Despite a great performance in front of 299 travelling fans, Forfar Athletic exited the Scottish Cup on Saturday following a 2-0 defeat to Kilmarnock.
Goals in either half from Stuart Findlay and Chris Burke at Rugby Park meant Jim Weir’s side departed at the fourth round stage.
Weir made two changes to his Loons’ side as Dylan Easton and Eddie Malone were replaced by Connor Coupe and former Killie youth Murray Mackintosh.
The Loons had the first chance of the game after just three minutes as Ross Meechan and John Baird combined for the defender to send a low cross in which was half cleared as far as Thomas Reilly but his effort flew over the bar.
Despite good pressure from Forfar, Kilmarnock settled into the game and took the lead in the eighteenth minute.
Greg Kiltie saw his shot diverted wide and from the corner Stuart Findlay had a deflected shot find the back of the net.
Rory McKenzie could have added a second three minutes later as his shot was pushed round the post by Marc McCallum; Findlay failing to find the target with header from the corner.
Despite the two league difference Forfar were playing well and Baird scuffed wide following some good play between Reilly and Dale Hilson.
The hosts’ Kiltie blasted over with seven minutes remaining of the half but the final chance of the opening 45 fell to former Killie youth player Murray Mackintosh as his driven shot was tipped over by MacDonald.
Four minutes into the second half Jim Weir’s side win a free kick in the byline when Connor Coupe was fouled by Iain Wilson; the set piece by Adam Eckersley evaded everyone and fell to Jamie Bain at the edge of the box who blasted over the bar.
Coupe had a chance of his own in the 53rd minute when the ball fell kindly to him 20 yards out, however his shot had the sting taken out of it by a defender’s leg and MacDonald gathered with ease.
At the other end a smart Killie move ended in Jordan Jones curling over the bar from the edge of the box.
A minute later Iain Wilson’s marauding run saw him find his way into the box before setting up Kiltie who was denied by the leg of McCallum.
Aaron Tshibola should have done better just after the hour mark as he fired well over.
Baird was unable to beat MacDonald shortly after while at the other end Tshibola had a carbon copy of his earlier effort miss the target.
Forfar were agonisingly close to equalising twice in quick succession when Bain’s teasing cross evaded both Baird and Hilson before he had his own shot squeeze inches past the post with MacDonald beaten.
Sub Chris Burke hit the sidenettjng for the hosts in the 72nd minute before the Loons’ Hilson got a head on a Coupe cross a minute later.
Forfar hearts were broken with thirteen minutes remaining as two Killie subs combined with Ndjoli setting up Chris Burke as he swept the ball home.
Fellow sub Scott Boyd managed to scoop the ball over from less than six yards out as the hosts saw the game out with the Loons’ Eddie Malone also firing over in injury time.
Jim Weir and his side can be happy with their performance against a side that are can be considered title challengers in the Premiership this season.
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, Power, McKenzie (Burke 65), Dicker, K. Boyd (S. Boyd 78), Kiltie, Jones (Ndjoli 65), Findlay, Waters, Wilson, Tshibola
Subs not used: O’Donnell, Thomas, Brophy, Bachmann (gk)
Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Meechan, Eckersley, Whyte, Travis, Reilly (Malone 88), Hilson, Bain, Baird, Coupe (Aitken 78), Mackintosh
Subs not used: Kennedy, Starkey, Hoban (gk)