Forth Wanderers 3 Lesmahagow 8
Lesmahagow required at least an eight goal victory to have a chance of qualifying from the section, and their initial play suggested that they didn’t think this was necessarily beyond them as they forced a couple of early corners. At the other end a cross from Willie McClaren saw Alan Christie volley over with 11 minutes gone as Forth responded. A minute later and it was the visitors who took the lead, a cross ball was headed back across goal and tapped home from close range. The Wanderers almost leveled two minutes later, after good work on the left by Ian Harty saw John Rennie head his cross over.
Paul McKane in the Forth goal then pulled off a couple of good stops from Docherty as the Gow sought to regain the advantage but after 26 minutes the Wanderers stopper had to go off and, with no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, full back John Watson had to go in goal. And one of Watson’s first tasks was to pick the ball out of the net after Lauchlan Tait had given away a penalty which was duly converted. The ‘Gow then made it 3-0 after 37 minutes a fierce shot giving Watson no chance although the stand-in Forth keeper made a fine save on 43 minutes to keep the score it down to three at the interval.
Forth had the first chance of the second half, but Martin Hannaway couldn’t get a good connection on his header and it drifted harmlessly wide. The visitors then took control of the game and scored a further four goals without reply to put them within touching distance of qualification, to the obvious delight of their supporters. Their joy was short-lived however as Hannaway stooped to head home a Christie cross after 77 minutes to reduce the deficit.
The ‘Gow fans had renewed hope when they made it 8-1 with five minutes remaining, but two late goals from Willie McClaren, the first a stunning shot out of nothing, resulted in a final score of 8-3 although Declan Walker headed against the post for Forth in injury time as they staged a late rally.
The Wanderers league campaign begins this Saturday away to Glasgow Perthshire and the defence will have to tighten up significantly if they are to take anything from the game.
Forth team : McKane(Howson),Watson,Ward,McMullen,L.Tait,Walker,Christie,K.Dick,