Travis and Smith on target to give Forfar winning finish to friendlies

Photo - Christopher Coutts.
Photo - Christopher Coutts.

First half goals from Michael Travis and Craig Smith gave Forfar Athletic a 2-0 win over Berwick Rangers in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday.

The victory by a strong squad sets the Loons up nicely for this weekend’s competitive opener, an Angus derby in the Petrofac Training Cup at home to Montrose.

Iain Campbell took part in his first friendly and fellow new signing Bryan Hodge took a place on the bench.

The game was quiet in the opening stages, with neither side really looking like threatening.

The first chance for anyone came in the 12th minute when Danny Denholm swung a cross into the area; it took a deflection and Derek Young was an inch away from connecting at the far post.

Seven minutes later Smith raced onto a long ball but his effort was knocked wide by a defender.

From the resulting corner taken by Campbell, Travis nodded home from a yard out after keeper Kevin Walker missed his attempted punch to clear the ball.

Berwick did have two off target shots through a trialist striker and David Banjo but it was Forfar who scored the next goal.

A quick free kick from Campbell found Gavin Swankie but his shot was pushed onto the bar, and Smith was more than happy to tap in the loose ball.

The visitors’ Ewan McNeil forced Rab Douglas into a save from long range three minutes before half time while at the other end, Young put Denholm through on goal, his shot creeping inches over the bar.

Six minutes into the second half and Swankie beat several defenders before seeing his effort tipped over the bar by Walker.

Berwick’s trialist defender almost put his diving header into his own net from the corner, the ball narrowly going over.

In the 53rd minute, Thomas O’Brien fired wide from another Campbell corner before Berwick’s trialist striker then hit the sidenetting when he should have really done better.

On the hour mark Swankie played a good ball for Denholm to reach, his ball across goal from the byline rolled past the keeper but sub Chris Templeman was unable to get a touch to knock it over the line.

The play slowed down with substitutions being introduced but it was Forfar who had the only chances in the final stages.

Kerr Hay and Denholm saw shots fly wide as Swankie saw a free kick deflected wide.