Ready for Falkirk

FORFAR Athletic are looking to cause a Scottish Cup upset when they face First Division side Falkirk in the fifth round.

With the ‘Loons’ not having the best preparation in the lead up to the game with a 3-1 defeat against Arbroath, manager Dick Campbell is hoping that his side will make amends on Saturday.

Scottish 3rd div Manager of the Month Dick Campbell of Forfar Athletic with his Award

Scottish 3rd div Manager of the Month Dick Campbell of Forfar Athletic with his Award

Forfar had been looking for a good derby result to see them well on the way to Falkirk but Arbroath denied any chance of the three league points.

Lee Sibanda put the Gayfield side ahead with just eight minutes gone, converting Bayne’s clever headed knockdown.

Then the recently signed Graham Bayne opened his own account for Arbroath with a close-range strike nine minutes later.

Insult was added to injury 10 minutes after the break when an assist from Steven Doris met Bayne again who steered the ball in from six yards out.

Forfar did manage to pull a goal back with just under 20 minutes to go when Colin Hamilton fouled Willie Robertson in the box and Iain Campbell converted the penalty.

However, luck did not last long for the Loons and Robertson saw red with 11 minutes to go after a poor challenge on Hamilton.

Alastair Donald, Forfar Athletic chairman, said: “Obviously it was really disappointing. When we look at the team that we put out on paper it should have been great.

“But we just didn’t get going at all and didn’t compete.

“It was just one of those games where we wouldn’t get started.

“If we had put in the same kind of performance like we had against Queen of the South then we could have had the three points.

“Now we just need to get our season kick-started.”

Dick Campbell, Forfar Athletic manager, was furious with the result but knows they now have to look ahead. He said: “I think we were very soft psychologically and gave away poor goals.

“I’m very, very angry with the result.

“For the first 15 minutes we started well then we lost a soft goal and then another one that was contentious.

“Then they got another one.

“Then we pulled a goal back with the penalty.

“But it’s alarming me how easily we are losing goals and we need to get that sorted out.”

Now Forfar Athletic are looking to put the derby woes behind them as they head into Saturday’s fifth round Scottish Cup tie.

It has not been an easy ride for Forfar to get to this stage in the competition.

In the Third Round the Loons met Nairn County on November 3 at Station Park. While Forfar Athletic had been hoping for a win against the Highland League side a 3-3 draw saw them go into a replay the following weekend.

On November 10 the Loons travelled to Station Park, Nairn, and in a close-run game eventually came out victorious with a 3-2 win.

In the fourth round of the competiton on December 1 last year, fellow Second Division side Ayr United made the trip to Station Park.

It was a tough encounter but Forfar held on and a Charlie King goal made it 2-1 and took them to the fifth round.

Meanwhile, in the fourth round First Division side Falkirk defeated Stenhousemuir 1-0.

Falkirk are going into Saturday’s clash on the back of a 4-3 win over Airdrie United and boss Steven Pressley will be hoping to keep the winning momentum going.

Forfar Athletic on the other hand will be looking to cause a cup upset as the last part-time team standing.

Aside from Rangers, the Loons are the only team from the lower divisions to get so far and the board and managers are hoping to stay on past this round.

Campbell said: “The cup tie will look after itself.

“It’s a major opportunity for us as the last-part time club in the competition.

“I will be extremely disappointed if we don’t at least hold them to a draw and take them back up to Station Park.

“But the cup has always been good to Forfar and it has always been good to me.”

Alastair Donald added: “We are the smallest of the 16 teams left in the fifth round and that in itself is a remarkable achievement.

“And this will also be the first time that Forfar have played at the Falkirk Stadium.

“We have had Falkirk watched over the past few weeks and they are a good side.

“But if we go in and produce what we are capable of then we are in with a chance.

“We have put the derby result behind us, cup games are a totally different kettle of fish.”

Mr Donald is also hoping that the Forfar fans will help to make it a day to remember for the club. He added: “The people of Forfar have been tremendous and we will have three buses leaving from Forfar - the most that has come with us to a game in a long time.”

Manager Dick Campbell will have an almost full complement of players to choose from including new signings.

Michael Bolochoweckyj will be available for selection as will Dale Hilson and Jordan Brown who have both been given permission by their parent clubs to play.

However, Willie Robertson will miss the game due to a one-match suspension following his sending off during Saturday’s derby.

Supporter’s travel

A THIRD coach has now been laid on to take ‘Loons’ fans to the Falkirk Stadium this Saturday.

The cost, which has been subsidised by the club, is £7 with coaches leaving the Myre Car Park at 12.30 p.m. returning right after the final whistle.

Coach tickets are available from the Toy Castle in Castle Street.

Admission charges for the match are £12 for adults and £6 concessions.