Forth Vale of Leven 15th November 2014

Forth 3 Vale of Leven 5

The club would like to thank May Boyd for her kind sponsorship of this match.

Despite a Chris Lennon hat-trick, the Wanderers lost 5-3 to 10 man Vale of Leven at Kingshill Park on Saturday. It was a poor performance from Forth with the Vale running out deserved winners in the end, leaving new Wanderers manager Jamie McKenzie still searching for his first victory.

It was the Vale who started brightest and Paul Nugent could count himself unlucky not to score after 5 minutes, when he watched his curled shot rebound from the Forth post with Paul Smith in goal beaten. This seemed to spur Forth into action and they took the lead two minutes later. A ball from Robbie Brown found Chris Lennon who beat his man and advanced on goal before steadying himself and burying the ball past Vale keeper Alan Methven.

The goal was harsh on Vale who had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and it took a fine Paul Smith block to deny Lee McGeachy on 11 minutes as they sought to restore parity. David McNaught was next to try his luck for the visitors but he fired narrowly wide, having been played in by a neat Connor Hyslop lob.  An equaliser was looking likely and it duly arrived on 24 minutes. There appeared to be little danger when McGeachy gathered the ball near the corner flag,but he neatly knocked the ball around Marc Howson and Andrew Gilchrist before curling the ball low into the net from a tight angle to level the match.

At the other end, Lennon beat full back Kevin Stanley to the ball but there were no takers for his cut back and the ball was cleared for a corner. Jordan Smith met the ensuing corner but headed narrowly wide with Methven beaten. McNaught then came close for Vale but Forth keeper Smith turned the ball away at the expense of a corner.

Methven then saved from Lennon and Jim Dick as Forth pressed but it was the visitors who took the lead on 35 minutes when a Hyslop through ball found Craig Cowan in acres of space and he drilled the ball under Smith and into the net. Vale suffered a blow two minutes later when captain Kenny Wilson was shown a red card for a last man challenge on Lennon at the edge of the box, Methven doing well to hold Lennon’s fierce free kick on the line.

The Vale numbers should have been further reduced on 40 minutes but the referee missed an off the ball punch from Kevin Stanley, which thankfully didn’t connect with his intended target. Vale then had strong appeals for a penalty waved away when Hyslop appeared to be impeded before another Lennon run down the right found no takers just prior to the half time whistle.

With the second half barely three minutes old, Forth were dealt a further blow when the Vale scored a third. McGeachy found Mark Pawsey on the left and he ran in on goal before firing under Smith. Undaunted, two minutes later the Wanderers were back in it, Chris Lennon converting a penalty after Hyslop had brought down Ian Harty.

Forth were now pushing men forward at every opportunity in search of an equaliser, leaving them susceptible to a quick counter attack and it was from such a counter that Vale made it 4-2 after 57 minutes. McGeachy intercepted a Forth ball and sent McNaught scampering free down the left and ,in an almost carbon copy of the third goal, he advanced into the box before firing past Smith.

Ian Harty then had the ball in the Vale net but the goal was disallowed for offside. Gaps were now appearing in the Forth defence and Vale were utilising the long ball to good effect to take advantage of this. Liam Burns came close twice for the visitors, firing into the side netting on 65 minutes and forcing Smith into a good save two minutes later.

The Wanderers did give themselves a glimmer of hope on 72 minutes, when Lennon beat Vale keeper Methven to a through ball and stroked the ball into the empty net to complete his hat-trick. However, hopes of a fightback were short lived when Andrew Cockrell brought down Hyslop on the edge of the box and McGeachy fired the resultant free kick into the net after 77 minutes to make it 5-3.

As the game drew towards it’s conclusion, Burns hit the post for Vale with Cockrell clearing McGeachy’s rebound off the line, whilst Jamie Lindsay came close for Forth,but 5-3 it ended.

A poor performance from the Wanderers then, leaving the new management team with plenty to mull over ahead of the visit to Glasgow Perthshire on Saturday.

Forth team : P.Smith,Howson(Cockrell),Corbett,J.Smith,Grant(Fallon),J.Dick,Brown,Watson,
I.Harty,Lennon,Gilchrist