Cup victory for Forfar as Husband runs the show

Pic credit Christopher Coutts.

Pic credit Christopher Coutts.

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First half goals from Stephen Husband and Craig Smith were enough to give Forfar Athletic a 2-1 win over Brechin City in the Forfarshire Cup last Thursday.

The victory means the Loons’ progress to the semi-finals of the regional tournament.

Boss Dick Campbell made seven changes to the side that defeated Greenock Morton 3-2 at Station Park five days previously as new signing Jim Paterson joined fringe players Ross Salmon, Andrew Steeves, Liam Keiller, Gavin Malin, James Dale and Smith in getting some much-needed game time.

Smith had Danny Denholm through on goal inside the first minute, hitting a tidy little pass to the forward but the shot was just over the bar.

Former Forfar player Gary Fusco then went close for Brechin, charging into the box only to see his progress 
halted by Paterson.

Smith and Denholm were combining terrifically well and the latter was played through again in the fifth minute, but Gerry McLaughlin got a great touch on the 
ball to deny him.

Steeves and Denholm then combined to play in Smith but his neat flick 
was just wide.

There was great work at the other end when Leighton McIntosh headed a cross into the path of Craig Molloy but his sweetly-struck volley was wide of Salmon’s goal.

Husband was running the show for the hosts and he played a crisp one-two with Denholm before sending in a great shot that drew a quality save from Ben Tough.

It was almost 1-0 from the following corner when Keiller saw his shot blocked right on the line.

The Brechin defence was all agog when a Husband free kick bounced around the box before Tough finally got rid of it and City almost went ahead seconds later, Ryan Thomson heading wide from Steven Jackson’s cross.

But it was Forfar who went ahead after 23 minutes when Husband smashed home from 25 yards out with a trademark finish - something he’d been gearing up for in his last couple of appearances.

McIntosh burst through the Loons’ defence moments later as the visitors looked for a swift leveller but Salmon was out to smother the ex-Dundee man’s advances.

The forward trio of Smith, Husband and Denholm were torturing the City defence and it was Smith who almost made it two on 31 minutes, cutting inside two defenders before his soft shot was cleared off the line 
by McCormack.

The youngster finally got his goal shortly before the break, charging down a backpass that ended up bouncing off his leg and into Tough’s goal.

Salmon had to be alert when Jackson burst down the right side, sending in a great cross towards McIntosh but the goalkeeper made a top catch before it could reach the loitering striker.

It was almost 2-1 just after the restart when Ferguson saw a shot cleared off the line.

But the game was then played mainly in the middle third with neither side able to fashion much in the 
way of chances.

Left back Steeves was removed inside an hour after pulling up short chasing McIntosh, replaced by James Yates, with a suspected 
hamstring tear.

There was a neat exchange between Husband and Denholm that ended with the former being through on goal, but he blasted his 
effort well over.

Jackson then sent in a tantalising ball across the face of goal but nobody was there to take advantage.

City did manage to get one back on 87 minutes, McCormack heading past Salmon after Thomson had set him up with a header of his own.

Next up for Forfar is a home game with Jim McInally’s Peterhead side in league duty, kick-off 3 p.m.

Forfar Athletic: Salmon, Baxter, Dunlop, Paterson, Steeves (Yates, 54), Keiller (Hay, 84), Malin, Dale, Husband, Denholm, Smith (McLellan, 63)

Brechin City: Tough, Jackson, Hamilton, McCormack, McLaughlan, Fusco (Tapping, 71), Ferguson (O’Neill, 71), Molloy, McIntosh, Masson, Thomson