Saturday, 05 May 2012 21:55
Stenhousemuir 1 Forfar Athletic 2
With injuries galore and the odd suspension rife within the Loon's squad, the starting eleven almost picked itself in the most important match of Forfar Athletic's season. The club were hoping that a good number of fans would travel to Stenhousemuir for the game, and it was encouraging to see well over 100 Loons on the terrace behind the goal and sat in the stand to cheer their favourites on. With the home side aiming to clinch a promotion play off spot, they also had the backing of a larger support than normal.
The match started perfectly for Forfar when they opened the scoring after only three minutes. Kevin McKinlay's clearance fell straight to Kevin Motion, he had one thing in mind and avoided two tackles before shooting straight at Ally Brown from 10 yards out, Brown could only parry the effort, the ball hit ROSS MCMILLAN and rebounded into the net. Forfar had the bit between their teeth and were surging forward at every opportunity and twice within the next five minutes Nicky Low and Kevin Motion combined with resultant efforts on target. But after fifteen minutes the home side equalised. Ferguson played the ball into the middle and as the Forfar defence anticipated Rodgers would take a touch, he dummied the ball, and ANDERSON controlled first time before drilling the ball inches past the despairing Paterson.
Despite this set back it was the Loons who had appeared to have more of a will to win, and before too long they had an excellent chance to regain the lead. A poor header back to Brown from Paton was intercepted by Bradley Coyne, he did everything right, steadied himself, waited for Brown to make a move, but then shot past the keeper and agonisingly inches past the post. Nicky Low then caused havoc with a mazy run before crossing into the middle, McKinlay almost become own goal scorer number two however Brown dived to save on the line. It came as no surprise when Forfar's second goal arrived, and what a peach it was. Chris Hegarty crossed over into a busy penalty box, and as Low and Paton challenged in an ariel battle, the ball fell to the feet of MARTYN FOTHERINGHAM who left Brown helpless from 25 yards out. Forfar had the upper hand for the remainder of the half, with only a Paton free kick giving Paterson any kind of trouble.
With the half time scores announced that Albion Rovers were winning, and Airdrie were drawing, the second half was still of extreme importance for both sides. Forfar started the half well organised and in confident mood. As the minutes ticked away, and news filtering amongst the Loons support that Stirling Albion has levelled matters in Coatbridge, there were no real nail biting moments in the Forfar camp. The Loons played out the remainder of the match, and indeed season challenging for every ball, closing players down, defending well, and creating moves.
It did make one wonder how on earth we were in this position in the first place. But of course, far too many defensive errors came to mind, and reality kicked in, we did indeed deserve to be playing for our lives in the last game of the season. But, fair play to Forfar, today was a good day, they deserved their victory, and as the match went into injury time, it was good to see the reaction of the Forfar substitutes - they had obviously heard that Stirling had defeated Albion, and Forfar were safe, high fives and celebratory hugs were the order of the day, and minutes later the Loons on the pitch joined in as full time was blown.
Match Report by Kevin Brown