Royal Albert 1 Forth Wanderers 1
Forth and Royal Albert shared the spoils at Tileworks Park in an even contest which could have gone either way. The Wanderers made one change to the side which defeated Vale of Leven last week, Barry McGeechan making his debut up front in place of Warren Grenfell.
It was the hosts who created the first opportunity after 6 minutes however, a great ball in from the right finding Camberley in space, but his header was wide of the target. Scott McLachlan was next to try his luck for the Albert but his shot flew high over the bar. Forth hadn’t created anything of note but that all changed on 14 minutes when they took the lead. A great ball down the left found Kristopher Dick who beat his man before passing the ball into the corner of the net for a fine finish.
Andy Finnigan in the Wanderers goal hadn’t had a great deal to do but he had to look lively to stop a free kick from Barry Murdoch, fired under the defensive wall, after 32 minutes. The impressive Fraser Scott was next to show for the Albert, taking advantage of a slip by John Watson to run in on goal but he dragged his shot across the goal and wide. Forth had plenty of possession without really troubling Craig Smith in the Albert goal but came close when a great ball in from Willie McClaren just eluded the outstretched foot of John Rennie at the back post.
The Albert were dealt a further blow just prior to the interval when Frazer Stobie was red carded for a last man challenge on Taylor Scott as the Forth striker burst clear. Willie McClaren fired the resultant free kick into the wall and half time arrived with the Wanderers still a goal to the good.
Forth came close to doubling their advantage 3 minutes into the second half when McClaren broke clear and fired the ball through the legs of Smith toward the Albert goal. The shot lacked pace however and Murdoch was able to rush back and clear the ball from the line. John Rennie then played in Barry McGeechan but the striker hesitated and Smith was able to block his effort.
At the other end Andy Finnigan did well to turn a goalbound header onto the post and away for a corner before he was wrong footed by a deflection and happy to see the ball go wide at the expense of another corner. He was powerless to stop the Albert equaliser after 58 minutes though. Murdoch drove forward and played the ball to Saaf on the edge of the Forth box who played it back to Murdoch and he fired home an unstoppable shot.
In a bizarre moment, Forth were unable to substitute Jim Dick as the referee seemed to have an issue with the teamlines and this was to prove costly later in the game. The Wanderers then had a shout for a penalty when McGeechan went down under a challenge from Smith, but the Albert keeper played the ball first and the referee correctly ignored the claims. It was now end to end stuff and Stevie Clarke was next to show for the Albert, but he fired his shot well over.
Forth lost their numerical advantage on 73 minutes when Jim Dick was sent off after receiving a second yellow and this boosted the Albert who could have been ahead five minutes later were it not for Finnigan in the Forth goal. Firstly, he did well to stop an effort from Clarke before doing even better to stop the rebound from Scott. Albert keeper Smith was not to be outdone though and did well to turn away a powerful shot from Taylor Scott for a corner after 83 minutes and the game finished all square.
A deserved share of the points, which keeps the Wanderers unbeaten in the league. It’s back to Kingshill next Saturday when Ashfield are the visitors.
Forth team : Finnigan,Watson,L.Tait,Gupwell,McMullen,J.Dick,Scott (S.Tait),K.Dick(Hannaway),