Forth Wanderers 5 Benburb 2
Forth moved to the top of the Central 2nd Division with a haed fought 5-2 victory over Benburb at Kingshill on Saturday. The Bens cause wasn’t helped by losing Scott Jarvie to a red card for deliberate handball with the score finely poised at 1-1.
The game burst into life on 3 minutes when a Willie McLaren ball was turned over for a corner by visiting keeper Scott Sommerville. McLaren took the kick himself and found Kristopher Dick at the edge of the box and the midfielder took a touch before firing high into the net. The Wanderers had no time to savour their lead however, the Bens equalising almost immediately. A through ball found Ryan Livingston in space and he ran forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
Sommerville then held a McLaren free kick as Forth pressed but it was David Cherrie who broke Bens hearts with a string of fine stops minutes later. Firstly he got down well to his left to turn away a Scott Jarvie free kick for a corner and followed up with further stops from Jarvie and Livingston. Benburb were looking dangerous every time they attacked and a long ball from keeper Sommervile found Boyle who attempted to lob Cherrie to no avail. Cherrie then comfortably saved a Collinge header as the Bens pressure continued.
At the other end, a long free kick caused problems for the visitors and the ball fell to Craig Gupwell who fired a shot off the outside of the post. Forth were being seen more as an attacking threat and from one of several corners, McLaren picked out the head of Dick and his netbound header was palmed onto the bar by an instinctive reaction from Jarvie. The Bens attacker was red-carded and a penalty awarded, which Dick drove low into the corner of the net to restore the Forth advantage and make it 2-1 at the interval.
The visitors began the second half strongly and Collinge headed over a Blackwood cross on 48 minutes, before Cherrie was called into action to make a double save from the dangerous Livingston. Forth responded with a good move involving Dick and substitute Stephen Kane, who setup Warren Grenfell, the midfielder neatly sidestepping a defender before dragging his final shot wide. Collinge then headed over from a Bens corner before an adventurous Kane overhead kick flew over for Forth. Hannaway shot wide on 56 minutes but 4 minutes later was adjudged to have been tripped in the box and another penalty awarded. Again, Kristopher Dick stepped up but this time placed the ball into the corner sending Sommerville the wrong way in the process.
The game appeared to be over as a contest with 69 minutes on the clock when Barry McGeechan flicked on a throw in into the path of McLaren who reached the ball before the onrushing Sommerville, took the ball round him and rolled the ball into the net to make it 4-1. Credit to Benburb however as they continued to press and Cherrie had to save from Boyle and Livingston before the latter set up the former to pull a goal back one minute into injury time, after some slack play in the Forth defence.
That wasn’t the end of the scoring though as there was still time for McLaren to setup McGeechan who had time to steady himself before blasting the ball low into the net to make it 5-2 and complete the scoring.
Another vital victory for the Wanderers and with 4 games to go, promotion and the league title are currently in our own hands. Next up our final away match at Newmains on Wednesday, before we finish with home matches against East Kilbride, Royal Albert and Lanark.
Forth team : Cherrie,L.Tait,S.Tait,Gupwell,McMullen,Rennie(Kane),Grenfell,