Gartcairn 1 Forth Wanderers 3
Forth recorded their third away victory on the spin yesterday with a 3-1 victory over Gartcairn at the MTC Park Airdrie, courtesy of a Willie McLaren hat-trick. The result moves the Wanderers into fourth spot in the league with games in hand over those above them.
Barry McGeechan was first to show for the Forth, flashing a shot wide with barely two minutes on the clock. Gartcairn responded through a Jordan Rennie effort before David Cherrie in the Forth goal did well to block a Yami Misanjo effort with his feet. Martin Hannaway burst though on 18 minutes but his attempt was diverted wide by a defender before McGeechan setup McLaren, whose cross was deflected and looked to be heading in under the bar until Cairn keeper John Mullen touched the ball over.
Mullen again did well on 24 minutes getting down well to his left to block a dangerous McLaren free kick and McGeechan fired the rebound wide. The hosts then enjoyed their best spell of the match, Martin Harty firing a shot wide and then Cherrie had to look lively to touch over a Scott Murphy free kick. Murphy came even closer on 42 minutes, rattling the post with a curling free kick with Cherrie beaten, but half time arrived with the game goalless.
Forth began the second half strongly with McGeechan and John Rennie dictating the play from midfield and Hannaway came close on 51 minutes but shot just past. Great play from McLaren then setup another opportunity for Hannaway after 55 minutes but he was fouled by Harty as he was about to pull the trigger, resulting in a penalty to Forth and a red card for Harty. McLaren made no mistake from the spot smashing the ball into the net giving Mullen no chance. Jordan Rennie almost responded for Gartcairn as he met a free kick with his head but the ball flew wide.
Worse was to follow for Gartcairn three minutes later when McLaren doubled the Forth advantage. He latched onto a defence splitting through ball and somehow managed to find the net from what appeared a tight angle to make it 2-0. To their credit, Gartcairn didn’t let their heads go down and Rennie forced a good save from Cherrie at the expense of a corner. From the resultant corner, John Rennie of Forth was adjudged to have handled the ball, was booked and a penalty awarded. Scott Murphy dispatched the penalty with the minimum of fuss to reduce the arrears.
Taylor Scott almost made it 3-1 to Forth after 68 minutes but Mullen did well to save the strikers effort. A third goal was merely delayed however and McLaren made it three with a powerful 22 yard free kick which Mullen got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
Stephen Tait then embarked on a surging run which took him past several defenders but his final shot was straight at Mullen. Again Gartcairn rallied and Warren Grenfell was well positioned to head a goal bound effort off the line to keep the score at 3-1.
Forth came close again through McLaren and Stevie Kane as the clock ran down, but 3-1 it finished.
Another important victory for the Wanderers and manager Jamie McKenzie was delighted with the win saying “Although the sending off and the penalty changed the direction of the game a little, I thought second half we were better after a fairly even first half. Three away wins in a row is massive for us and sets up well for the rest of the season, although it means nothing if we can’t win our upcoming home games. We’ve given ourselves a chance and it’s an opportunity for us to go and push on.”
Forth team : Cherrie,L.Tait,S.Tait,Gupwell,McMullan,Grenfell,Scott(Kane),Rennie(Harty),