Boss Daryl thrilled with Kelty performance

Pic credit Christopher Coutts.
Pic credit Christopher Coutts.

Forfar West End player-manager Daryl McKenzie was disappointed not to have earned a replay from their Scottish Cup tie with Kelty Hearts.

West End hosted the Super League outfit on Saturday, going down to a narrow 1-0 defeat thanks to an early strike from new signing Sean Grady.

But the home side dug in and were unfortunate not to get a replay - if not more - and McKenzie was full of pride over his players’ character.

He said: “Before the game, we were slightly worried that a bad performance could have resulted in a heavy defeat. They’ve been beating a lot of teams, they’ve given teams five or six but we knew that if we played well we could give them a game. The boys went into the game full of confidence.

“Probably the most pleasing thing was that, despite such a poor start in losing an early goal, the boys didn’t flounder. The boys just kicked on and took the game between their teeth. The reports I’d had were that Kelty are a great attacking team, and if they get in front they can really kick on. I told the boys to keep it tight, full backs and centre mids sit in for the start. We had a very young team out too.

“Scott hit the post from 20 yards with 15 minutes to go and I just thought ‘this isn’t our day’. It shows the character of the boys. Kelty started playing into the corner for the last five or 10 minutes, that was the instruction coming from their dug-out, and while it was frustrating we can look back and acknowledge that’s probably the biggest compliment a Super League team could give us. Their manager and assistant were very kind to us after the game.”

Forfar are currently fifth in the Premier League and Daryl is delighted with the campaign so far, but refuses to change his objectives with survival still the only thing on his mind.

He added: “The league form has been excellent since a disappointing start to the season. I thought a few of the boys perhaps underestimated the step up in ability but since we had a team meeting after the Edinburgh game, we’ve been on a great run.

“Dundonald, a team everyone is telling me is the best in the league, we were well worth beating them 3-1.

“We’re not changing our objectives yet. We’re coming into the winter months now where we traditionally struggle. If we can get through this period in the same kind of position we’ll reassess our objectives.”