Arbroath 2 Forfar Athletic 3 (SPFL League One) 22nd February 2013

Arbroath              2            Forfar Athletic       3

Cook 69                              Hilson 13

McIntosh 82                        Swankie 49, 57

Forfar Athletic survived a late comeback by a dire Arbroath side to win their first game in six 3-2 at a very windy Gayfield this past Saturday.

The win lifts the Loons to sixth in the table while Arbroath are further stranded at the bottom of the table, now three points behind Airdrieonians.

Three changes were made from last week’s defeat, Odmar Faeroe and Dale Hilson returning from injury, Martyn Fotheringham was promoted from the bench while Omar Kader and James Dale dropped to the bench with Gavin Malin dropping out of the 18 man squad.

Arbroath started the better side with a header going wide and Leighton McIntosh seeing his effort deflected wide before Forfar took the lead in the 13th minute. Paul Sheerin was punished for his poor decision making with the ball as Gavin Swankie dispossessed him before threading a ball through the defence for Dale Hilson and he slotted home for his seventh of the season.

Sheerin blasted a free kick miles wide in the 19th minute, before Michael Travis nodded over from a corner.

The Red Lichties were having more of the ball and chances but in the final third they looked as if they were already contemplating giving up on fighting relegation when yet again they fired wide when it looked easier to score, this time Kevin Nicoll the culprit on the half hour mark.

From a Mark Baxter throw in the 35th minute Chris Templeman set up Martyn Fotheringham, who could only send his effort over the bar.

Five minutes before half time Arbroath came the closest they had the whole half when Bobby Linn collected the ball just outside the box, turned a defender and forced Rab Douglas into a good save.

HALF TIME: Arbroath 0 Forfar Athletic 1

Fotheringham almost scored directly from kick off, with the wind behind Forfar, he sent a shot from the halfway line that ex-Loon Sandy Wood did well to catch on his line.

It was 2-0 to the away side after 49 minutes, Odmar Faeroe sent Dale Hilson through on goal, Hilson muscling past Alex Keddie, before selflessly squaring the ball for Gavin Swankie who tapped the ball home despite Ricky Little’s efforts to block the shot.

Eight minutes later Swankie grabbed his second with a brilliant strike from outside the box when he collected a long ball, cut inside past a defender and curled the ball into the top corner, despite Wood getting a hand to it.

Leighton McIntosh had a couple of opportunities to grab a goal back but fluffed his shots before Martyn Fotheringham curled a free kick into Wood’s arms.

Alan Cook came on for Arbroath on the hour mark and scored within ten minutes of coming on, firing home through a pack of defenders.

Ross Campbell had a shot deflected wide in the 76th minute before Arbroath grabbed a second six minutes later when Leighton McIntosh, who had been largely anonymous, fired underneath Rab Douglas from a tight angle.

Arbroath tried to find an equaliser in the final few minutes but sub Kenny Deuchar missed a couple of sitters while at the other end Iain Campbell’s lob landed on the roof of the net.

With this result Forfar move to sixth place, despite being on level points with Stenhousemuir, the better goal difference helping the Loons. Arbroath on the other hand are now three points behind ninth placed Airdrieonians.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Gavin Swankie – scored a great double and set up the opener

Arbroath: Sandy Wood 6, Ricky Little 6, Colin Hamilton 5 (Kenny Deuchar 60, 2), Kevin Nicoll 6, Michael Travis 5, Alex Keddie 5, Bobby Linn 7, Ross Chisholm 5, Leighton McIntosh 6, Paul McManus 6, Paul Sheerin 4 (Alan Cook 60, 5).

Subs not used: David Banjo, Lari Yao, Chris Scott, Dayle Robertson, Leonard Wilson (gk).

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 6, Iain Campbell 6, Stuart Malcolm 6, Darren Dods 6, Gary Fusco 6, Martyn Fotheringham 7 (James Dale 68, 4), Odmar Faeroe 6, Chris Templeman 6 (Marvin Andrews 80, 3), Gavin Swankie 8, Dale Hilson 8 (Ross Campbell 59, 5).

Subs not used: Omar Kader, Neil McCabe, Jamie McCluskey, Darren Hill (gk).

Forfar Athletic 2 Dunfermline Athletic 4 (SPFL League One) 15th February 2014

Forfar Athletic      2     Dunfermline Athletic      4

Dale 34                          El Bakhtaoui 3

Swankie 60                    Husband 69

                                      Dods og 70

                                      Shankland 89

Forfar Athletic fell to a 4-2 defeat against Dunfermline Athletic at Station Park this past Saturday, a result that leaves them in 7th place and several points off the play-off spots.

Two changes were made from the previous week’s Scottish Cup exit, Martyn Fotheringham dropping to the bench for Gavin Malin while Odmar Faeroe missed out because of injury, James Dale taking his place.

Dunfermline took the lead in the third minute, a counter attack after Gavin Malin fired straight at Ryan Scully ended with Faissal El Bakhtaoui beating a defender before lifting the ball over an advancing Rab Douglas from a tight angle.

Stuart Malcolm nodded wide before Ryan Wallace and Josh Falkingham wasted chances for the Pars. Gavin Swankie latched onto a long ball in the 14th minute and found himself one on one with the keeper but his shot was palmed away and then cleared.

Ross Forbes had two long range efforts in quick succession go past the post meanwhile Gavin Swankie blasted wide at the other end.

The Loons equalised ten minutes before half time, a long free kick causing problems in the box and ending in Pars defender Calum Morris heading straight to James Dale who shot through a pack of defenders into the bottom corner.

Dunfermline almost regained the lead in the 42nd minute when a Danny Grainger cross found Ryan Wallace but his volley flew past the post.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1

The first proper opportunity of the second half came after 55 minutes when Dunfermline earned a free kick 30 yards out but Rab Douglas did well to push Forbes’ free kick over.

Forfar took the lead on the hour mark, a quick free kick by James Dale to Gavin Swankie saw Swankie run at the defence from the halfway line before firing off a 30 yard effort that beat Scully into the bottom corner.

Douglas pulled off the save of the game in the 64th minute from another Forbes free kick when the ball looked to be heading in the top corner.

The visitors did equalise nine minutes after Forfar had scored, El Bakhtaoui and Husband combining to allow Husband to fire off a shot from the edge of the box that flew into the top corner.

A minute later it was 3-2 to Dunfermline, a meager cross by Danny Grainger was turned in at the front post by Darren Dods who was under pressure by Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

Forfar tried hard to find an equaliser but couldn’t despite Chris Templeman theatening twice with headers, hitting the bar once and forcing Ryan Scully into a good save.

In the last minute of normal time the Pars made it four, sub Lawrence Shankland latching onto a Grainger free kick after shaking off Stuart Malcolm and he slotted home.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: James Dale – took his goal well and set up the other

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 7, Mark Baxter 6, Iain Campbell 6, Stuart Malcolm 5, Darren Dods 5, Gary Fusco 6, Omar Kader 6 (Ross Campbell 82, 2), James Dale 7, Chris Templeman 6, Gavin Swankie 7, Gavin Malin 6 (Martyn Fotheringham 73, 4).

Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Neil McCabe, Jamie McCluskey, Craig Smith, Darren Hill (gk)

Dunfermline Athletic: Ryan Scully, Ryan Wiliamson, Danny Grainger, Lewis Martin, Callum Morris, Jonathan Page, Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Andy Geggan (Stephen Husband 47), Ryan Wallace (Lawrence Shankland 74), Josh Falkingham, Ross Forbes.

Subs not used: Jordan Moore, Alex Whittle, Shaun Byrne, Ross Millen, Ryan Goodfellow (gk).

Forfar Athletic 0 St Johnstone 4 (William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round) 8th February 2014

Forfar Athletic      0      St Johnstone      4

                                       May 27

                                       Wright 42

                                       O’Halloran 62

                                       Dunne 80

Forfar Athletic exited the Scottish Cup in the fifth round this past weekend after a 4-0 defeat at home to Premiership side St Johnstone.

After the previous week’s draw with Airdrieonians Iain Campbell and Mark Baxter were promoted from the bench and Odmar Faeroe came back from injury while Neil McCabe, James Dale and Ross Campbell all dropped to the bench.

The game started quite evenly, with the first effort coming in the ninth minute through Stevie May, but he fired wide from the edge of the box.

Forfar’s first opportunity of the game came after twenty two minutes when a long free kick from Iain Campbell found former Saint Martyn Fotheringham and he combined with Chris Templeman, ending in Fotheringham bursting through the defence but his shot from a tight angle cannoned off the near post.

The visitors took the lead in the 27th minute when they were given a corner after Stuart Malcolm nodded Lee Croft’s cross away, from the corner taken by Croft, Steven Anderson headed towards goal and Stevie May showed why he is a magnificent talent by hooking the ball while facing away from goal into the net.

They doubled their lead three minutes before half time, another corner from Croft was met by Gary McDonald, Rab Douglas palming his header away but he couldn’t only push it toward Frazer Wright who powered a header home from close range.

McDonald had the ball in the net on the stroke of half time but his goal was disallowed as he fouled Stuart Malcolm.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 0 St Johnstone 2

At half time, Martyn Fotheringham was subbed for Dale Hilson.

Within a minute of kick off, the Loons had almost reduced the deficit twice, first Gary Fusco set up Odmar Faeroe and the Faroese internationalist saw his 25 yard shot smash off the crossbar with keeper Steve Banks beaten. Next Fusco smashed a shot over from the same area.

In the 51st minute Darren Dods headed over from an Iain Campbell corner as Forfar pressured.

David Wotherspoon blasted over twice before the Premiership outfit grabbed a third just past the hour mark, Douglas palming away another Croft cross and new signing Michael O’Halloran slotted the ball into an open goal for his first goal in Scottish football.

After this, Forfar started to try and get a way into the game again with Faeroe and Malcolm seeing efforts go over. Ross Campbell came very close seconds after coming on when he met his brother’s free kick with a volley but Banks did very well to react and push the ball over.

Chris Templeman and Gavin Swankie also went close but St Johnstone were the next side to score, loan signing James Dunne curling a great shot in off the post after Rab Douglas failed to deal with another Croft cross.

In the final stages chances for both sides came as Dave Mackay had a shot curl past the post before Gavin Malin fired straight at the keeper and then blasted wide.

With the final whistle, Forfar Athletic went out the Scottish Cup but they can have no complaints with their performance against one of the top sides in the country.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Odmar Faeroe – looks comfortable in midfield

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 5, Mark Baxter 6, Iain Campbell 6, Stuart Malcolm 6, Darren Dods 6, Odmar Faeroe 7 (Gavin Malin 69, 5), Omar Kader 5 (Ross Campbell 69, 5), Martyn Fotheringham 6 (Dale Hilson 46, 6), Chris Templeman 6, Gavin Swankie 6, Gary Fusco 6.

Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Neil McCabe, James Dale, Darren Hill (gk)

St Johnstone: Steve Banks, Dave Mackay, Frazer Wright, Steven Anderson, Brian Easton, Lee Croft, Gary McDonald (Scott Brown 83), Patrick Cregg, David Wotherspoon (James Dunne 69), Michael O’Halloran, Stevie May (Chris Iwelumo 77).

Subs not used: Chris Millar, Nigel Hasselbaink, Gary Miller, Mark Hurst (gk)

Forfar Athletic 1 Airdrieonians 1 (SPFL League One) 1st February 2014

Forfar Athletic      1     Airdrieonians     1

Kader 27                       Lister 64

Forfar Athletic gained their first point in three games on a very wet and windy Saturday with an uninspiring 1-1 draw at home to Airdrieonians.

Dick Campbell was forced into three changes from last week’s 2-1 defeat at East Fife, with Iain Campbell, Mark Baxter and Dale Hilson being put on the bench, Neil McCabe, James Dale and Ross Campbell taking their place in the starting XI.

The game started off with both sides struggling to gain the upper hand in the horrendous conditions, a mixture of rain and hail combined with a wind you were more likely to see at Gayfield.

The Loons almost opened the scoring in the ninth minute, Martyn Fotheringham doing well to get to the touchline before sending a cross in that ex-Forfar keeper Grant Adam caught just before Ross Campbell could get his head to it, a certain goal if he did.

Jim Lister blasted over for the Diamonds a minute later before Campbell had another chance, James Dale firing in a cross that was deflected into his path and he volleyed towards goal, but Adam caught his effort.

Airdrie started to get more dangerous as the game settled with Liam Watt firing low into Rab Douglas’ arms before Caolan McAleer saw his shot flash past the post in the 24th minute.

Three minutes later The Loons took the lead, Fotheringham crossing into the box after his corner was headed back out, a scramble in the box ended in Grant Adam punching out and Omar Kader volleying from outside the box into the corner of the net.

In the 37th minute Ross Campbell could have doubled the advantage, beating a defender after a long through ball by Gavin Swankie but his shot went wide.

McAleer and Keigan Parker went close again for the visitors in the closing minutes of the half as they looked for an equaliser.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Airdrieonians 1

Straight from kick off Forfar went on the attack, ending in Gavin Swankie’s cross being deflected towards goal, unfortunately it hit the sidenetting and the corner came to nothing.

Fotheringham came close in the 62nd minute, his free kick just outside the box going into Adam’s arms after a deflection.

Stuart Malcolm headed over before a minute later the Diamonds equalised. Caolan McAleer beat the home defence on the touchline before squaring for Jim Lister, who poked home for his fourth of the season.

Forfar almost took the lead again after 69 minutes, Kader setting up Martyn Fotheringham, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area having to be excellenty tipped over by Grant Adam.

Play slowed down after that, with both sides not really getting anywhere until the 83rd minute when Fotheringham set up Gavin Swankie, his shot from a tight angle being swept off the line by the away defence.

Airdrie cleared off the line twice more in a goalmouth scramble in the 86th minute, from Stuart Malcolm and then Dale Hilson, who was making his 100th Loons appearance, all on loan from Dundee United.

Gary Fusco fired over from a Malcolm knock down in what was to be the final chance of the game.

The Loons are now two points behind fifth placed Brechin City after City lost 2-1 away to Rangers in what was reportedly a great effort by the away side.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Omar Kader – Great goal

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Neil McCabe 6 (Mark Baxter 78, 2), Gary Fusco 6, Martyn Fotheringham 7, Stuart Malcolm 7, Darren Dods 6, Omar Kader 7, James Dale 7 (Iain Campbell 78, 2), Chris Templeman 5 (Dale Hilson 40, 6), Gavin Swankie 6, Ross Campbell 6.

Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Jamie McCluskey, Gavin Malin, Darren Hill (gk)

Airdrieonians: Grant Adam, Ross Gilmour, Jamie Bain, Liam Watt, Grant Evans, Stefan Milojevic Bjekovic, Caolan McAleer, Nathan Blockley, Jim Lister, Keigan Parker (Liam Coogans 90), Patrick Boyle.

Subs not used: Nicky Cadden, Ricki Lamie, Reece Glackin, Lewis Coult, Scott Stewart, Chris McCluskey (gk)