East Craigie v Forfar Albion
Quest Engineering Cup (14/09/2019)
(Report submitted by East Craigie)
Reporter: Stephen Durcan
Forfar Albion arrived at a blustery Craigie Park for this Quest Engineering Cup 1st Round tie looking to avenge a 6-1 league reversal a month ago. East Craigie were hoping to extend their 100% home record this season which has reaped an impressive 24 goals from just 4 outings.
The hosts began strongly with Adam Brown working hard down the right channel and forcing the keeper to block his shot for a corner. Both sides began struggling with the strong crosswinds which made precision very difficult. Another strong run from Brown took him past defender Gallacher before his shot was pushed away by the keeper to safety. In the swirling wind Albion began to utilise the long ball out of defence with a curling shot from Stephen spinning wide of the far post.
On 28 minutes a powerful run through the middle by East Craigie's Fraser MacLeod resulted in his shot being deflected wide by the foot of a backtracking defender. On the half hour the hosts were awarded a free kick after Finlay Baird was bundled to the ground. Scott Brannan lifted the set piece well over the bar. Good interplay from the Forfar duo of Gallacher and Wilson gained a free kick 25 yards out and central which the former smashed up and over the crossbar. A through ball from Sean Reekie fed Craigie's George Johnston who also failed to keep the ball down from 15 yards out. The forward made amends a minute before the interval when Albion failed to clear out of defence and the number 10 nipped in to poke home for the opening goal. The last chance of the half fell to Adam Brown wide on the right who smashed a shot into the visitor's side netting.
HT: East Craigie 1 Forfar Albion 0
The opening few minutes of the second period saw, first Johnston fire wide, then Brown nod over from Jordan Conway's high cross into the box. Seven minutes into the half Johnston sprung the offside trap and squared the ball to Rory Faulkner whose low shot was smothered by keeper Hill. The high winds then picked up again causing mayhem with aerial deliveries. Back came Forfar with Couttie nodding into keeper Liam Dunn's arms after a neat cross from Mooney.
East Craigie charged upfield with the speedy Rory Faulkner nipping in between two defenders but his square ball across goal came to nothing. On the hour mark the visitors won a free kick which Gallacher floated into the box but Wilson could only head wide. Brown fired wide for Craigie before Faulkner was bundled over in the area resulting in a spot kick which Johnston stroked low beyond the keeper's reach. This was midway through the half and gave the hosts a solid platform.
Fair credit to Forfar who continued to battle, a strong run from Stephen who drilled into the side netting, worthy of note. Good passing play between Johnston, Brown and Faulkner saw the latter's shot well blocked as the game neared it's conclusion. The last chance of the match brought a goal and a deserved hat-trick for Johnston as he placed a free kick from 20 yards out and central straight into the top corner.
A battling display from East Craigie brought a deserved victory in difficult conditions. Forfar Albion were not embarrassed at all and had several decent chances themselves but it's the hosts who go into the hat for the 2nd round draw.
Match reporter's man of the match - Adam Brown though hat-trick hero George Johnston was also faultless.
FINAL SCORE: East Craigie 3 Forfar Albion 0
East Craigie: Dunn, Reekie, Christie, McDonald, Brannan, Baird, Brown, Conway, Faulkner, Johnston, MacLeod. SUBS: Moran, Mcilvenny, Howett, McNaughton, Malone
Forfar Albion: Hill, Pattullo, Gallacher, Sturrock, Jamieson, Couttie, Fraser, Stephen, Wilson, Mooney, McLeish. SUBS: Rennie, Black, Crosby, Anderson