Forth 2 Royal Albert 2
Despite leading twice and playing the last 20 minutes against 9 men, Forth could only draw 2-2 with Royal Albert at Kingshill Park this afternoon. The Wanderers goals were scored by Marc Howson and Yamikani Misanjo.
Forth took the game to the visitors from the outset and Yamikani Misanjo just failed to connect with a dangerous cross from Dean McLean on 7 minutes. Misanjo was again involved two minutes later when he was fouled just outside the box. Chris McGroarty fired the free kick into the wall but the ball broke to Marc Howson who took a touch before calmly slotting the ball into the corner of the net to give Forth the lead.
The Wanderers continued to press and Misanjo broke free through the left channel but the striker elected to shoot rather than play in the unmarked Howson and Albert keeper Smith gathered at the second attempt.Forth were dominating the midfield at this stage although they were having difficulty turning possession into chances whilst also having to deal with some robust Albert tackling.
The visitors rarely threatened in the first half and a free kick on 18 minutes which was dragged wide by Hamilton was one of their few attempts on goal. Forth continued to press towards the visiting goal as the half wore on and McGroarty fired wide before Tony Traynor shot over after a neat cutback from Misanjo. Misanjo then got his head to a Gilchrist free kick but the ball drifted narrowly wide and Forth reached the interval with the narrowest of leads.
Royal Albert were obviously in receipt of a half time rollicking from their management and began the second half on the offensive and were rewarded on 52 minutes when Fraser Stobie rose unchallenged to head home a Hamilton corner. Joy turned to despair for Stobie barely a minute later however when he received a second yellow and his marching orders for a poor tackle.
Forth wasted little time in making the one man advantage tell, taking the lead on 55 minutes. Dean McLean powered down the left wing and his perfect cross somehow eluded Albert keeper Smith and Misanjo leapt to volley home at the back post and restore the Forth advantage. Worse was to follow for the visitors when Davie Hamilton was shown a straight red for appearing to kick out at Robbie Brown.
The Wanderers pressed for the killer third goal and Tony Traynor burst into the box, rounded the keeper but the covering defenders managed to block the ball away for a corner as Traynor shaped to shoot. Traynor came even closer on 70 minutes when he curled a shot towards the top corner of the goal, but keeper Smith managed to get a hand to the ball and touched it onto the crossbar before being cleared.
This was to prove significant as 9 man Albert equalised with their next attack. After a quick Albert counter had cut open the home defence, Forth keeper Hutchison did well to make an initial double save but the prone keeper could do nothing as Sandy Strang followed up to level the scores on 71 minutes.
Understandably, it was Forth doing all the pressing now and the Albert defending resolutely, although the visitors still looked dangerous on their occasional forays into the Wanderers half. A Gilchrist shot was easily held by Smith before a teasing cross from Forth substitute Chris Lennon was headed away for a corner with Misanjo waiting to pounce.
Time was running out for the Wanderers, although Misanjo spurned a gilt edged chance on 83 minutes after another fine McLean cross found him in space, but the striker failed to connect cleanly with the ball and his header flew wide. McLean then saw his shot fumbled by Smith but, unfortunately for Forth, the ball rolled just the wrong side of the post before McGroarty saw a powerful strike, which looked to be heading in, deflected off a defender for a corner. Traynor had one final chance for Forth but his header from a Lennon cross was held by Smith and the 9 men held out for a point.
A hard earned point for Royal Albert, but Forth will bemoan the fact that the game wasn’t dead and buried by half-time. Next up we travel to Petershill Park in Springburn to face Rossvale.
‘Mon the Forth
Forth team : Hutchison,Howson(Lennon),McLean,Smith,Canning,Grant,Traynor,McGroarty,