Forth 2 Carluke 2
Forth and Carluke fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Kingshill Park this afternoon,the Wanderers goals coming from Tony Traynor and an own goal. A pleasing performance from the Forth considering they had to play the majority of the match with 10 men after keeper JC Hutchison was sent off.
After a quiet opening few minutes, it was the visitors who threatened first on 7 minutes, Murray shooting wide of the right hand post. Forth responded with a Tony Traynor free kick which was just a little high for Yamikani Misanjo at the back post, the striker unable to direct his header under the crossbar. Undaunted, the Wanderers opened the scoring from their next attack minutes later. Chris Lennon won the ball in midfield and fed Misanjo who set Traynor racing clear and he deftly chipped the advancing Brown in the Carluke goal to give Forth the lead on 10 minutes.
Carluke almost replied immediately and only a fine save from Forth keeper Hutchison denied McGeachie. Arnott then came close with a back header as the Rovers sought to regain parity. A Carluke goal finally arrived on 16 minutes when Bellew was released down the left and although his cross was slightly behind Kindlan, he managed to swivel and direct a shot into the corner of the net. Arnott then ratttled the bar with a poweful strike, with Bellew unable to get the rebound on target.
At the other end, Brown made a superb save from a Traynor free kick, turning the ball away for a corner. The Wanderers were then reduced to 10 men on 28 minutes after Hutchison rushed from his goal and upended Kinlan outside the box, receiving a red card for his trouble. Glenn Weir came on to replace him, with trialist Keiron Colgan making way, and was soon called into action to turn a Kinlan shot away for a corner. As half time approached Brown saved easily from McGroarty and then a long ball from Napier saw Smith challenge Arnott in the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot despite there being no Carluke claims. Unperturbed, Arnott got up, dusted himself down and fired the penalty low into the right hand corner just evading Weir’s outstretched hand and with that the half time whistle sounded. A late blow to 10 man Forth who had matched their opponents for the majority of the half.
Carluke began the second half strongly and Arnott released Cavanagh in the first minute but the striker pulled his shot wide before Weir had to look lively to save from Arnott. Surprisingly, despite their numerical disadvantage Forth began to take control of the game at this stage and Rovers keeper Brown just reached a through ball before the onrushing Misanjo, who had shown a clean pair of heels to Napier, and was able to divert the ball for a throw.
Misanjo then robbed the ball from a Carluke defender and Brown did well to narrow the angle and block the shot. The visiting keeper then turned a Traynor shot for a corner as Forth turned the screw. Chris McGroarty was unlucky to see the resultant corner crash off the bar and over. Misanjo was then brought down on the edge of the box but McGroarty’s free kick found no takers and seemed to drift out for a goal kick. However, the referee signalled for a corner much to the consternation of the Rovers players. This proved to be significant when Traynor’s corner was headed into his own net by Mark Haddow to level the scores after 65 minutes.
Two minutes later and Forth should have been ahead when Lennon setup Traynor but the midfielder chipped the ball wide from a good position. The Wanderers were playing some neat football now and Marc Howson shot wide after an excellent four man move. However, it was Carluke who almost stole it at the death, with Dickson and Soutar both spurning chances in the dying minutes to keep the score 2-2 at the final whistle.
An excellent performance from 10 man Forth against higher league opponents which augurs well for the Central 2nd Division campaign ahead. Next up, Newmains at home on Monday night in the final SLC match.
‘Mon The Forth.
Forth : Hutchison,Howson,McLean,Smith,Grant,Watson,Traynor,McGroarty(Trialist),Lennon,
Carluke : Brown,Bellew,Soutar,Napier,Murray,McGeachie,Kindlan(Dickson),Haddow(Stark),