Forfar Athletic 1
Danny Denholm 43
Forfar Athletic are joint top of League One after a one goal victory over Peterhead at Station Park that really should have had a bigger winning margin, Danny Denholm scoring the solitary goal.
Dick Campbell fielded an unchanged squad from the win over Morton two weeks ago, new signing Jim Paterson having to settle for a spot on the bench.
The Loons didn’t take long to threaten the Blue Toon, a cross from just inside the half found Dale Hilson and his volley was saved well by Graeme Smith in the first sixty seconds.
Captain Gavin Swankie then went close a minute later, forcing Smith to tip his shot from the edge of the area, Darren Dods then nodded wide from Danny Denholm’s corner.
The home side could have been two or three goals up by the fifth minute, Michael Dunlop sent a header over the bar from Stephen Husband’s corner.
At the other end in a rare chance for Peterhead, Dods had to clear off the line from Jamie Redman’s header in the 7th minute, Forfar then having their own shot saved on the line seven minutes later, Denholm swinging a corner in, Stuart Malcolm’s bullet header blocked by Smith.
Two minutes after that, a good passing move ended in Dale Hilson laying the ball off for Husband but he fired straight at Smith. He then had a 30 yard shot swerve wide of the mark in Forfar’s eighth shot at goal in just eighteen minutes.
Peterhead almost opened the scoring in the 25th minute, a through ball allowed the unusually quiet Rory McAllister to race clear but when he tried to lift the ball over Rab Douglas, the big keeper was able to push the ball wide for a corner that came to nothing.
Just after the half hour mark Smith pulled off a fantastic save, Denholm’s free kick was headed towards goal by Malcolm, Ross Smith made a poor clearance and Hilson’s volley was tipped just over the bar by Smith, who had kept his side in the game more than once this half.
Denholm then hit the bar ten minutes before half time, his free kick on the edge of the D was deflected onto the bar, the ball wasn’t cleared properly and Swankie sent a low shot towards Smith.
The Loons took a much deserved lead in the 43rd minute, a counter attack ending in Swankie swinging in a cross that evaded Hilson but Denholm was on hand to volley the ball home into the top corner for his fourth of the season.
HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Peterhead 0
Peterhead looked a slightly better side in the second half as they looked to keep the Forfar attack quiet but still struggled to threaten much themselves, the first proper shot of the half coming in the 64th minute, Andy Rodgers taking the ball down well but his final product was poor, slicing the ball wide.
McAllister went closest for Peterhead in the second half, his free kick from 25 yards cannoning off the crossbar with Douglas beaten.
Rodgers headed over from Jamie Stevenson’s corner with twenty minutes to go before McAllister fired straight at Douglas.
With ten minutes left Forfar almost doubled their advantage with another counter attack, Hilson driving forward before cutting the ball to Swankie, his shot was saved as was Derek Young’s follow up.
Hilson had a chance of his own deflected into the side netting while Mark Baxter set up Swankie with a short free kick, the attacker turning a defender before having his strike turned wide by another defender as they looked to kill the game off.
In the final minute of injury time Hilson raced clear again, but when he set up Swankie, his shot was fluffed wide.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Stephen Husband
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Michael Dunlop 6, Mark Baxter 7, Stuart Malcolm 6, Darren Dods 6, Stephen Husband 7 (James Dale 55, 5), Omar Kader 6 (Craig Smith 81, 2), Derek Young 6, Dale Hilson 7, Gavin Swankie 7, Danny Denholm 7 (Jim Paterson 90, 1).
Subs not used: Gavin Malin, Liam Keiller, Paul McLellan, Ross Salmon (gk)
Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Ross Smith (David Cox 69), Scott Ross (Ryan Strachan 56), Reece Donaldson, Andy Rodgers (Bryan Gilfillan 77), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Jamie Stevenson, Dean Cowie.
Subs not used: Jordon Brown, Ryan McCann, Dean Richardson, Paul Jarvie (gk)