Blantyre Vics 1 Forth 2
Forth kept their promotion hopes alive with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Blantyre Vics at Castle Park yesterday afternoon. Two goals early in the second half from Jamie Lindsay were enough to seal the points after the hosts had led through a first half penalty. The game was marred by an injury to the Vics Stuart Mills, who broke his patella, and everyone at Forth Wanderers would like to wish him a successful operation and a speedy recovery.
The Wanderers began brightly and Vics keeper Christopher Handley had to look lively to turn away a Chris Lennon free kick for a corner after 5 minutes. David Grant then fired wide from a good position after being setup by Jason Corbett whilst at the other end Hutchison held a Craig Smith snapshot.
Robbie Brown was next to try his luck for Forth but his shot was deflected wide and, slightly against the run of play, it was the hosts who took the lead on 16 minutes from the penalty spot. Barry Canning was adjudged to have fouled David Green and David Kirkwood made no mistake from the spot.
The goal seemed to galvanise the Vics and they began to dominate proceedings, Hutchison having to look lively to deny Kirkwood on 28 minutes before two timely interventions within a few minutes from Stephen McQuade prevented them from doubling their lead. The Wanderers defender cleared a goalbound shot off the line on 29 minutes before repeating the act 3 minutes later, despite home protests that the ball had crossed the line.
In response, Chris Lennon headed over a cross from Tony Traynor but the final chance of the half fell to the Vics, when Smith fired in a cross come shot from the right and Kirkwood just failed to connect with it.
Forth created the first chance of the second half, Tony Traynor going close after a cross from Andrew Gilchrist. The Wanderers had started the half in confident mood and they got their reward when Jamie Lindsay beat the Vics offside trap and coolly fired past the advancing Handley.
Five minutes later and the Wanderers were ahead, again through the deadly Lindsay. A free kick was awarded on the edge of the Vics box and the Forth striker stepped up to blast the ball past the helpless Handley and into the net. It was a goal fit to win any match and so it proved.
As the game progressed, Blantyre went in search of an equaliser and substitute Iain Reid fired over from a decent position on 68 minutes while Hutchison pulled off a top drawer save 5 minutes later to keep Forth ahead. The Wanderers actually had the ball in the net again through Bryan Felvus although it was chalked off for a Jamie Lindsay push on Ryan McGarry.
As the game wore on Blantyre continued to press, but the Forth defence, expertly marshaled by Jordan Smith, held firm and restricted them to half chances only. Full back William Eadie fired into the side netting after a probing run into the box and later fired across the goal and wide and there were appeals for a Blantyre penalty waved away by the referee but there was to be no further scoring.
A vital victory for the Wanderers in a grueling encounter which keeps alive our promotion hopes and inflicts a first league defeat on the Vics. Another tough encounter awaits on Saturday as Vale of Leven come calling, still harbouring thoughts of promotion themselves.
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchison,Corbett,McQuade,Smith,Grant,Canning,Traynor(Watson),