Forth 0 Lesmahagow 1
Lesmahagow lifted the Clydesdale Cup this evening after beating Forth by one goal to nil in a close encounter at Kingshill Park, the winning goal being scored by the impressive Johnny Logan in the 36th minute. The Wanderers did have their chances however, with Chris Lennon clipping the top of the crossbar after only two minutes but despite some good second half openings they were unable to find the net.
Forth began brightly, forcing a corner in the opening minute, and Chris Lennon almost snatched the lead with only two minutes on the clock. The Forth flyer left the ‘Gow defence trailing in his wake before seeing his initial attempt saved by keeper Barnes and then acrobatically fired the rebound goalward only to watch as it spun off the top of the crossbar and out.
Lennon was again in the thick of the action minutes later, going down under a challenge in the ‘Gow box, but the referee waved away the muted penalty claims. Andrew Gilchrist then fired in a teasing cross from the left but Barnes reacted quickly to pluck it from the air before it could reach a waiting Wanderer.
The ‘Gow had however weathered the early storm and began to play their way into the match, Hamilton having a shot comfortably saved by home keeper McGhee on 28 minutes as was a long range effort from Logan four minutes later. The visitors were looking much more dangerous though and Logan nipped in front of a defender to fire in another shot on 34 minutes but McGhee saved well.
Logan was causing the Forth defence a number of problems at this stage and it was no surprise that he was the man to fire the ‘Gow in front after 36 minutes. Receiving a cross field ball on the left, he evaded a couple of defenders before making space for himself and firing the ball into the net. Two minutes later he almost doubled his tally with a neat turn and shot, but the ball dipped just over.
In reply, Forth could only muster a shot from Kris Dick which didn’t trouble Barnes before the ‘Gow almost doubled their lead right on half time, when the ball was cleared off the line following a corner.
1-0 Lesmahagow at half time then, with the visitors slightly shading the first half after a bright Forth start.
The Wanderers went in pursuit of an equaliser at the start of the second half and Chris Lennon cut in from the left and unleashed a shot on 50 minutes, which Barnes did well to block before the ball was cleared by a defender. Five minutes later there was no-one in position to tap-in when an excellent Lennon cutback flashed across the goal. Gilchrist then played in Lindsay on the hour mark but the Forth striker took a heavy first touch before claiming he was impeded inside the box, the referee was having none of it. At the other end, Logan did well to win a corner from which the same player fired the ball wide from a decent position.
The Wanderers passed up an excellent chance to equalise on 75 minutes when Chris McGroarty picked up the ball and played it past the final defender but, as he was running clear, Tony Traynor intervened, took the ball and fired it low into the net. Unfortunately, he was in an offside position and the goal was ruled out. Cue much consternation. Forth passed up an even better chance a minute or so later when a perfectly weighted Marty Harty pass set Lennon scrambling clear, but the Forth man didn’t seem to connect properly with the ball and his shot was easily saved.
As the minutes wore on Forth continued to press but Lesmahagow were content to soak up the pressure and hit on the break when they could. A McGroarty shot which flew wide was the last Forth chance of note, although there was still time for Kris Dick to receive his marching orders in the dying minutes.
A close contest which could have gone either way, in the two Clydesdale Cup games the Wanderers have shown they’ve nothing to fear from teams in the division above.
Forth team : McGhee,Harty,McLean(Corbett),McMullen,Grant,Brown(McGroarty),