Loons still looking for that first league win

Templeman goal.
Templeman goal.

THREE games in and Forfar Athletic are still looking for their first league victory of the season.

The Loons went into the home match with Stenhousemuir with high hopes of adding to their one point so far, but found themselves trailing by two goals to nil at the interval.

A second-half fight-back got them back on level terms, only for the Warriors to go back up the park and grab what was eventually to prove the winner.

Forfar boss Dick Campbell accepted that his side has found it tough in the opening matches of the new season.

“We are going through a right difficult spell at the moment,” he commented after the latest reverse.

“The goals Stenhousemuir got were amateurish from our point of view but that is the way we are going just now.

“We are not as bad as that but we are certainly needing a lift.”

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday) the Loons were preparing to make the long trip south-west to take on Queen of the South in the second round of the Scottish Communities League Cup that same evening.

Forfar were making the trip with no injury or suspension concerns.

You will know by now how the Loons fared in what was a tough ask.

Next up for Dick Campbell’s men is a home league joust with Airdrie United, and then comes a break, while the focus is on international football, ahead of the first derby match of the new campaign, away to Brechin City on Saturday, September 10.

Back to Saturday’s home defeat by the odd goal in five at home to Stenhousemuir.

The game swung very much in favour of the visitors when they struck with two goals in three minutes midway through the first period.

In 22 minutes, goalkeeper Adam McHugh punched a corner only as far as McHale, who sent the ball into the area for Brown Ferguson to nod home.

Soon after, it was two-nil, Iain Campbell missing the opportunity to clear a ball into the area, allowing Kean to stab home from close range.

It was an uphill struggle for the home side thereafter, but the Loons came out for the second half with all guns blazing, and two goals in a couple of minutes had them back on level terms before the hour mark.

In 55 minutes, Chris Templeman scored a trade-mark goal when he rose to meet an Iain Campbell corner-kick and power the ball past the goalkeeper.

Two minutes later and midfield player David Mowatt, on as a substitute for Hegarty, looked up and smacked a screamer high into the net from just outside the box.

It was very much game on at this stage, but Stenhousemuir went on to spoil the party by regaining the lead in the 62nd minute, Thomson reacting quickly when Iain Campbell, in attempting to clear, hit the ball off the post.

That was how things finished, the result leaving Forfar languishing near the foot of the table, with just the one point reaped from the opening three fixtures.

They only just dodge rock bottom courtesy of a better goal-difference, Dumbarton occupying that place.

However, there is no team with a one hundred per-cent record, Cowdenbeath - impressive five-one victors over Airdrie United on Saturday past- and Stirling Albion leading the way with seven points, one ahead of Arbroath and Stenhousemuir.

That leaves the Loons just six points behind the current front-runners and, as any manager will tell you, nothing is ever won in August.

With the transfer window about to bang shut on Wednesday of next week it will be interesting to see if the Forfar boss moves to strengthen his squad in the coming few days.

Whatever, a victory over Airdrie United at home this coming Saturday can get the Loons up and running again.

Forfar Athletic - McHugh, Ross, Bishop, Bolocheweckyj, Iain Campbell, Fotheringham, Hegarty (Mowat), McCulloch, Byers (Gibson), Templeman (Ross Campbell) and Crawford.

Stenhousemuir - McCluskey, Lyle, Corrigan, McKinlay, Dickson, Ferguson (Iain Thomson), McHale, Paton, Murray (McMillan), Rodgers and Kean (Fraser).

Referee - Mike Tumilty; crowd - 372.