St Roch’s 3 Forth Wanderers 0
St Roch’s adapted better to the extremely windy conditions at James McGrory Park on Saturday and consigned the Wanderers, who had Raith Rovers loanee Scott Law making his debut in goal, to their third consecutive defeat.
Forth, with the wind at their backs, started brightly however and good work by Jason Corbett looked to have sent Dean McLean clear in the opening minute, only for his pass to be blown behind for a goal kick. Ian Harty was next to show for the Wanderers, breaking through and lobbing the ball over advancing Roch keeper John Mullen, however the ball ran wide and he cut it back to the supporting McLean who fired his shot over.
The hosts had an opportunity with 10 minutes on the clock when Scott Law held a Mark McDonnell shot and McDonnell went even closer two minutes later when his shot hit the outside of the post. Martin Shiels was next to try his luck for the Roch but again Law made the save. Ian Harty then had a shot comfortably saved by Mullen, but the striker appeared to tweak a hamstring in the process and was replaced by Scott Watson.
A Marc Howson clearance then cannoned off a Roch attacker and spun towards the Wanderers goal with Law relieved to see it land just over. Similarly, at the other end, a clearance came off John Watson and, wind assisted, spun towards the Roch goal but again the ball flew narrowly over.
The deadlock was broken on 38 minutes when after a quick Roch break, Jordan Smith was adjudged to have fouled McDonnell and a penalty awarded. Daryl Naismith made no mistake from the spot to give the hosts the interval lead.
St Roch’s almost doubled their lead after 49 minutes when Mussa Baboucarr broke clear but Law rushed from his goal to block and although the ball fell back to Baboucarr, Barry Canning was on hand to divert his second effort away for a corner. From the resultant corner, Marc Howson cleared off the line at the back post. The Roch were enjoying a period of dominance now and Law did well to come out and block an effort from Shiels with his feet after 53 minutes.
The Forth keeper could do nothing two minutes later however as the Roch increased their advantage through a fine individual goal from Baboucarr. The big striker waltzed round several Wanderers defenders before calmly slotting the ball into the corner of the net. Jordan Logan almost made it three after 61 minutes, but his shot rebounded from the left hand post and 5 minutes later he took advantage of a bye kick which held up in the wind, only to see his shot rebound from the other post.
Forth were rarely seen as an attacking force in the second half and when they were, Mullen and his defence were equal to their efforts. It was no surprise when Baboucarr added another after 83 minutes and only a fine save from Law stopped Paul Roan from adding to the scoreline at the death.
The defeat, allied to a victory for Royal Albert over Rossvale, sees the Wanderers slip to second bottom of the league with two games remaining.
Forth team : Law,Howson,Corbett,Smith,Canning,J.Dick,Christie,J.Watson,