Forfar Athletic 0 Arbroath 2
Forfar Athletic slumped to a poor 2-0 defeat to Angus rivals Arbroath this Saturday at Station Park.
Gavin Swankie returned to the starting eleven after missing the midweek defeat to Rangers, Martyn Fotheringham missing out.
The game started off quite evenly, with Ross Chisholm blasting wide after four minutes whilst at the other end, ex-Red Lichtie defender Stuart Malcolm sliced the ball past the post from an Iain Campbell free kick.
Ex-Loon Paul McManus looked dangerous on his return to Station Park, firing into Hill’s arms before seeing another effort going wide, Arbroath starting to control the game. A quarter of an hour into the game, Arbroath came the closest they had to scoring, a poor clearance allowed Alan Cook to get a shot in, Hill pushing the ball wide. From the corner, another Cook effort was chested off the line by Iain Campbell, some Arbroath fans shouting for handball.
Chris Duggan went close when he fired into Scott Morrison, another free kick by Campbell a minute later was met by Malcolm again, who fired over from close range.
Arbroath took the lead in the 23rd minute, McManus turning defenders in the box before pushing the ball out to player/manager Paul Sheerin who hammered home from the edge of the box.
Just two minutes later, more slack defending allowed the visitors to double their advantage, a cross into the area wasn’t dealt with and Kenny Deuchar blasted home for his second of the season.
After this, chances in the first half were few and far between as Forfar struggled to get back into the game, the only chance coming in the 27th minute when Darren Dods headed wide from a Campbell corner.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 0 Arbroath 2
The Loons looked to be more in the game after half time, less than a minute after the restart sub Omar Kader’s cross was nodded out by the defence only as far as Gavin Swankie and his half volley was inches wide of the mark.
McManus was still a thorn in the side of his former employers, leading a counter attack that saw him cut inside from the wing, shooting wide.
Forfar players and fans felt they should have had a penalty in the 55th minute, Gavin Swankie bursting past Ryan McGeever in the box, McGeever looked to have hauled Swankie down but referee Des Roache said no.
Two minutes later Arbroath had a claim of their own, McManus going down inside the box, Roache again saying no, booking Bobby Linn for his protests.
Iain Campbell swung a corner in on the hour mark and the ball bounced around in the box, allowing Dods and Kader half chances but keeper Morrison eventually gathered the ball.
Bobby Linn ran at the shaky defence two minutes later, reaching the byline and he cut the ball back for McManus who looked to have scored but for a great save by Darren Hill.
Yet again McManus had chances to score with twenty minutes to go, first a volley that Hill caught before being set up by Kenny Deuchar, rounding the advancing Hill but his shot hit the sidenetting.
With eight minutes to go, Gavin Malin looked like he was scoring, a shot from outside the box looking goalbound until a defender deflected the ball out for a corner, a minute later he fired wide after being set up by Kader.
Poor defending allowed David Banjo to get an effort in, but the sub’s shot went past the post before Dale Hilson beat two defenders at the other end to get to the byline and he cut the ball back, Morrison gathering before an attacker could get a touch.
In the final minute Gavin Swankie hit the sidenetting, rounding off a poor day for the Loons as their play-off hopes are now almost over, falling six points behind fourth placed Ayr United with six to play for, although they do play the Honest Men at home this coming Saturday.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: There’s not really anyone who stood out in that game for Forfar, I will go for Dale Hilson
Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Gary Fusco (Gavin Malin 46), Dale Hilson, James Dale (Omar Kader 46), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie, Chris Duggan (Ross Campbell 67).
Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Jamie McCluskey, Keith Gibson, Rab Douglas (gk).
Arbroath: Scott Morrison, Michael Travis, Colin Hamilton, Ross Chisholm, Ryan McGeever, Alex Keddie, Bobby Linn (Ricky Little 84), Paul McManus, Kenny Deuchar (Leighton McIntosh 75), Alan Cook (David Banjo 73), Paul Sheerin.
Subs not used: Dayle Robertson, Lari Yao, Christopher Scott, Sandy Wood (gk)