the match will the same starting eleven as against Wishaw, with Glenn Weir again deputising for the unavailable JC Hutchison. Tony Traynor also gave a debut to his daring new hairstyle 🙂
After a tentative start, it was the visitors who took the lead on 9 minutes with the first real chance of the game. Darren Wilkes gathered the ball fully 25 yards out and with the Forth defence not closing him down, he sent an unstoppable shot into Weir’s top left hand corner giving the keeper no chance. A couple of minutes later Weir was called into action to gather a Michael Neill free kick. Forth were passing ball about well without creating any clear cut chances at this stage and their first chance of note arrived on 28 minutes. Ian Mathers got in front of his defender at a corner and flashed a header just the wrong side of the post. The Albert were next to threaten when a shot from Gareth Stokoe took a deflection and spun agonisingly just over the bar with Weir rooted to the spot. The visitors were dealt a blow when striker James McGill hobbled off after appearing to fall awkwardly, Andrew Cockerill coming on to replace him. Chances were at a premium during the first half but the Wanderers had one further opportunity on 43 minutes when a cross ball found Paul Cawley free at the back post, but his goal bound shot was blocked by a defender and the Albert maintained their lead until the interval.
Forth began the second half strongly and signalled their attacking intent by replacing midfielder Alan Stevenson with forward Chris Gordon early in the half. Their attacking paid off on 61 minutes when a defence splitting pass sent Misanjo through on goal and although the little striker seemed to mishit his shot, Albert keeper Paul Stevenson fumbled the ball and it rolled just over the line before being cleared by a defender. Despite muted protests from the visitors, the referee had no doubt that the ball had crossed the line and the goal stood.
Forth were now in the ascendancy and continued to attack at every opportunity but when one such attack was broken up on the left, Andrew Cockerill broke quickly down the Forth flank and passed to Calum Wark who laid it off for Alan Campbell to gleefully blast home on 68 minutes. The visitors then had a chance to further increase their lead when Davie Dickson found himself through on Weir but the big keeper did well to block his shot and Andrew Cockerill fired the rebound wildly over. The Wanderers used their two further substitutes as they fought to get back into the game and a great Marc Howson cross found Chris Gordon in the box but he elected to take a touch rather than hit it first time and his eventual shot was blocked. It was all Forth at this point as they sought an equaliser and it was no surprise when it arrived on 85 minutes. Misanjo broke into the Albert box only to be brought down by Wark resulting in a penalty to Forth and a yellow card for the Albert man. Misanjo dusted himself down and sent Stevenson the wrong way from the spot to level the game.
The Wanderers now sensed blood and continued to attack as the clock ticked down and forced a succession of corners and then a Gordon cross was just behind Misanjo with the striker unable to direct his shot toward goal. One final chance presented itself in injury time, when a clearance from a Forth corner was played back into the Albert box and met sweetly on the volley by Martin Harty only to cannon off the crossbar and away to safety. Honours even then, keeping the Wanderers one point and one place above the Albert in the league table.
Next up, Vale of Clyde visit Kingshill on the 20th.
‘Mon the Forth
Forth team : Weir,Grant,Harty,Canning,Mathers,Stevenson(Gordon),Traynor,McGroarty,Misanjo,