Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 1
Hilson 45+1 Johnstone 74
Forfar Athletic advanced to the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup on Saturday with a 2-1 over league rivals East Fife at a very wet Station Park.
Manager Dick Campbell made one change from last week’s 1-1 draw with Stenhousemuir, Darren Hill dropping out with an injury, Rab Douglas taking his place. Jamie McCluskey also made his debut for the Loons having made three appearances previously as a trialist before signing a short term deal on Thursday.
East Fife had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute with Ross Brown firing past the post from inside the box. Gavin Swankie volleyed over the bar from a Dale Hilson cross whilst in the fifteenth minute Marvin Andrews challenged with Ross Brown for a header, Brown went down quite heavily, and having to be stretchered off and Marvin received a booking, with East Fife fans demanding a red card from ref Andrew Dallas.
Former Aberdeen midfielder Stephen Hughes came close after 20 minutes, his long range shot going inches over Douglas’ bar. Liam Buchanan also fired wide before Chris Templeman nodded wide from a Swankie cross.
Templeman came close again after half an hour, Mark Baxter swinging a cross in to the back post and Templeman nodded into the side netting.
Marvin Andrews headed into the keeper’s arms in the 40th minute and he had a big hand in the Loons’ opener on the stroke of half time. Darren Dods sent a free kick up to the box from the Forfar half, Andrews won the initial header, made his way closer to the goal, when the ball came towards him sent a diving header towards the net, keeper Michael Andrews parried the ball into the path of Dale Hilson who had the simple task of tapping home.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 East Fife 0
East Fife came out for the second half desperate for an equaliser with Ryan Stewart and Liam Buchanan twice firing over the bar whilst in the 55th minute the away support looked for a penalty when Johnny Stewart and Marvin Andrews collided in the box and Stewart fell, Dallas felt there was no foul committed.
Steven Campbell went close again after 62 minutes, the ball not being cleared from the box properly and Douglas pulled off a great save pushing Campbell’s effort from just outside the box out for a corner.
Chris Templeman had a header cleared off the line from a McCluskey corner in the 69th minute and from the resultant corner Stuart Malcolm flicked the ball towards the back post and Templeman volleyed home from eight yards.
Gavin Swankie hit the side netting two minutes later before East Fife grabbed a goal back in the 74th minute, Hughes squaring the ball for midfielder Craig Johnstone to slot home from close range.
Iain Campbell rattled the crossbar three minutes after the goal with a free kick from 20 yards whilst Gary Fusco came close to netting his first Forfar goal, a cross/shot curled towards the net but the keeper did well to push it away.
Sub Ross Campbell headed straight at the keeper before Buchanan threatened a late equaliser, unfortunately for the away dugout, blasting over when it was easier to keep it down.
East Fife kept pressuring for an equaliser but could not find a way through to goal before the final whistle, sending the Loons into the hat for the fourth round where they could meet teams such as Celtic, Dundee United or Fraserburgh.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Dale Hilson
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 7, Iain Campbell 6, Marvin Andrews 7 (Stuart Malcolm 65, 5), Darren Dods 6, Gary Fusco 6, Jamie McCluskey 6 (Ross Campbell 78, 2), Gavin Malin 6 (James Dale 73, 4), Chris Templeman 8, Gavin Swankie 7, Dale Hilson 8.
Subs not used: Paul McManus, Martyn Fotheringham, Omar Kader, Ross Salmon (gk)
East Fife: Michael Andrews 6, Scott Durie 6, Scott McBride 6, Gary Thom 6, Joe Mbu 6, Steven Campbell 6 (Pat Clarke 65, 5), Ryan Stewart 6, Ross Brown 4 (Johnny Stewart 17, 6), Liam Buchanan 7, Stephen Hughes 6, Craig Johnstone 7 (Nathan Austin 84, 2).
Subs not used: Alexis Dutot, Cyrus Moosavi, Ross Lennie, Greg Paterson (gk)