Maryhill 3 Forth 2
The Wanderers lost 3-2 to Maryhill at Lochburn Park yesterday afternoon despite a stirring comeback from 3 goals down. Indeed, only the width of the post stopped Forth from earning a deserved point. The Wanderers goals were scored by Marc Howson, his first for the club, and Chris Gordon.
Forth made three changes from the side which played Wishaw in midweek, Barry Canning, David Grant and Tony Traynor returning in place of the unavailable Craig Crawford, the injured Chris McGroarty and Ian Mathers who dropped to the bench.
The game was an open one from the start with both sides intent on attacking at every opportunity and the opening period swung from end to end. The first chance of note came on 12 minutes when David Grant met a Paul Cawley corner and his header looked goalbound until a ‘Hill defender popped up to head off the line. The hosts responded when McLernon sent in Howe but his shot was high and wide. Unperturbed, Howe gave Maryhill the lead on 16 minutes. There was a strong suspicion of handball before the ball was played through to him, but he finished clinically past Hutchison in the Forth goal.
Forth spurned a great opportunity to equalise on 20 minutes when a move started by Tony Traynor ended with him through on ‘Hill keeper Baker, but the stopper blocked the shot with his feet and the ball was cleared. Maryhill began to get the upper hand as the half wore on, with Jordan shooting over and Scobie flashing a shot wide, and it was no surprise when they doubled their advantage on 31 minutes. Scobie did well to beat his man out on the left and centred for Howe to stroke the ball home and McLernon then went close, only a fine save by Hutchison denying him a third Maryhill goal. Forth threatened sporadically, but didn’t manage to create any further opportunities prior to the interval.
Forth made a change at the break, Ian Mathers coming on for Tony Traynor, but it was Maryhill who started the half the stronger and increased their lead on 47 minutes. The Wanderers defence failed to clear the ball and it fell to Ferguson who shot powerfully into the net. The hosts went close again a minute later when the ball was scooped over from a good position and Howe nearly claimed his hat-trick on 54 minutes heading over from a cross from the left. In response, Allan Stevenson powered towards the ‘Hill goal but dragged his shot wide. Hutchison then did well to turn away a deflected shot and Jones headed the resultant corner over.
The Wanderers weren’t completely out of it though and pulled a goal back on 64 minutes when Marc Howson found himself clear in the box and he coolly slotted the ball past the onrushing Baker. Forth now had the bit between their teeth and were launching wave after wave of attacks and got their reward on 77 minutes when Chris Gordon pulled another goal back. A great ball from David Grant found Yami Misanjo in the ‘Hill box and the striker brought the ball down on his chest before setting up Gordon for a simple finish.
Maryhill were now rattled as Forth continued to attack them in search of an equaliser although Stanley took advantage as Forth pushed forward, breaking clear and drawing a fine save from Hutchison. At the other end, only a fine save by Baker from a 30 yard Harty strike kept Maryhill ahead and Chris Gordon then went close with a chip which just cleared the crossbar. Gordon went even closer on 83 minutes when he made space at the edge of the box and curled a shot against the post with Baker rooted to the spot. Harty had one final chance for the Wanderers, his sweetly struck volley flying just over but Maryhill held on to keep their title ambitions intact.
A tremendous comeback from the Wanderers which fell just short, but no-one could have begrudged them a point from a game they contributed greatly to. Next up, title challengers Cambuslang visit Kingshill Park for what should be another cracking encounter.
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchison,Howson,McQuade,Grant,Canning,Harty,Traynor(Mathers),
Maryhill team : Baker,Wilson,Jones,Jordan,Banks,Stanley,Callendar,Ferguson,Scobie,