Newmains United 0 Forth Wanderers 1
A second half Jamie Lindsay goal was decisive as Forth defeated Newmains 1-0 at Victoria Park this afternoon. The Wanderers were good value for the three points in a somewhat bruising encounter which saw Newmains reduced to 10 men after only 11 minutes. A second consecutive clean sheet and another fine team performance ensured the perfect birthday present for manager Jamie McKenzie.
The Wanderers made one change from the team which won at Glasgow Perthshire last weekend, Kris Dick returning from suspension and David Grant dropping to the bench. And it was Forth who created the first chance of the match after 7 minutes, home keeper Martyn Meek saving a John Watson header. Jim Dick then came close for the Wanderers when the ball broke out to him following a corner, but he fired narrowly wide.
Newmains were dealt a blow when centre back Thomas McCauley received a straight red card for an off the ball incident with only 11 minutes on the clock. Undeterred, they pressed forward and Martin Hannaway had a shot easily gathered by Paul McKane in the Forth goal before they created what turned out to be their best chance of the match on 20 minutes. John Macfarlane flighted a free kick into the Forth box and Stuart Macfarlane stole in behind the defence and volleyed towards goal but McKane was equal to the shot, reacting well to tip the ball over the bar.
The Wanderers were on the receiving end of some tough Newmains tackling during this half but kept their composure and began to dominate. Chris Lennon was played in by Jamie Lindsay after 24 minutes but was scythed down on the edge of the box at the expense of a yellow card although the resultant free kick amounted to nothing. Lennon then had a shot blocked which fell to John Watson but the Forth midfielder fired over.
Lennon then came close to opening the scoring after 38 minutes when his powerful 30 yard free kick looked to be heading into the top corner only for Meek to touch the ball on to the crossbar and out for a corner. A fine save from the Newmains stopper to keep his side level. Ex-Forth man Bryan Felvus then called McKane into action to save his header while the final chance of the half again fell to Chris Lennon, this time his free kick hitting the outside of the post with Meek beaten.
Forth began the second half on the front foot, Lennon forcing a save from Meek before firing narrowly over in the opening minutes. A Wanderers goal did arrive on 49 minutes however and it was another clinical finish from Jamie Lindsay. The ball broke to the Forth striker on the edge of the box and he coolly fired the ball into the corner of the net past the despairing reach of Meek.
The Wanderers continued to press but the Newmains defence held firm and they came back into the game for a spell midway through the half. John Macfarlane fired over after a corner had been cleared to him at the edge of the box before Ryan Mackey shot wide, but the Forth defence was showing a solidity lacking earlier in the season and they were comfortably dealing with whatever threat Newmains posed.
Lennon came close to increasing the Forth lead on 69 minutes after some clever trickery in the box gave him a sight of goal, but Meek did well to get down and divert the ball away for a corner. Kris Dick, who had a composed match throughout, then flighted in a free kick which was met by the head of the industrious Ian Harty but he could only head past under pressure from a defender.
The Wanderers controlled the final period of the game, keeping the ball well as the clock ran down and ran out deserved winners, if only by the narrowest of margins.
A second consecutive victory and clean sheet augurs well for the future and moves the Wanderers up to 8th place in the league table, although Forth will face a stiff test on Saturday when Royal Albert come calling, conscious that the Larkhall men handed them a 7-0 thrashing earlier in the season.
Forth team : McKane,Howson,Corbett,Canning,Smith,J.Dick,K.Dick,Watson(Brown),Harty,