The ‘Loons’ and near neighbours Brechin City will go into battle at Station Park tomorrow in the first of eight derby fixtures each will play in the Irn Bru League Division Two this season.
It will also be the first derby clash to be played on the 3G surface at the ground, the match to be preceded by a presentation from his former board colleagues to Neill Wilson who stood down as Chairman and as a Director at the end of the last campaign.
The home side go into the game on the back of three successive league victories, the last a 4-0 drubbing of Stenhousemuir at Ochilview. However Manager Dick Campbell will be hoping that the international break has not disturbed the momentum of his side and in this regard he has kept his players match fit over the past fortnight with games against Livingston and Montrose.
He will however be forced into one change in the starting line up. Skipper Mark McCulloch, a Fife based ‘bobby’, is required for duty at the Leuchars Air Show and this will in all probability mean a debut for Odmar Faeroe who made his international bow for the Faroe Islands in Germany last week in their opening World Cup qualifying tie.
That change apart the team will be along the usual lines, but their will also be a freshening up of the bench with Michael Dunlop off on a 28 day emergency temporary transfer to East Stirlingshire to gain valuable game time. One name not on the team line will be that of David Mowat who has turned down an offer to return to the club, opting instead to join big spending Fife junior outfit Ballingry Rovers.
Charlie King will face a late fitness test.
Jim Weir’s troops come to Forfar after a mixed start to the campaign, home victories having been recorded over Albion Rovers and East Fife in league jousts alongside defeat at Ochilview and a home reverse to Alloa Athletic. Key man for the Glebe Park men would appear to be striker Andy Jackson; the Republic of Ireland Under 21 internationalist who had a spell on loan at Station Park in his St. Johnstone days.
Last season Dick Campbell’s men picked up seven of the available twelve points against City. A counter from Chris Templeman was the only goal of the game in the September joust up at Brechin. That was followed by a goalless draw at Station Park in November and a deserved 2-1 win for the home side at the Glebe in the New Year clash. Forfar though came up trumps with a 4-1 win in March at Station Park, with two goals from ‘Foxy’, Kevin Byers and Nicky Low the other scorers.
Saturday’s fixture, sponsored by James F. Stephen, which hopefully may attract a reasonable crowd will be handled by Granite City policeman Frank McDermott.