team lines

Pic credit Christopher Coutts
Pic credit Christopher Coutts

Forfar Athletic assistant Ian Campbell was pleased with the side’s performance in the 2-0 win over Buckie Thistle on Saturday in their first pre-season game.

A first half double from Martyn Fotheringham was enough although the side had chances to add to their tally, with Chris Templeman, Kerr Hay and Michael Dunlop all going close.

Speaking after the game, Campbell said: “It was a decent performance from us, we had our objectives to hit. Buckie did well, they worked hard and closed us down well; we fully expected that so from our point of view it was a good workout for us.

”We could have played a lot better in terms of playing where we want to play and keeping better possession but that’s acceptable at this stage of the season.

”We could have scored another one or two but all credit to Buckie, they made it difficult. We gave a lot of the young boys a game, which was good, we had five or six players missing but overall it was a decent first pre-season game.”

The game started off in a quiet fashion, with the first opportunity of the afternoon coming in the ninth minute when Michael Kennedy saw a shot from outside the box tipped over the bar by the retreating keeper.

Buckie had a chance of their own four minutes later but Paul Napier could only shoot straight at Rab Douglas.

The Loons took the lead after 23 minutes when they were awarded a penalty; Craig Smith looked to have been fouled outside the penalty area but Fotheringham stepped up to slot home the spot kick.

Three minutes later it was two for the midfielder, a good move by the home side resulted in Fotheringham sweeping home a Gavin Malin cut back.

Forfar struggled to break down a stuffy Buckie defence that included a familiar face in Chris Hegarty.

The visitors went close again five minutes before half time, Douglas having to hold a cross cum shot from Sean Carroll.

Hay almost added a third for Forfar on the stroke of half time, Danny Denholm and Kennedy combining to set the youngster up but his near post effort was pushed wide by Andy Burr.

At half time Smith and new signing Kevin Nicoll were replaced by an English trialist and fellow new face Thomas O’Brien.

Dunlop was next to threaten in the 50th minute, his effort from outside the box taking a slight deflection off Hay into Burr’s arms before Fotheringham missed his chance for a hat trick after Hay’s effort was blocked six minutes later.

In the 66th minute sub Templeman, Fotheringham and Malin combined to set up Denholm but his shot hit the wrong side of the net.

Two minutes later Kennedy sent a lofted ball into the area for the trialist striker to chase; the keeper collided with him, leaving Templeman with a great chance but he went for power rather than slotting the ball home and his shot flew over the bar.

The trialist had his own effort with 15 minutes left, racing onto Denholm’s through ball but could only place the ball into the keeper’s arms.

Fotheringham had another two chances to complete his hat trick, with both flying wide before Buckie’s Hegarty sent a free kick over the bar with six minutes to go.

The final chance came from Malin when he saw his shot take a touch off a defender and go past the post.

The side go on to face East Stirling this Saturday with a 2pm kick off at Station Park.

Campbell said: “It’s the gaffer’s choice whether to blood youngsters at the end of the day, I think he will do.

”The problem we’ve got is you’re trying to bring good football players into the club and our young players are not far away so I think he’ll give the young players a chance.”