Saturday August 3, 2019
Ladbrokes League One
Andy Jackson 53
Callum Tapping 55
Two goals in as many minutes gave Forfar the opening day victory over Airdrie.
For the third season in a row, these two sides came together to kick off their League One campaign.
The Diamonds turned in a performance that was below the standards required to get the right result and Jim Weir’s side had payback for their 2018 opening day defeat in the Station Park meeting of the two clubs.
Two second half goals were enough to earn that victory for the Loons, who continued their fine start to the season.
Both sides started the match cautiously with the respective back lines and the goalkeepers finding themselves neither being stretched or tested, leading to a first half that only ever looked like producing one outcome, a goalless 45 minutes - which proved to be the case.
Forfar’s best chance of the half came after Callum Tapping found space inside the penalty box on 33 minutes after a corner from the left, but he sent his 10-yard volley over the top of David Hutton’s goal.
Two minutes from the break Callum Smith worked space on the right then found Ally Roy inside the box and his angled effort was turned away by Forfar keeper Marc McCallum.
Within three minutes of the restart Tapping was in space in the Airdrie box unmarked after a Ross Forbes through ball, but Hutton made an excellent stop, turning the ball away for a corner.
From the resultant corner Forfar had the ball in the net, although referee Kevin Graham had blown for a foul on the Airdrie keeper.
On 53 minutes a defensive error by Josh Kerr saw him dispossessed by Dale Hilson who then made headway to the edge of the box, before picking out an unmarked Andy Jackson. The former Brechin striker passed the ball into the net giving Hutton little chance.
Airdrie then conceded three corners in succession as the visitors targeted a second goal. Forbes’ corner on 55 minutes was forced into the net by Tapping to double Forfar’s lead.
As Airdrie tried to get a foothold in the game, Roy fired a 20-yard volley wide right of the Forfar goal on 58 minutes then three minutes later Craig Thomson had a go for goal that was blocked for a corner by former Diamond Sean Burns.
Twice in 67 minutes further attempts on goal saw Callum Fordyce’s header well taken by McCallum and Smith’s close-range shot blocked.
Although content to defend their advantage, on 69 minutes Forbes forced Hutton into another good stop as he dived low to gather the ball low at corner of his goal.
Fordyce was on target with 15 minutes left after joining his attack to power a 25-yard shot which McCallum turned away for a corner.
Two minutes from time Calum Gallagher met an Adam Eckersley cross but sent his header wide of goal.
A disappointing start to the season against a side that clearly has designs on repeating last season’s play-off achievement.
John O'Brien at the Penny Cars Stadium.
Match photography by John Steven. Click images to view full size.