Forth Wanderers 2 Cambuslang Rangers 0
It was second against third in the Central Second Division match of the day at Kingshill this afternoon and it was the Wanderers who emerged victorious, to close to within one point of the leaders after a hard fought match.
There was an impeccably observed one minute silence for former Cambuslang Chairman Gibby Fyfe before the match and everyone at Forth would like to send our sincere condolences to his friends and family and all at Cambuslang.
On to the match itself and the Wanderers came close with barely four minutes on the clock, when firstly a Barry McGeechan shot flashed wide before Martin Hannaway volleyed a Wullie McLaren cross tamely into the arms of visiting keeper Iain Stewart. At the other end, Lang captain Martin Brogan headed on a corner to Nicky Moore in a good position but he nodded straight at David Cherrie in the Wanderers goal.
It had been a bright opening by both sides but it was Forth who opened the scoring after 6 minutes. McGeechan gathered the ball midway inside the visitors half before playing a one-two with Hannaway and then stroking his return into the corner of the net with Stewart helpless. Cambuslang then enjoyed a good spell as they forced the Wanderers back, winning a string of corners and free kicks without creating any real chances of note.
However, as the mid-point of the half approached it was Forth who began to gain the upper hand and Stewart did well to turn away a McLaren strike for a corner on 22 minutes after the Wanderers striker had been released by a fine Kristopher Dick through ball. McLaren took the resultant corner which was met by John Rennie at the back post but he headed narrowly wide. Rennie then set McLaren away down the left and his fierce cross was met by the onrushing Hannaway at the front post but he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Forth continued to press and Stewart did well to save from McLaren on the 31 minute mark and even better to block the follow up from Warren Grenfell. The former Shotts and Fauldhouse keeper was keeping the Lang in the game at this point and again he did well to save a Hannaway effort after good work from McLaren and Grenfell. A rare Lang counter saw Thomas Kilmartin fire wide after 37 minutes and the final effort of the half saw McGeechan shoot over for Forth, but the interval arrived with the Wanderers still holding their slender advantage.
The start of the second half saw a Cambuslang substitution, Chris Faulds replacing the injured Kilmartin but the visitors cause was dealt a severe blow when defender Ryan Mackey saw red for a kick at Kris Dick within 3 minutes of the restart. As is often the case however, this seemed to spur on the visitors who enjoyed another decent spell with Faulds prominent, although they were again unable to turn their possession into clear cut chances.
Lang always looked vulnerable when defending free kicks and another superbly flighted set piece from McLaren looked to have setup Hannaway with a glorious chance, until the ball glanced off Lachlan Tait before reaching the big striker, allowing the ball to be cleared. Moore then had a shot comfortably saved as Lang attacked but it was the Wanderers who increased their lead on 69 minutes from the penalty spot. Great interplay between McGeechan and McLaren resulted in another save from Stewart but Hannaway was first to the rebound and his shot was blocked by the arms of a Lang defender and a penalty awarded. Kristopher Dick kept his composure to fire the ball home after a short delay as the visitors made their feelings known on the penalty award.
David Cherrie in the Wanderers goal hadn’t had the busiest of afternoons but had to look lively to save from Moore on 77 minutes and the follow up from Faulds was blocked for a corner. Lang continued to press as the clock ticked down but the final chance of the afternoon fell to Forth, Stewart saving a diving header from Rennie after another inviting McLaren ball.
Another vital win against one of our promotion rivals and it doesn’t get any easier next week, when a resurgent East Kilbride come calling.
Forth team : Cherrie,L.Tait,S.Tait,Gupwell,McMullen(Ward),Rennie,K.Dick(Harty),Grenfell,