Forth win again to climb the table

A header by Forth Wanderers ace Craig Gupwell hits the net against Johnstone Burgh (Pic by Elaine Robertson)
A header by Forth Wanderers ace Craig Gupwell hits the net against Johnstone Burgh (Pic by Elaine Robertson)

Forth Wanderers moved off the foot of Central Division 1 with a vital 3-2 home victory over Port Glasgow last Saturday.

“It was a bit of a relief to get this win,” said Forth gaffer Jamie McKenzie.

“We knew that if we persevered we would get there eventually.

“We are building a bit of momentum now as we’ve won three of our last four matches in league and cup.

“Even when we were losing games earlier in the season, I don’t think there has been too much wrong with our performances.

“Apart from the Cambuslang game – a home league fixture which Forth lost 8-2 on October 1 – we’ve been OK.

“The recent signing of midfielder Kevin Bradley has definitely helped us.”

Martin Hannaway got Forth off to a flier against Johnstone on Saturday, rising to glance home a Wullie McLaren corner after only two minutes.

Hannaway then came close on another two occasions as the Wanderers threatened to run riot.

But Burgh were handed a lifeline on 34 minutes when the referee was apparently the only person in the ground not to spot a glaring offside and the visitors took full advantage to level.

Things became worse for Forth when Burgh made it 2-1 two minutes later and the interval arrived with the visitors still 2-1 to the good.

But the Wanderers began the second half on the front foot and equalised on 58 minutes when a McLaren corner was played into the path of the onrushing John Watson and he caught it perfectly and hammered it home.

Forth were in the ascendancy and it was no surprise when Craig Gupwell headed home another McLaren corner on 66 minutes to make it 3-2.

Further chances came and went but in the end Forth were good value for a victory which puts them onto six points from their first seven matches.

Although the Kingshill Park team are still in the relegation zone in third bottom place (the bottom three teams at the end of the season go down) they are just one point from safety.

And Forth have the ideal chance to improve their position in the table as they host fourth bottom Vale of Clyde this weekend.

The Forth players have reacted well since the Cambuslang thumping, after which gutted boss McKenzie’s resignation offer was rejected by the Forth committee. That’s beginning to look a wise move.