Dunipace 2 Forth 0
Forth lost 2-0 to Dunipace in a close encounter at a heavy Westfield Park this afternoon. A second half brace from Paul Mallon saw the hosts progress to the 3rd Round of the Central League Cup. Both sides finished with 10 men after late dismissals for Graeme McMillan of the ‘Pace and John Watson of the Wanderers.
Forth began the game brightly and were given an opportunity after 5 minutes when a crude foul on Robbie Brown on the edge of the box, which resulted in the Wanderers man requiring treatment, led to the award of a free kick. Tony Traynor stepped up to take it, but fired harmlessly over.
At the other end, Dunipace forced a couple of corners as they applied some pressure of their own, although it took until the 28th minute for them to carve out a clear goal scoring opportunity. A ball in from the left was met by Daniel Brown who fired his half volley into the ground allowing Erald Krasnqi to get his head to the ball and direct it toward the bottom corner but Forth keeper JC Hutchison was alive to the danger and turned the ball away for a corner.
Chances were at a premium as the half progressed and home keeper Stephen Mather did well to rush from his goal and collect the ball ahead of Jamie Lindsay who had been played in by a neat ball from Chris Lennon. Forth were then nearly caught out by a swift ‘Pace break following a Wanderers corner and only a fine stop from Hutchison prevented Mark Miller from putting the hosts ahead. Daniel Brown then fired wide for Dunipace but half time arrived with the match still scoreless, the Wanderers giving a good account of themselves against their higher ranked opponents.
The Wanderers again began the second half on the front foot and carved out an excellent opportunity at the beginning of the half. A swift break saw Andrew Gilchrist feed Chris Lennon on the right and his cross found Jamie Lindsay in space in the box, but the Forth striker was unable to get the ball under control and the ‘Pace defence was able to clear the danger. Barry Canning then flashed a shot wide as the Wanderers increased the pressure.
In reply, Stephen Oates lobbed narrowly over the bar and Mark Miller sliced wide for Dunipace as the game swung from end to end. With 56 minutes on the clock, Forth then had one of three vociferous penalty appeals turned down by referee David Burns, after the ball appeared to strike a ‘Pace defender on the arm. A minute later, a Gilchrist corner was met at the near post by Jordan Smith who flicked towards goal and loud Forth appeals suggested the ball had again been illegally blocked, but again referee Burns was having none of it.
This was to prove significant as three minutes later Dunipace took the lead. An initial corner was clawed away by Forth keeper Hutchison, with ‘Pace claiming the ball had crossed the line, before eventually being cleared for another corner. This time the ball fell to the unmarked Mark Sharp at the back of the box and although his shot was blocked, Paul Mallon was on hand to force the ball home after an almighty stramash in the Wanderers box.
Worse was to follow for Forth on 67 minutes when a mishit clearance from Hutchison allowed Mallon to reach the ball ahead of Jordan Smith and the ‘Pace striker raced in on goal and dispatched the ball into the net with the minimum of fuss.
Forth then threw on strikers Bryan Felvus and Yami Misanjo in a bid to get back into the game and a long range Felvus strike forced home keeper Mather to touch the ball over. From the resultant corner, Felvus rose highest to fire in a goal bound header, but, whether through luck or design, Sharp managed to deflect the ball with his head over his own bar.
After a further Forth penalty appeal for handball was dismissed, both teams were then reduced to 10 men in quick succession. Firstly, Graeme McMillan of Dunipace was harshly shown a straight red for a foul on Tony Traynor, to the astonishment of the vast majority in the ground, before Forth’s John Watson was shown a second yellow. There was still time for Hutchison to save from ‘Pace substitute Richard Kirwan although 3-0 would have been extremely hard on a Forth side who put a lot into the game for little reward.
Back to league business next weekend, when the Wanderers entertain St. Roch’s in what should be an entertaining encounter.
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchison,Watson,McQuade,Smith,Grant,Brown,Traynor,Canning(Howson),