Forth 3 Perthshire 0 – 16th April 2016

Forth Wanderers 3 Glasgow Perthshire 0 

Forth moved into second spot in the Central 2nd Division after a 3-0 victory over Glasgow Perthshire at Kingshill although the final margin of defeat was perhaps harsh on the visitors.

The match survived an early morning pitch inspection after overnight snow, although the visitors may have been happy to see the game postponed as they lined up with only 11 players and no substitutes.

It was Perthshire who showed first in attack, David Cherrie in the Forth goal getting down to block a shot from Jordan Simpson, the ball eventually being cleared for a corner. Forth countered with a good five man move but the final shot was deflected for a corner. Warren Grenfell then intercepted a misplaced free kick from David Kirkwood and sent Barry McGeechan away down the left and the midfielders cross found Martin Hannaway at the back post, but the big striker couldn’t direct his header on target and the ball flew high and wide.

Logan McIntyre was next to try his luck for the visitors but his shot was easily gathered by Cherrie. Forth then began to put together a good spell of pressure, Willie McLaren almost picking out Hannaway for a chance before Grenfell picked up a loose ball and drove forward, only to see his final shot fall narrowly on the wrong side of the post. McGeechan came close for Forth on 19 minutes, his powerful run ending with a curled shot which slipped just wide.

John Rennie then played a one two with Hannaway before shooting for goal but the ball was deflected away for a corner. McLaren’s corner was headed away by a defender but only to just outside the box where Kristopher Dick was lurking and the Forth midfielder struck a powerful first time shot low into the net, much to his delight.  Perthshire responded with a shot from Simpson which flew well wide, but it was Forth in the ascendancy and they doubled their lead after 33 minutes from the penalty spot. Neat interplay between McLaren and Rennie saw the former bundled over in the box by Scott Forester and Kristopher Dick made no mistake from the spot.

The visitors almost pulled a goal back with 37 minutes on the clock but a fine Cherrie save denied them while McGeechan fired a free kick over before Dick flashed a drive just wide. The final chance of the half fell to Perthshire, but Ross Cameron dragged his shot wide and 2-0 to Forth it remained at the interval.

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The Wanderers almost made it three just after the restart when McGeechan broke forward before firing a shot towards the bottom corner, only to see Perthshire keeper Stephen Mather get down well to his right to turn the ball away for a corner. Hannaway got up well to meet the corner but headed over. Simpson responded for Perthshire but his shot flew over.

McLaren came close on 53 minutes, his free kick sliding just past the post and he came even closer a minute later when sent clear but the advancing Mather blocked his shot and then Hannaway struck the rebound just wide. The visitors were playing with belief and taking the game to Forth whenever possible and after Craig Munro had his shot easily saved, Gerald O’Donnell was extremely unlucky to see his powerful effort rebound from the junction of bar and post, before Paul Craig fired the rebound well over.

Forth almost made it 3-0 after 64 minutes when a superb McLaren through ball sent Stevie Kane in behind the defence but Mather did well to block his close range effort. Perthshire then enjoyed their best spell of the game, forcing the Wanderers back but the closest they came was a Munro effort which slid narrowly wide.

As the clock ran down Forth re-asserted themselves on the game and Mather was well positioned to hold a McLaren shot after good interplay between him and Rennie. The Wanderers completed the scoring deep into injury time when Kane flicked on a McLaren cross and Kirkwood turned the ball into his own net to make it 3-0.

A hard fought victory for the Wanderers, perhaps not apparent from the scoreline, to make it 7 wins out of 8 and keep alive their promotion aspirations. Credit must go to Perthshire however, as with only 11 players it’s assumed that some were playing out of position and they gave a good account of themselves nonetheless and played some good football in spells without resorting to a physical approach.

Forth team : Cherrie,L.Tait,S.Tait,McMullen(Corbett),Gupwell,Rennie,Grenfell(Kane),K.Dick,
Hannaway(Scott),McGeechan,McLaren