Rusty Raith’s Loons Loss
The Rovers began the 2016/17 season travelling to Station Park Forfar. Lining up in the new red second strips signings Kevin McHattie, Chris Johnston and Bobby Barr started with keeper Aaron Lennox on the bench.
The showers had added a zip to the plastic pitch and as the visiting fans tucked in their bridies the home side looked keen early on. In the 14th minute Johnson played in Mark Stewart who turned and shot wide. Then McHattie and Barr combined on the left which resulted in a corner. Vaughan who looked enthusiastic throughout tried to fire a free kick into the top corner from an angle but hit the top of the side netting.
Just before the half hour Mark Stewart was removed and Jonny Court replaced him up front. In the 35th minute a Forfar corner was knocked up in the air on the six yard line, it fell to David Cox who fired the ball into the roof of the net past Cuthbert. The game remained relatively even and just before the half Callachan fired a low shot in forcing a save from the League Two side’s keeper.
The Rovers started the second half better with Court teeing up Callachan who kept the keeper on his toes from 23 yards. Barr sent in a cross then Vaughan shot wide as the Rovers looked to equalise. In the 53rd minute Court forced a good save with the home custodian tipping the ball over acrobatically. The home side almost capitalised from some penalty box pin ball but the shot was blocked wide.
Vaughan – who took most of the free kicks – had another go then Court headed an effort up and onto the roof of the net from Johnston’s cross. At the other end Cuthbert held a hard shot that was destined for the top corner. Mid way through the half McHattie was helped off the field after a heavy knock with Matthews coming on and Davidson moving to left back.
Again Vaughan threatened with a low cross shot which hit the outside of the post. In the 74th minute a flowing move ended with a well taken shot finding the side netting behind Cuthbert who’d tried to narrow the angle as Kerr Hay scored the hosts second. The best passage of play of the game made it 2:0.
Callachan had another go from range before Swankie’s effort from outside the box was touched past by Cuthbert. The Rovers his the woodwork when Callachan’s late run and leap met Johnston’s cross perfectly but his firm header came back off the far post. The Rovers best chance came from a short corner than caught out both home and away players, Johnston’s dipping cross found Benedictus at the back post but the home keeper did well to block his effort, Court followed up but the ball pinged back into the keepers arms.
The last attack saw Vaughan – who’d come through his first ninety minutes since his injury – play in Callachan who’s low shot was saved. The hosts will be happier with the outcome than the visitors.
Cuthbert, Thomson, Benedictus, Bates, McHattie, (Matthews), Davidson, Johnston, Callachan, B Barr, Stewart, (Court), Vaughan.