Lanark United 3 Forth Wanderers 1
Both teams were hoping to keep their qualification hopes alive in this Sectional League Cup tie, although there was little of note in the opening exchanges. The game then burst into life on the 15 minute mark when Forth striker Alan Christie appeared to be fouled between two Lanark defenders but the referee waved away the Wanderers claims and Lanark raced up the park to score. There looked to be little danger when Stuart Mitchell unleashed a speculative shot, but it deceived Forth custodian Paul McKane and nestled in the back of the net. Worse was to follow for the visitors four minutes later when, after good work from Lee Imrie, Scott Falconer fired home from close range to double the Lanark advantage.
The Wanderers best chances at this juncture came from a couple of Willie McClaren free kicks, but on each occasion the Forth man fired over the bar. Mitchell then embarked on a good run and shot but was thwarted by McKane who produced the block with half an hour on the clock. The Forth keeper then saved comfortably from Falconer before the Wanderers created their best chance of the half. Good play by Lauchlan Tait setup Alan Christie but home keeper Patrick Finnigan blocked with his legs whilst McKane did likewise to keep out Shaun Gallagher on the stroke of half time.
There was more purpose about the Wanderers at the start of the second half and Martin Hannaway hit the side netting after meeting a McClaren free kick with barely a minute on the clock. Forth continued to press but it was Lanark who increased their advantage after 64 minutes. A free kick into the box was headed against the post and Falconer was there to net the rebound.
To their credit, Forth kept plugging away and keeper Finnigan did well to touch over a powerful Tippen header after the Wanderers substitute had met a McClaren free kick on 80 minutes. The arrears were reduced 2 minutes later however when McClaren picked up the ball in midfield and played a one-two before running on to the return and firing past Finnigan. McClaren almost doubled his tally a minute later when his shot squirmed out of Finnigan’s arms but luckily for the big keeper it flew by the post and not into the net.
At the other end, McKane had to look lively to come out and block an effort from Liam Egan, while Taylor Scott was unlucky not to pull another goal back for Forth in the final minute. His shot looked to be heading for the bottom corner but Finnigan made a fine fingertip save to turn the ball round the post.
A disappointing evening for the Wanderers, who now face Lesmahagow in their final group match at Kingshill on Saturday.
Forth team : McKane,S.Tait(Howson),Ward (Tippen),J.Dick,L.Tait,Walker,Christie,K.Dick,