Rutherglen Glencairn 2 Forth 2 (5-4 pens)
Forth lost on penalties to Rutherglen Glencairn at the Clyde Gateway Stadium after fighting back from 2 goals down. The Wanderers goals were scored by Gordon Murphy and Martin Harty.
Great credit has to go to the Glens ground staff for actually getting the match on despite the recent weather and the pitch didn’t detract from an entertaining cup tie.
The Wanderers selected the same starting line up as at Yoker back on the 17th of November, but it was the home side who started the brighter. A couple of early chances were spurned, one fired straight at keeper Hutchison before Agnew beat the Forth offside trap only to screw the ball wide. In reply, Chris McQuade found himself in a good position but blasted high and wide. The home side were dominant at this stage and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 22 minutes when a corner from the right was met by the head of Agnew, who narrowly beat Hutchison to the ball and headed home from a couple of yards. Martin Harty was next to try his luck for Forth but although his shot beat home keeper Montgomery it was also wide of the post.
Just after the half hour, Jamie McKenzie was booked for a foul on Agnew as he ran through on goal and from the resultant free kick McAlpine gave Hutchison no chance, finding the net via the inside of the post with the keeper rooted to the spot. The home side then tried to make the tie safe with a string of chances but Hutchison was in excellent form and was equal to whatever the Glens could throw at him. Forth went close just prior to half time when a Craig Crawford free kick had Montgomery scrambling across his line but it ended just the wrong side of the post.
The Glens began the second half again on the front foot but the Wanderers gradually worked their way back into the game aided by a couple of substitutions. Stephen McQuade came on for Crawford, and slotted in at left back allowing Scott Gibb to move to his favoured position at centre back and Jamie McKenzie to move into midfield. Gordon Murphy had also come on for Chris McQuade and it was Murphy who reduced the deficit on 67 minutes with a sublime chip. A McKenzie free kick into the box was only half cleared and fell to Murphy who made space for himself and then deftly chipped the ball into the corner of the net giving Montgomery no chance. Just prior to this Martin Harty had gone close from a Chris Gordon cross and two minutes after the goal,Chris McGroarty was presented with an opportunity following another Gordon cross but fired wide.
Forth were playing with far more confidence now and a good run from Tony Traynor saw him elect to pass when a shot looked like the better option and the chance was gone. Chris Gordon then just failed to connect with a great Murphy cross as the Wanderers went all out for an equaliser. Agnew could however have confirmed victory for the home side in the dying minutes but despite rounding Hutchison, the keeper managed to get back and block for a corner. Forth were not to be denied though and a cleverly weighted ball from McKenzie found Harty in the box and his accurate header found the corner of the net for the equaliser. Penalties it was.
Glencairn scored first before McKenzie missed for Forth. Hutchison saved the next Glens penalty allowing Harty to even things up. The home side then scored their third before Murphy missed for Forth. Incredibly, the next Glens kick came off the bar and McGroarty restored parity. The next five penalties were scored, Gordon and Traynor netting for Forth, before David Grant struck the final penalty high over the bar giving Glencairn the victory, 5-4 on penalties.
Considering the long lay off and the fact that Glencairn are two divisions above the Wanderers, Forth can take a lot of positives into the next match at home to Maryhill.
Some further photos can be found here.
Forth team : Hutchison,Howson(Traynor),Gibb,McKenzie,Grant,Crawford(S.McQuade),Canning,