Dunfermline Athletic 0 Forfar Athletic 0
Forfar Athletic gained a point on fourth place in the battle for the play-offs with their first 0-0 draw in one hundred and eleven games at a windy East End Park this past Saturday against Dunfermline Athletic.
Dick Campbell made three changes from the defeat to East Fife two weeks ago with Gavin Swankie, Darren Dods and Jamie McCluskey all coming in for Martyn Fotheringham, Neil McCabe and Omar Kader.
The Pars started off the better side, with Stephen Husband’s 30 yard effort swerving wide with the wind before Andy Geggan saw his shot fly miles wide.
After 18 minutes, the Loons had their first shot on the game, the ever threatening Dale Hilson shooting from long range but could only put his shot over the bar. Five minutes later Allan Smith should have put Dunfermline ahead, his effort from inside the six yard box hitting the side netting.
Forfar had another chance sent over the bar in the 25th minute, Gavin Swankie beating two defenders before blasting over from the edge of the box.
Dunfermline had the best chance of the game so far in the 37th minute, a Josh Falkingham corner was met by Andy Geggan but the Loons’ James Dale was on hand to hook the ball off the line whereas at the other end, Dale Hilson’s massive run from his own half looked like it had set up Chris Duggan for a great chance but the linesman had deemed Duggan beat the defence too early and was offside.
HALF TIME: Dunfermline Athletic 0 Forfar Athletic 0
As was in the first half, Dunfermline had the first chance of the second half, three minutes in Ryan Thomson did well to get to the byline and send in a low cross, Ryan Williamson could only blast the ball wide.
Mark Baxter set up Dale Hilson four minutes later for another run at the defence that ended with the ball bouncing up as he went to shoot and he sliced the ball wide into the stand.
In the 57th minute Hilson ran at the defence yet again, beating Lewis Martin on the left as he reached the byline but his cross surprised Omar Kader who didn’t have time to react properly and he somehow headed over from very close range.
A minute later Forfar had hit the bar, a cross from Swankie was met by Duggan and when the ball came back off the crossbar, The Loons forced Ryan Scully into a great double save before the ball was cleared for a corner that came to nothing.
On the hour mark Danny Grainger had an attempt from the edge of the box on target, if the target was the corner flag. Williamson fired wide again from a Whittle cross four minutes later before Swankie forced Scully into a great save, a Hilson corner being cleared out to him and his shot from outside the box dipped and swerved in the wind, Scully having to be at his best to push it away.
With ten minutes to go a Hilson corner was met by Chris Templeman but Duggan couldn’t control the knock down properly and Scully gathered the ball. A minute later Ross Forbes had a free kick 30 yards out but his set piece was too high and landed on the roof of the net.
In the last minute Forfar should have had a penalty, Ross Campbell and Ryan Scully both attempting to get the ball in the box, Scully looked to have taken Campbell out rather than the ball but referee Greg Aitken said it wasn’t a penalty.
The Loons now look to Tuesday where they take on an out of form Rangers, having lost their past two games.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Dale Hilson – yet again, great game. He should be playing at a higher level and probably will be next season
Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill 6, Gary Fusco 6, Mark Baxter 7, Stuart Malcolm 7, Darren Dods 7, James Dale 6, Jamie McCluskey 5 (Omar Kader 43, 6), Chris Duggan 6 (Ross Campbell 81, 3), Chris Templeman 6, Gavin Swankie 6, Dale Hilson 8 (Gavin Malin 88, 1).
Subs not used: Paul McLellan, Marvin Andrews, Keith Gibson, Ross Salmon (gk).
Dunfermline Athletic: Ryan Scully 7, Ryan Williamson 6, Danny Grainger 6 (Callum Morris 61, 5), Jonathan Page 6, Lewis Martin 6, Andy Geggan 6, Alex Whittle 6, Stephen Husband 6 (Shaun Byrne 70, 4), Allan Smith 6 (Ross Forbes 76, 3), Josh Falkingham 6, Ryan Thomson 7.
Subs not used: Ross Millen, Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Lawrence Shankland, Ryan Goodfellow (gk).