Darvel 3 Forth 2
The Wanderers lost 3-2 to Darvel in a highly entertaining match at Recreation Park this afternoon. Yamikani Misanjo notched both Wanderers goals.
The Forth starting lineup bore little resemblance to the side which finished last season, manager Chris McGroarty taking the opportunity to field a few trialists alongside several of his new signings and the majority of the squad were given a run out as the afternoon progressed.
It was the Wanderers who almost took the lead within 5 minutes when David Grant twice came close. Firstly his twisting run and shot was touched round the post by the home keeper and then from the corner, Grant peeled away at the back post to direct a header on target only to see it strike the top of the bar and go over. At the other end Darvel were also creating chances in an open game but it was Forth who almost snatched the lead when Bryan Felvus neatly evaded three defenders to make space for himself, but the striker chipped just over.
However, the opener was only delayed and duly arrived when a perfect cross from the left gave Yamikani Misanjo the simple task of heading home from around 8 yards out. The home side spurned a great chance to equalise almost immediately but made no mistake two minutes later when a ferocious shot cannoned off the bar and fell kindly to George Kelly leaving him the simple task of stroking the rebound into the net . It almost got worse for the Wanderers minutes later and only a tremendous double save from Hutchison prevented the home side from going ahead.
The game was now flowing from end to end and Marc Howson brought out a fine save from the Darvel keeper on 25 minutes with a curling shot as the Wanderers sought to regain the lead. David Grant again found space from the resultant corner but could only direct his header wide. Robbie Brown was next to try his luck for Forth, playing a neat one-two but dragging his final shot by the post. Darvel should have regained the lead on 37 minutes after a pinpoint cross from the left but the home striker volleyed over from a good position.
A free flowing first half with Forth playing some attractive passing football at times and Darvel equally contributing to an open and entertaining game.
The second half was only two minutes old when Forth regained the lead, Yamikani Misanjo blasting high into the net after a clever layoff from Bryan Felvus. However, once again their lead was short-lived, Chris Lacey firing Darvel level from just inside the box on 53 minutes. The home side seemed to take strength from this and proceeded to have their most dominant spell of the match and George Kelly capitalised on a defensive lapse to make it 3-2 just before the hour mark. The substitutions were now coming thick and fast and as the game wore on it was now Forth in the ascendancy, some of the passing and movement being a joy to behold. The Darvel defence held firm however and despite the Wanderers creating a couple of decent chances as the clock ran down, it was the hosts who were triumphant.
Plenty of positives for the Wanderers as they build toward the season proper and an enjoyable afternoon in the sun for the spectators. Darvel have a decent setup at Recreation Park and we wish them every success for the forthcoming season.