Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 1
Kader 25 Buchanan 38 (pen)
Forfar Athletic progressed to the next round of the Ramsdens Cup as they beat ten man East Fife 2-1 on Saturday at Station Park.
The Loons fielded five of the new signings in the starting line up, with McCabe, Baxter, Malcolm, McManus and Deasley all appearing whilst James Dale was on the bench.
The first chance of the game came to East Fife in the first minute but Johnny Stewart’s free kick hit the wall and came to nothing.
Referee Andrew Dallas felt the wrath of Loons supporters in the 7th minute when he waved away claims for a penalty after Paul McManus was pushed by Gary Thom in the box. Two minutes later Scott Durie did well to clear an Omar Kader attempt off the line.
A minute later Bryan Deasley saw a long range effort flash past the post while Forfar had another penalty shout, this time Craig Johnstone pulling down Gavin Swankie as he shaped to shoot, with still nothing given by Dallas.
With 22 minutes on the clock, Mark Baxter almost opened the scoring, his header looping over from a Neil McCabe cross. Forfar did take the lead three minutes after, with a ball in the middle of the field ending up going towards Omar KADER, whose first touch allowed him to then slot the ball under the keeper.
Baxter had another chance a minute after the goal, this time firing a long range attempt which was tipped past the post by Andrews.
It was 2-0 on the half hour mark, as a free kick from Martyn Fotheringham towards the back post was met by Stuart MALCOLM who had the simple task of tapping the ball in.
East Fife, who had rarely threatened and looked poor, had their first chance in almost half an hour after 37 minutes but after breaking clear Johnny Stewart couldn’t place the ball past Darren Hill. A minute later they were awarded a penalty when Hill tripped Liam Buchanan, although it looked very dubious, and BUCHANAN put the ball to the left of Hill who had went the other way.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 1
Johnny Stewart had yet another chance for East Fife in the 50th minute, when he raced clear but he fluffed his shot and didn’t trouble Hill in any way.
Forfar’s first chance of the half came four minutes later after Neil McCabe was fouled on the edge of the box and Fotheringham’s excellent free kick was well saved by Andrews.
Nothing much happened in the next twenty minutes until the 74th minute when an alleged elbow from Gary Thom on Ross Campbell, who had just come on, warranted a red card, leaving the Methil men with a mountain to climb.
Three minutes later debutant James Dale saw his effort from 20 yards fall into the keeper’s arms whilst Stuart Malcolm and Ross Campbell both had good attempts go wide of the goal.
Youth team player Paul McLellan made his professional debut with seven minutes left to play and can be happy with his effort in those few minutes, being involved in a couple of chances late in the game. In quick succession Fotheringham fired over, Swankie tried to round keeper and his shot was just saved and Fotheringham had another chance saved.
Hill almost handed East Fife an equaliser in the last minute when he tried to catch a cross and dropped the ball at sub Nathan Austin’s feet but his hesitancy allowed Hill to gather again before he could get a shot away.
FULL TIME: Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 1
Ramblings of a Loon’s Joint Man of the Match: Stuart Malcolm and Neil McCabe – Couldn’t decide between the two, Malcolm won almost every header and scored while McCae was very good up and down the right hand side.
Forfar Athletic: Hill 6, McCabe 8, Baxter 7, M. Fotheringham 7, Malcolm 8, McCulloch 6, Kader 7 (Dale 70, 6), Malin 6, McManus 6 (McLellan (t) 83, 6), Swankie 7, Deasley 7 (R. Campbell 70, 6).
Subs not used: Thomson, Douglas (gk)
East Fife: Andrews 6, Durie 5, Johnstone 5, Thom 4, Mbu 6, J. Stewart 7, Willis 5 (G. Fotheringham 79, 5), McBride 6, Clarke 6 (Austin 83, 5), Buchanan 7, Wilson 5 (R Stewart 44, 6).
Subs not used: Brown, Paterson (gk)