Ten man Forfar Athletic’s stuttering form continued after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Angus rivals Arbroath on Saturday.
The Loons fielded two new signings, Aberdeen loanee Jordon Brown, whose loan spell last season was cut short by a horrific cruciate ligament injury and keeper Darren Hill, released from the Gayfield side earlier in the week.
Arbroath had most of the possession and chances in the early stages with Graham Bayne heading straight at Hill in the first 60 seconds and even took the lead after 7 minutes when a stramash in the box ended in the ball breaking to Lee Sibanda, and he lashed the ball into the net.
They almost extended their lead in the 14th minute when Steven Doris forced an excellent save from the keeper, from the resulting corner, left back Colin Hamilton headed wide.
Three minutes later Forfar were made to pay for their slackness when Ross Chisholm broke through the defence and floated in a cross that was headed home by Bayne.
With 5 minutes to go in the half Lee Sibanda was booked for a foul on Martyn Fotheringham, despite it being committed by Mark Baxter, referee David Somers failing to notice his error. Forfar had an excellent chance to pull one back 60 seconds later when Chisholm fouled Willie Robertson in a dangerous position, but Iain Campbell hit the wall with his attempt and it was cleared.
Player-manager Paul Sheerin and Graham Bayne joined Sibanda in the book before half time, Sheerin for dissent, and Bayne for an elbow on Martyn Fotheringham. From the resulting Bayne foul Jordon Brown but he squandered his shot.
At half time, Danny Denholm went off injured and defender Stephen Tulloch came on in his place. Dale Hilson saw his volley blocked by a defender from Fotheringham’s corner in the 50th minute, and Arbroath broke up the park, with Doris running clear from a through ball, but Darren Hill did well to rush out and clear the ball.
Arbroath made sure of the three points in the 56th minute when more poor defending allowed Ross Chisholm to have a shot which was fumbled by Hill, Graham Bayne poking home a second on his debut. On the hour mark the Red Lichties’ Mark Baxter was replaced by Scott Robertson.
Forfar then had a perfectly fine goal chalked off after the ball was played in from the byeline back to Chris Templeman who nodded into the goal, but the stand side assistant ruled him to be offside.
Templeman was replaced by Ross Campbell, who set up a chance almost instantly, Gavin Swankie playing the ball to him, before he threaded the ball to Jordon Brown, who skied his shot over. Paul Currie then replaced Ross Chisholm for Arbroath.
The Loons were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute after Willie Robertson weaved his way into the box before being bundled over by Brian Kerr. Iain Campbell stepped up to slot home his fourth penalty of the season and give Forfar a slim lifeline.
Stephen Tulloch almost pulled another goal back when his header from Iain Campbell’s corner forced Tony Bullock into a good save. Gavin Malin replaced Martyn Fotheringham as the Loons’ final substitution.
With ten minutes left Forfar were reduced to ten men when David Somers adjudged Willie Robertson’s challenge on Colin Hamilton to be worthy of a straight red, when it really only deserved a yellow at best, Ross Campbell also received a booking in the handbags after.
The Loons do not have league duty again until the 9th of February with their Scottish Cup fifth round tie away to Falkirk this coming Saturday.