Forfar Athletic 0 Rangers 1
Forfar Athletic were extremely unlucky not to come away with a draw after outplaying a full strength Rangers side yet still losing 1-0 at Station Park.
The Loons were unchanged from the previous week’s 3-1 win over East Fife, the only change coming from the bench, youngster Connor Gray taking the last week’s unused seventh sub place.
With the game televised nationwide, Forfar started off well, having the first chance of the game after just five minutes, a smart cross from Gavin Swankie was sliced wide by Omar Kader before seven minutes later, Iain Campbell sent a free kick straight into Cameron Bell’s arms.
Rangers were enjoying a fair bit of the ball but weren’t doing much with it, with their first effort on goal not coming until the 23rd minute, although Lee McCulloch’s shot from a corner was blocked then cleared.
Gavin Swankie also saw a shot blocked before in the 41th minute Andy Little caused bother with a cross that evaded everyone but bounced past the post.
Little made up for that two minutes later, a long ball from the Rangers defence wasn’t cleared properly by Darren Dods, his clearance going straight to David Templeton, Templeton lay off Andy Little who knocked the ball past Darren Hill despite pressure from Marvin Andrews to give the Gers an undeserved lead.
Half Time: Forfar Athletic 0 Rangers 1
Forfar came out for the second half much stronger and almost scored within a minute of the half, a run from just inside the Rangers half by Dale Hilson, dancing past defenders before unleashing an excellent long range strike that went inches over the crossbar.
Chris Templeman headed at the keeper before a long ball found Hilson in the 50th minute, he nodded over a defender and then touched the ball over Bell, unfortunately the effort went wide of the goal.
Rangers almost grabbed a second five minutes later, a cross finding Little, who let in Jon Daly, but Darren Hill rushed out to push away his effort.
Iain Campbell saw another free kick gathered by the keeper, whilst his cross after 62 minutes looked dangerous, but Templeman failed to connect with his head.
Rangers came close again with Nicky Law lifting the ball over the bar when he should have netted, Darren Hill went to ground to stop him seconds earlier, Law turned back then shot, but too high. Lee Wallace had an effort go wide from the edge of the box in the 67th minute.
Forfar were close to notching a very well deserved equaliser after 74 minutes, a corner causing havoc in the box before the ball broke to Darren Dods, his goal bound effort deflected by Wallace and then cleared off the line by David Templeton. Iain Campbell also had a shot fly past Bell’s post with fifteen minutes to go.
Five minutes before the end of the game, Bilel Mohsni nodded wide from a Peralta free kick before Sebastian Faure had a feeble effort go nearer the corner flag.
Gavin Malin volleyed over from a Marvin Andrews knock down with a minute to go before Nicky Law shot wide for the away side again.
Andrews had a header knocked over by Rangers sub Faure in added time, while in the very last seconds of the game Cameron Bell did well to block a Gavin Swankie shot from close range.
Despite outplaying the visitors, the Loons couldn’t find a way to grab what would have been a deserved equaliser and stay 8th in the league with a local derby against Arbroath at Gayfield to look forward to next week.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Marvin Andrews – never lost a header the whole game
Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill 7, Mark Baxter 7, Iain Campbell 7, Marvin Andrews 8, Darren Dods 6, Neil McCabe 6, Omar Kader 6 (Ross Campbell 59, 5), James Dale 7 (Paul McManus 79, 4), Chris Templeman 7 (Gavin Malin 64, 6), Gavin Swankie 8, Dale Hilson 8.
Subs not used: Stuart Malcolm, Gary Fusco, Connor Gray, Rab Douglas (gk).
Rangers: Cameron Bell 6, Richard Foster 6, Steven Smith 5 (Sebastian Faure 79, 4), Bilel Mohsni 6, Lee Wallace 6, Lee McCulloch 6, Andrew Little 7, Arnold Peralta 6, Jon Daly 6, David Templeton 5 (Barrie McKay 83, 3), Nicky Law 5.
Subs not used: Nicky Clark, Robbie Crawford, Emilson Cribari, Dean Shiels, Steve Simonsen (gk).