Forfar’s impressive pre-season form continues with Cove win

Dale Hilson gives Forfar Athletic the lead against Livingston.
Dale Hilson gives Forfar Athletic the lead against Livingston.

A mixture of experience, youth and trialists helped Forfar Athletic keep their unbeaten run in pre-season with a 3-0 win over Highland League outfit Cove Rangers.

Youngster Paul McLellan had excellent vision to swing a ball from the middle of the park to the left wing for Omar Kader to run on to, Kader reaching the touchline before cutting the ball back for Craig Smith but he could only send his volley wide.

The Loons took the lead after 11 minutes, with Kader sending a great through ball for McLellan to run onto before slotting home from inside the box.

They had a chance to extend the lead eight minutes later, Kader sending Smith clear this time.

However, as Smith advanced on goal, he tried to round Wood but was taken out by the keeper and referee Steven Traynor awarded a penalty.

Chris Templeman stepped up, but his shot was pushed away by the keeper.

Michael Dunlop had a massive run down the right wing on the stroke of half time, sending in a great ball to Chris Templeman, but the ball got tangled under his feet before the Cove defender poorly cleared, McLellan firing wide from the poor defending.

Four minutes into the second half, it was 2-0 – substitute Gavin Malin swinging in a great corner for the trialist to head home.

On the hour mark, Cove sub Michael Selfridge should have scored when he collected a cross in the box before rounding sub keeper Ross Salmon, but his shot was blocked by a pile of bodies.

The left back trialist and then Gavin Swankie both went close in a matter of minutes as the Loons started to get back into their stride after making their subs.

Danny Denholm added a third in the 79th minute, Dunlop sending a great ball forward for Dale Hilson to collect before pinging a ball across the face of Sandy Wood’s goal, with Denholm popping up at the back post to stab the ball home.

Forfar’s first pre-season game against Cove’s fellow Highland League outfit saw the Loons win 3-1 thanks to a double from Templeman and a goal from Swankie.

That win was followed by a very impressive 1-1 draw with Livingston, Forfar’s goal a delightful finish from Hilson.

Meanwhile, the Loons enjoyed a trip to Gleneagles for a day of golf on Saturday for team building and relaxation, courtesy of Dick and Ian Campbell and chairman Alastair Donald.

Forfar Athletic: Douglas (Salmon 56), Dunlop, Trialist, Dods (Malcolm 46), Trialist, Keillor (Malin 42), Smith (Denholm 62), Trialist, Templeman (Swankie 62), McLellan (Hilson 62), Kader.