Saturday 4th August at Guthrie Park, McBookie.com Premier League North:
With only a handful of last season’s team staying at Forfar this was practically a new team that took to the pitch for the opening game of the season. As both sides looked to settle into the game it was Scone that would have the first chance of the day with defender Andy Webster (sponsored by Noble & Bradford flooring) having a couple of chances in the opening 10 minutes. At the other end Josh Gorton (sponsored by Blackadders) was called into action as the “Albion” worked hard to get into the game. The breakthrough finally came in the 29th minute when a Jason Hill goal kick was won by Scone and when the ball was flicked onto Sean Whitworth on the half way line he played a beautiful pass into the path of Martin Strachan (sponsored by Strachan Sheet Metal) who timed his run perfectly to remain on side and calmly slot the ball pass Hill to open the scoring. This seemed to settle the nerves for Scone who would go on to dominate the rest of the half. In the 37th minute, Aaron Carlon (sponsored by Stephen Taylor Decorating) scored his first goal of the season when Strachan turned provider feeding Aaron with a through ball with again just the keeper to beat. A minute later Sean Whitworth (sponsored by Stuart Bruce, Painter) scored his first goal of the day after great work by Craig Mitchell (sponsored by Alex Spense) who won the ball in midfield before running to the byline and selflessly cutting the ball back to Whitworth for a comfortable tap in.
Half time score: Forfar Albion 0-3 Scone
The interval seemed to give the home side time to re-group and in fact it was the hosts that started the second half brighter with Josh Gorton again having to make a couple of saves within a minute of the restart. Carlon & Strachan both had chances to add to their tally but the next goal would prove to be the goal of the day and early contender for goal of the season. Forfar were caught on the ball and when Sean Whitworth dispossessed the Albion defence just inside their half he started to sprint goal wards. As Jaggies fans wondered if he had the pace to keep going, Whitworth chipped the ball from the edge of the penalty area over Hill who was left no chance as the ball dropped in under the cross bar. The versatile defender was proving to be a handful as a makeshift forward for the day and on 83 minutes his usual centre back partner Willie Laing (sponsored by Derek Angus – window cleaner) got in on the act when he headed home from a Martin Strachan corner kick. Second half substitutes saw Callum Cocker-Tough replace Aaron Carlon before Lee Milton & Gary Mackie came on for Fraser MacDonald & Calum Black.
Full time score: Forfar Albion 0-5 Scone
Man of the match for Scone: Sean Whitworth, with the team playing so well a number of players caught the eye. Josh Gorton made some good saves to protect his clean sheet and both Willie Laing & Craig Mitchell picked up votes but with 2 goals & an assist, Sean bags the award. After the match manager Derek Lawson (sponsored by Ronnie McNeill, decorator) told Jaggies TV “we are delighted to keep a clean sheet & full credit to Forfar Albion who made us really work for the 3 points today. They’re a much improved side and I think they’ll do quite well this year. Our quality in the end got us through the game, I thought Craig Mitchell was magnificent breaking up the play and getting us going on the counter attack and was a standout in the middle of the park”.
Matchday 1 summary:
Biggest winners of the day saw Blairgowrie put 8 past local rivals Coupar Angus, Lochee Harp beat Arbroath Vics 6-2 while last season’s champions Dundee North End came from behind to beat Dundee Violet 3-2, East Craigie won 2-0 at home to Brechin Vics while Luncarty narrowly defeated Kinnoull 2-1. Next up for Scone is an away trip to Dundee Violet on Saturday 11th August with a 2:30pm kick off. The first League table of the season is available here.