Dunfermline Athletic 6 Dunlop (og 36), Thomson (62), Millen (pen 83), Smith (102), Husband (110, 118)
Forfar Athletic 1 I Campbell (6)
The 2012-2013 season is over for Forfar Athletic after a game of indiscipline and horrendous refereeing at East End Park ended in a 6-1 win for Dunfermline to send the Loons crashing out of the play-offs 7-4 on aggregate.
Two busloads and several cars made their way down to Fife hoping they would see a performance similar to Wednesday’s heroic 3-1 win, with the same sixteen players being unchanged.
The away side started off well and put the travelling fans into wonderland after 6 minutes when IAIN CAMPBELL swung a corner to the near post and keeper Michal Hrivnak flapped the ball into the net to make it 1-0 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate.
Dunfermline’s top goalscorer Ryan Wallace had been a doubt before the game due to a dislocated shoulder although started, but was forced off in the first ten minutes holding the injured shoulder to be replaced by veteran Craig Dargo.
After fourteen minutes referee Steven O’Reilly deemed Mark McCulloch’s challenge in the box on Alan Smith to be worthy of a penalty and a straight red, despite looking like a fair challenge from the angle of the reporter. Stephen Husband stepped up to take the penalty, but put his attempt wide to the delight of the Loons fans.
Darren Hill was keeping Forfar in the lead with some excellent saves, one of the best in the 23rd minute when he showed amazing reactions to claw the ball off the line after the ball pinged around in the box.
Ten minutes before half time Dale Hilson came close to extending the Loons lead further but his run and shot was saved well by Hrivnak. From that Dunfermline piled on the pressure and less than two minutes later had equalised through an own goal, Alan Smith made his way down the right wing and his attempt at a cross was diverted past Hill at a tight angle by a unfortunate MICHAEL DUNLOP to make it 4-2 on aggregate.
Hilson had another chance to give the Loons the lead again just before half time but his shot from the edge of the box hit Templeman on its way and went just past the post. Omar Kader came on at half time for Ross Campbell.
Gavin Malin was unlucky with a free kick near the corner flag in the 50th minute, his attempt floating to the back post and coming off the post and ending up coming off Templeman for a goal kick.
Three minutes later the Loons were down to nine men when Michael Dunlop lost the ball and both him and the Pars player went for the ball with feet up and collided after missing it, with O’Reilly deciding Dunlop deserved a red, a very harsh decision, the challenge was a booking at best. An enraged Dick Campbell and Neil McCann were also sent from the technical area for clashing.
Just after the hour mark Dunfermline took the lead after through ball in between a stretched defence
allowed RYAN THOMSON to collect the ball and slot past Hill with ease.
Dunfermline again dominated the game, with the nine men in orange camped in their own half constantly, although one counter attack left Gavin Swankie running with the ball the length of the Pars half with one defender matching him for pace but he was able to fire off a shot in the box, Hrivnak saving and then smothering Swankie’s second attempt.
The third goal for Dunfermline today and the equaliser on aggregate came with eight minutes to go when O’Reilly seen an apparent handball in the box by Omar Kader and youngster Millen stepped up and placed the ball past Darren Hill. Forfar were then reduced to eight men straight after the penalty when Iain Campbell was given his second yellow for abusing the referee.
The game went into extra time much to the disappointment of the away support and things didn’t get much better for them with three goals by Dunfermline in the half hour. ALAN SMITH saw his shot get deflected in after 102 minutes, STEPHEN HUSBAND added a double in the second period, with the pick of the goals today being a 25 yard shot that rifled into the top corner to make it 5-1 and added a sixth in the final minute.
The final whistle went and the majority of the Loons fans stayed to applaud the players and management for their efforts this season who in turn thanked the fans.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Man of the Match: Darren Hill – Pulled off numerous excellent stops.
Dunfermline Athletic: Hrivnak 5, Millen 7, Whittle 6 (Kane 111, 5), Young 6, Potter 6, Geggan 6 (Byrne 91, 5), Wallace 4 (Dargo 11, 6), Husband 8, Smith 8, Falkingham 6, Thomson 7.
Subs not used: El Bahktoui, Goodfellow.
Forfar Athletic: Hill 9, Dunlop 5, I Campbell 6, McCulloch 4, Bolochoweckyj 7, Malin 6 (Brown 71, 5), R Campbell 5 (Kader 46, 6), Robertson 6, Templeman 6, Swankie 7, Hilson 6 (Sellars 93, 5).
Subs not used: King, Salmon.
Referee – Steven O’Reilly
Attendance – 4,252