Wishaw 2 Forth 0
Forth lost 2-0 to Wishaw at Beltane Park this evening, the hosts goals coming from former Wanderer Chris Gordon and Barry Eley in the first half. The Forth team was much changed from the one that drew with Shotts, as manager Chris McGroarty continued to run the rule over several trialists and gave game time to those not involved on Monday.
The Wanderers line-up contained only Marc Howson and a trialist from the one which started against Shotts, but the team began promisingly enough against a Wishaw side also missing several regulars. Chances were at a premium in the opening stages with Robbie Brown first to test the home keeper on 8 minutes but his shot was easily held. Brown came even closer to opening the scoring after 14 minutes when he smashed a shot from fully 30 yards which had the keeper beaten all ends up, but his strike rebounded from the crossbar and out for a throw. That was about as good as it got for the Wanderers in the first half as Wishaw began to dominate.
Ex-Forth man Chris Gordon was becoming prominent and he forced a save from Hutchison in the Forth goal before hitting the post after being setup by another ex-Wanderer in Craig Crawford, although the referee had already blown for offside. Gordon was not to be denied however and opened the scoring on 29 minutes. Hutchison punched clear a cross and saved the follow up drive but the ball fell to Gordon who nodded home from close range. The striker almost doubled his tally minutes later but he headed wide after meeting a pinpoint cross from the right. Wishaw were having some joy attacking down the Forth right and it was from this area that a second goal duly arrived, Barry Eley first timing a shot low past Hutchison after receiving a pass from this area. The final chance of the half also fell to the hosts but the ball was headed wide from a Crawford free kick.
The second half continued in the same vein with Wishaw dominant and Forth attacking sporadically. For the Wanderers Dean McLean fired over from 20 yards, before Nicky Moore broke through for Wishaw but Hutchison did well to save the strikers shot. Chris Lennon then beat a couple of Wishaw defenders but his shot, although powerfully hit, was straight at the home keeper. Trialist Nolan shot wide for Forth as they attempted to get back into the game but Wishaw were enjoying the majority of possession and only a mixture of profligate finishing and good defending prevented them from increasing their lead. At the death, Neil Newman should have made it three when meeting a cross at the back post but the defender headed wide from a good position.
A comfortable victory for Wishaw in the end, with Gordon and Crawford both pivotal in the victory against their former club. Hopefully it was a useful exercise for Forth manager Chris McGroarty as he continues to run the rule over his squad prior to the commencement of the league season. Next up, a home derby match against Carluke on Saturday.
‘Mon the Forth.
Forth team : Hutchsion,Howson,McQuade,Grant,Gibb,Trialist(Cawley),Trialist,Brown(McLean),