Forth 2 Port Glasgow 2
A late Jordan Smith goal rescued a point for the Wanderers this afternoon after Port Glasgow had recovered from an early Bryan Felvus goal to lead 2-1.
The Wanderers fielded an unchanged line up from last week’s victory at Royal Albert and began the game in positive mood attacking Port from the start and could’ve been ahead within 3 minutes. A quick Chris McGroarty free kick sent Tony Traynor clear on the right and his ball across the goal was met by John Watson at the back post but the midfielder fired wide. Port responded when Ryan Bryceland found space in the Forth box, but his header was nearer the corner flag than the goal.
Forth continued to press and went ahead after 8 minutes. An inswinging McGroarty corner was palmed out by keeper Bryan Tucker to the feet of Bryan Felvus and the striker buried his shot from 4 yards to give the Wanderers the advantage. Forth continued to press and Felvus fired a speculative effort wide before a good move involving Howson,Misanjo and Traynor ended with the resultant cross finding no takers in the box. Tucker then comfortably saved a Traynor shot as Forth looked to add to their advantage but the Port began to find their way back into things as the game progressed.
Hutchison in the Forth goal had to look lively to save a close range shot on 19 minutes before Scott Nugent volleyed wide from a good position on 26. Paul Coyle was next to try his luck for the visitors but his shot from distance flew harmlessly over. The half ended with Port in the ascendancy, a complete reversal from the opening 20 minutes which Forth had dominated.
The Wanderers created the first chance of the second half when Andrew Gilchrist chipped narrowly over after a probing Yamikani Misanjo run had been halted by a fine tackle. At the other end, Hutchison did well to block a Steven Wright shot with his legs, Francis McKay blasting the follow up over the bar. Wright was not to be denied though and he levelled things up on 53 minutes, scoring from close range. Two minutes later and Hutchison punched clear a Paul Coyle free kick from the edge of the box before making a tremendous save from a netbound Alan Jamieson shot as Port continued to press.
At the other end, Tucker comfortably saved a Watson shot before making a fine save from a close range effort from Gilchrist who had been setup by a cross from substitute Chris Lennon. Jamieson then reacted angrily to a Misanjo tackle and after the proverbial handbags both players were booked. Jamieson still appeared incensed though and the Port bench quickly substituted him to avoid a further caution. The game now had an edge to it as both teams realised that a draw was of little use to them and after Traynor had volleyed wide for Forth it was the Port who gained the advantage on 83 minutes. Substitute Graham Black received the ball in the box before turning and firing a low shot into the net sparking wild Port celebrations and a somewhat over-exuberant display of emotion from their linesman.
Port substitute Gordon Paul then received a straight red card, for what looked like something said to the referee as the ball was dead at the time. Forth had pushed Jordan Smith into service as an auxiliary forward as they sought to regain parity and Port keeper Tucker did well to hold a dipping Gilchrist shot on the line as the clock ticked down. With 89 minutes on the clock, the decision to push Smith up front paid dividends when the big stopper levelled the match. It looked like the danger had been averted when Tucker saved Smith’s initial header from an inswinging Dean McLean cross but the ex-Rob Roy man reacted quickest to the rebound and forced the ball narrowly over the line. Tony Traynor then almost snatched an unlikely victory for the Wanderers right at the death but Tucker clawed away his net bound shot and the game finished level.
Despite another powerful opening from Forth, this has to be looked upon as a point gained and indeed Port Glasgow will probably feel they should’ve been heading back to Inverclyde with the three points.
Next up, another tricky encounter away to St.Roch’s at the newly renamed James McGrory Park in Provanmill.
‘Mon The Forth.
Forth : Hutchison,Howson,McLean,Smith,Canning,Watson,Traynor,McGroarty,
Port Glasgow : Tucker,Keating,Coyle,McClement,Bryceland,Docherty,McKay,McBryde,Nugent (Paul),Wright(Black),Jamieson(McDougall)