Port Glasgow 4 Forth 2
The Wanderers promotion hopes are hanging by a thread after they squandered a two goal lead to lose 4-2 at the Port Glasgow Community Stadium this afternoon. Forth, with the wind at their backs,held a 2-0 half time advantage courtesy of goals from John Watson and Tony Traynor but the Port harnessed the wind to great effect in the second half, scoring four goals without reply.
Forth made one change from the team which defeated East Kilbride, Barry Canning returning in place of the injured Jamie Lindsay as the Wanderers sought to stretch their winning run to six games. However, it was the hosts who started brightly and Paul Coyle fired a free kick wide with barely three minutes on the clock. At the other end, the Wanderers spurned a great opportunity to go ahead after 7 minutes when Jordan Smith rose to meet a Dean McLean corner but could only direct his header wide of the goal.
Alan Jamieson was next to threaten for the Port but Forth keeper JC Hutchison raced from his goal and managed to deflect the ball past the post. From the resultant corner, only a goal line clearance from Robbie Brown stopped the head of Paul Coyle opening the scoring. The wind was having a major effect on the game but the Wanderers began to use it to their advantage and only a fine save from home keeper Christopher McEleny denied Andrew Gilchrist on 13 minutes and McEleny was called into action again four minutes later smothering a Tony Traynor drive.
The Wanderers were not to be denied though and opened the scoring after 23 minutes. Traynor scampered down the left before feeding John Watson, whose powerful shot gave McEleny no chance. Graham Black fired narrowly over as the Port fought to gain parity but it was the Wanderers who increased their lead on 27 minutes through Tony Traynor. Chris Lennon played the ball to him and as the home defence held back, the Forth winger took advantage to fire the ball into the net.
Forth were now in the ascendancy and Lennon shot narrowly wide before forcing keeper McEleny to turn a free kick around the post minutes later. Number three Paul Coyle had been the Port’s most potent threat throughout the first half, and he had a header comfortably saved by Hutchison before firing a shot narrowly over.
Forth almost made it three in first half injury time but Andrew Gilchrist’s deft chip over the keeper rebounded from the bar and then McEleny parried a Lennon shot as the half drew to a close.
Port Glasgow, with the wind now at their backs, began the second half in determined fashion and reduced the deficit on 52 minutes. The Forth defence failed to clear a Port attack and the ball fell to Alan Jamieson who calmly curled the ball into the corner of the net. Worse was to follow for the Wanderers 5 minutes later when the Port equalised. A corner from the right found Dean McKay in space and he headed home from close range.
The Wanderers were finding it difficult playing into the wind and in a rare attack Jordan Smith headed wide from a Chris Lennon free kick,but the Port were in control at this stage and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 72 minutes. There looked to be little danger when a long ball was fired toward the Forth box, but Craig McCormick nipped in ahead of Hutchison, rounded the Forth keeper and rolled the ball into the net.
Forth were now pressing forward in numbers in an attempt to get back into the game but this left them susceptible to quick Port counter attacks and from one McCormick played in substitute Scott Nugent who should have done better than screw his shot wide. Nugent made amends in injury time however, with Forth having pushed everyone forward he broke clear and finished neatly past Hutchison to complete the scoring.
A disappointing result which makes a victory in our final game on Saturday against Newmains imperative. Even then, we have to rely on Wishaw failing to win two of their final three games. Down to the wire it goes !
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchison,Howson,McLean,Smith,Grant,Canning,Traynor,Watson(McGroarty),