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Forfar Athletic’s dogged display sees them through at the expense of Inverness CT

Forfar Athletic FC 1

McLellan 52

Inverness CT 0

Alasdair Hooper | YFS Dundee Senior Reporter
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Forfar Athletic’s display against the favourites for the tie, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, was full of grit and determination. As a result they emerged from the game victorious, courtesy of a sublimely taken goal by Paul McLellan, and they will progress onwards in the Scottish Youth Cup. 
 
For the first quarter of an hour both teams were equally matched with some early half chances from either side.
 
 Afterwards Inverness started to edge ahead in terms of goal scoring opportunities. In the 34th minute Inverness were awarded a free kick and the resulting shot was well saved by Forfar goalkeeper John Bonnar and pushed out for a corner. The ball was launched straight back into the box from the corner and, following a couple of ricochets, Inverness’ Jason Brown’s eventual shot flew just past the post. 
 
Inverness continued to keep the pressure up on Forfar with Chris Blackett’s close range shot expertly saved by Bonnar, again being pushed out for a corner.
 
 The resulting corner was almost a mirror image of the previous corner in the 34th minute with the ball landing to the feet of Brown after a ricochet. This time, however, Brown’s strike found the target only for the ball to be cleared off the line by Forfar defender Ben Smith. 
 
Inverness striker Calum Ferguson, who had an impressive first half, had a shot blocked on the 43rd minute by Jack Neave and Bonnar easily picked up the ball once the sting had been entirely taken out of the shot.
 
Forfar still remained a threat with winger Cameron Clark cutting in from the wing and firing a shot from distance, which sailed over the goal just before the half time whistle went. 
 
From Inverness’ point of view they would have been disappointed not to capitalise on their first half momentum. 
 
Forfar began the second half as the stronger team with Clark making a fine run down the left wing and firing a cross into the penalty area. The ball was just inches too high for Paul McLellan to make contact with his head.
 
On the 52nd minute Forfar found themselves in the lead. Kerr Hay’s delightful through ball took out the entire Inverness back line and it was latched onto by McLellan. With just the keeper to beat, McLellan finished the move expertly with a sublime lobbed finish to make the score 1-0.
 
From then on it became a case of Forfar holding off the Inverness attacks, with Ferguson proving particularly dangerous again. On the 74th minute he missed a golden opportunity to equalise after his volley, from a cross, bounced into the turf and just over the crossbar.
 
Despite the game now becoming a case of one-way traffic Forfar remained in front, thanks to the mental steel of their back four who refused to cave in to the pressure, but also with a little help from the post. An Inverness free kick was crossed in from the left and in amongst the cluster of bodies the ball was diverted towards the target, but rebounding off the woodwork.
 
From this near miss Forfar immediately broke down the other end with the ball sent long to McLellan who was becoming the star of the show. His workrate and hold up play almost presented another goal scoring opportunity for his team before it was cleared by the Inverness defence.
 
The same level of determination was displayed again on the 80th minute when McLellan, after closing down one of the Inverness defenders, won possession of the ball and ran through on goal before dragging his shot just wide.  
 
Inverness had two last attempts on goal, a header wide on the 85th minute and a cross that was cleared by the Forfar defence. The final whistle eventually went with cheers all round from the Forfar players, staff and fans. It was a hard fought victory but well deserved. 

Lineups

Forfar Athletic FC
Inverness CT
1. John Bonnar
2. James Yates
3. Michael Kennedy
4. Andrew MacKenzie
5. Ben Smith
6. Jack Neave
7. Paul McLellan
8. Chris Snee
9. Calum McLennells
10. Kerr Hay
11. Cameron Clark
12. Frank Devine
14. Rudi Brown
15. Aaron Kane
16. Max Reid
17. Jason King
1. Daniel Hoban
2. Chris Brown
3. Calum Howarth
4. Ryan Baptie
5. Jason Brown
6. Blair McLennan
7. Jaimie Wilson
8. Alisdair Sutherland
9. Calum Ferguson
10. Chris Blackett
11. Stephen Rennie
12. Kane Hull
14. Andrew MacRae
15. Alasdair Stark
Star Player
Forfar Athletic FC
Inverness CT
Paul McLellan – A finely taken goal and was the best player on the pitch in the second half. Worked hard and pressed defenders continuously.
Calum Ferguson – Was a real threat throughout. With better finishing could have had a couple of good goals.
Magic Moment
Forfar Athletic FC
Inverness CT
Has to be Paul McLellan’s goal. A fantastic lobbed finish, calmness personified.
If that 34th Minute free kick had been a bit higher and a bit to the left, then wow.
Club Views
Forfar Athletic FC
Inverness CT
Forfar Head Coach said he was ‘delighted’ and ‘over the moon’ with the performance of his team.
Inverness Head Coach said he was ‘disappointed’ with the result but credit should be given to Forfar for their performance.

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