Forth 5 Vale of Clyde 1
Forth produced their best performance of the season to destroy Vale of Clyde by five goals to one at Kingshill Park yesterday afternoon. Leading 2-1 at half time through goals from Chris McGroarty and Jamie Lindsay, the Wanderers added three second half goals from Lindsay again, Chris Lennon and Tony Traynor to seal a convincing victory.
The Wanderers welcomed back central defensive partnership Jordan Smith and David Grant and gave a first competitive start to striker Jamie Lindsay and they began positively, Chris Lennon just unable to direct his header on target from a pinpoint Andrew Gilchrist cross after 3 minutes. In response, Connor Stevenson had a 25 yarder for Vale which trundled harmlessly into Hutchison’s arms.
Forth have made a habit of scoring early in games and once again this proved to be the case as they took the lead on 5 minutes. Chris Lennon scampered down the wing and fired over a first time cross which the onrushing Chris McGroarty met on the half volley and smashed into the net for his first goal of the season.
Vale almost hit back immediately when Stevenson met a cross from the left but he couldn’t fully connect with the ball and Hutchison saved easily. However, they levelled the match after 9 minutes when a corner from Stevenson eluded the Forth defence and Anthony Franchetti bundled home from a couple of yards. Their lead was short-lived though as the Wanderers hit back within a minute. A deep McGroarty free kick was met by Jordan Smith who headed down to Jamie Lindsay and the striker’s shot took a slight deflection before nestling in the back of the net.
The Vale then enjoyed their best spell of the match, taking the game to Forth and forcing a series of corners as they sought parity. However, resolute Forth defending restricted the number of clear chances, Joel Kasubandi flashing a header wide and Hutchison punching clear a dangerous inswinging corner from Stevenson being the exceptions.
The Wanderers gradually regained the initiative as the half wore on and Chris Lennon had a couple of chances to add to the lead, seeing two attempts blocked by defenders on 29 minutes and heading narrowly over from another teasing Gilchrist cross after 34, but there was to be no further scoring in the half.
Forth began the second half in similar fashion to the first and increased their lead with 48 minutes on the clock. An Andrew Gilchrist free kick was aimed towards Jordan Smith in the box and when the Vale defence failed to clear, the ball fell to Jamie Lindsay who dispatched the ball into the net again with the aid of a slight deflection. Vale tried to hit back and Steven Howarth headed just wide but Forth were now in the ascendancy and further goals looked likely.
Chris McGroarty came close on 54 minutes, firing a free kick just over and only a fine save from Ryan Mailey in the Vale goal prevented Jamie Lindsay claiming his hat-trick on 56 minutes. A clever Lennon flick sent Lindsay away and his pace left his defender for dead but Mailey was alert and came rushing from his goal to block with his legs. Vale were now rarely seen as an attacking threat but posted a warning when Hepburn headed well wide on 59 minutes after clever play from Stevenson.
Forth continued to press and were rewarded with a fourth goal on 66 minutes. Andrew Gilchrist turned his man inside out on the left wing and swung over a sublime cross which Chris Lennon headed home. Worse was to follow for Vale on 77 minutes when their defence missed an inswinging Chris McGroarty corner and Tony Traynor had the simple task of heading home from a couple of yards. That completed the scoring, although to their credit Vale finished the game on the front foot, Steven Howarth having a goalbound shot blocked for a corner with 5 minutes remaining.
Overall, a tremendous team performance from the Wanderers with every man playing their part, and if they can maintain this standard for the rest of the season there is no reason why the objective of promotion cannot be achieved.
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchison,Watson,McQuade,Smith,Grant,Canning(Colgan),Traynor,McGroarty,Lindsay(Felvus),