Forth Wanderers win thriller at Lesmahagow Juniors

Forth Wanderers players celebrate scoring in Saturday's thrilling 4-3 victory at local rivals Lesmahagow (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Forth Wanderers players celebrate scoring in Saturday's thrilling 4-3 victory at local rivals Lesmahagow (Pic by Sarah Peters)

Forth Wanderers won the Clydesdale derby bragging rights after securing a thrilling and crucial 4-3 win at Lesmahagow Juniors on Saturday.

The game started in dramatic fashion when ’Gow were awarded a penalty on 14 minutes when Fitzpatrick was fouled by Gupwell.

Fitzpatrick took the kick himself but his tame effort was easily saved by David Cherrie.

Forth opened the scoring on 19 minutes when Warren Grenfell shot low and hard past Leishman.

But the homesters equalised when a long kick from Leishman put Fitzpatrick through to slam the ball past Cherrie.

’Gow took the lead on the half hour mark when a through ball was only partially cleared by Cherrie. The ball fell to McStay 25 yards from goal and he superbly lobbed the ball into the empty net.

But Forth levelled just before half-time, Taylor Scott running through and slotting the ball under Leishman.

Lesmahagow took the lead again in the second half when a surging run down the right by McStay saw him cross into the box for Fitzpatrick to turn the ball home.

And Forth were reduced to 10 men when Stephen Tait was dismissed after bringing down Currie on the edge of the box.

But it was soon 10 men apiece when Lesmahagow substitute Colin Boylan saw red for kicking out at a Forth player.

Forth then equalised on 78 minutes when a Bradley shot hit the underside of the bar and fell to Mclaren who blasted it past Leishman.

And Wanderers scored the winner after 81 minutes after good play on the right by McLaren. He weaved his way into the box before cutting the ball back to Bradley, whose first time shot flew past Leishman.

Saturday’s result leaves Lesmahagow ninth in the Central Division 1 table with 18 points from 16 matches.

Forth are second bottom and in the relegation zone with 14 points from 13 games.

Lesmahagow boss Robert Irving said: “I didn’t think we did enough in the 90 minutes.

“Our home form is horrendous – we’ve not won in five – and seem to play better away from home.

“The whole season has been a nightmare. We have 10 games left and I think we need to win six of them to stay up.”

Forth gaffer Jamie McKenzie said: “It was a massive win. When we got a man sent off at 3-2 down I’d have bitten your hand off for a draw.

“We showed a bit of character and managed to get the win so it was good.

“But our defending wasn’t great on Saturday. We can’t continually go away from home and have to score four goals to win.

“I don’t expect to be in a relegation battle by the end of the season.”