Forth 1 Lesmahagow 4
Lesmahagow will play Carluke in the final of the Clydesdale Cup after defeating Forth by four goals to one at Kingshill Park. The ‘Gow held a one goal half-time lead courtesy of Colin Boylan and Kris Jarvie increased their lead soon after the restart. A goal from Bryan Felvus minutes later gave the Wanderers hope,but the Forth scorer was then forced to go off injured and the ‘Gow made their numerical superiority count with further goals from Boylan and Whitefield.
The Forth team featured new signings Jordan Smith,Robbie Brown and Dean McLean alongside three trialists with manager Chris McGroarty electing to initially watch proceedings from the bench. It was the ‘Gow however who began the brightest and Hutchison in the Forth goal touched over a speculative shot on 6 minutes before doing the same with a back header from a throw on 12 minutes. A minute later a hanging cross come shot looked to dipping in under the bar but again the big Forth keeper comfortably diverted the ball for a corner. The visitors were not to be denied though and took the lead on 25 minutes. A long ball out of the Forth defence was returned by a ‘Gow defender to the edge of the Forth area where a neat pass found Jarvie in the box and the ex-Forth man squared for Boylan to finish into the corner from close range. Without doubt the visitors were good value for their lead at this stage and only a headed goal line clearance stopped them from increasing their lead.
As the game wore on and the weather worsened into a torrential downpour, Forth began to make inroads into the game and began passing the ball with more precision. What joy they were having was coming down the right hand side and a Barry Canning run took him to the by-line but his resultant cross was headed away. Robbie Brown was next to show on the same wing but his accurate cross was headed wide by the trialist number 10. Half-time probably arrived to soon for the Wanderers players who were finally in the ascendancy although the crowd undoubtedly welcomed the opportunity to seek safe haven from the elements.
The second half was only 5 minutes old when the visitors doubled their advantage. A quickly taken free-kick from the centre circle was played out to the left wing and the resultant cross was swept into the net by Jarvie from just inside the six yard box. Undeterred, Forth struck back within 3 minutes. Yami Misanjo pressurised the ‘Gow defence and the ball broke to Tony Traynor who threaded the ball through to Bryan Felvus inside the box and the striker made no mistake from six yards. The Wanderers were enjoying their best spell of the match at this juncture, with substitutes Felvus, Misanjo and McGroarty all prominent and Traynor just failed to get on the end of an inviting Felvus cross. Forth were dealt a blow however when Felvus limped off injured, leaving them to play out the game with 10 men.
Lesmahagow effectively killed the contest on 79 minutes when an intercepted Forth pass led to a quick attack down the right. The ball was crossed to Jarvie who laid it back to Whitefield whose shot squirmed under the body of Hutchison in the Forth goal. Canning then brought out a tremendous save from the ‘Gow keeper and the visiting custodian comfortably held a McGroarty shot before quickly clearing and setting up the final goal of the match. The keepers long ball was controlled and worked out to Boylan in acres of space just inside the box and he executed a sublime chip to complete the scoring.
A disappointing result but undoubtedly the better team on the night were victorious. We move on, with a visit to New Murrayfield Park to face Blackburn United on Saturday.
‘Mon the Forth.