Brechin City 3
Andy Jackson 19, Bobby Barr 33, Alan Trouten 82
Forfar Athletic 3
Omar Kader 40, Gavin Swankie 71, Chris Templeman 76
Forfar Athletic and Brechin City shared six goals in a thrilling league game at a chilly Glebe Park on Saturday, with City throwing away a two goal lead then equalising late on to save a point.
Dick Campbell made two changes from last week’s defeats, Jim Paterson missing for two games due to his red card at Morton and Gavin Malin dropping to the bench, with Aaron James playing for the first time since his injury three months ago and Omar Kader returning. The bench also included former Arbroath centre back Michael Travis as a trialist and under 20’s players Kerr Hay and Jack Neave.
Forfar had the best chances of the opening stages with Chris Templeman and Dale Hilson combining to set up Gavin Swankie, whose low effort was held by Graeme Smith. Templeman then headed over from Swankie cross before a Scott Smith corner was knocked towards Stephen Husband who was lurking around the edge of the box and his well struck shot took a deflection and cannoned off the underside of the bar before being knocked over.
Brechin winger Bobby Barr almost set up Robert Thomson but his ball across goal in the 15th minute was hacked away by James before Thomson could knock the ball into an empty net.
The home side took the lead in the 19th minute when the ever threatening Barr beat James on the left and his cross was nodded past Rab Douglas by former Loon Andy Jackson.
Swankie almost equalised within three minutes but Smith covered his near post shot from the edge of the box well.
Dale Hilson then flashed a shot past the post before Brechin doubled their advantage with a fantastic goal in the 33rd minute, a cross was headed out towards Barr outside the box and his first time volley flew past Douglas.
The visitors grabbed a goal back five minutes before half time, Smith sending a cross into the box for Omar Kader to stab home to give the Loons some hope going into the second half.
Forfar had captain Swankie to thank for saving the league leaders from falling further behind two minutes after half time, a counter attack after a poor corner saw Robert Thomson race clear of the defence and round Douglas but his goalbound shot was hacked off the line by Swankie, who did well to race back.
Ewan McNeil almost gifted Swankie a goal in the 49th minute, his attempted header back to Graeme Smith fell short but the striker couldn’t lift the ball high enough over the keeper.
Jamie Masson sent a low effort wide before Gerry McLauchlan made a great block to deny Scott Smith getting a shot away, if he had it would have surely been an equaliser.
Paul McLean then cleared the ball at the far post from a Swankie cross, with Kader waiting to net before Brechin sub Alan Trouten had two chances in quick succession, both times failing to threaten Douglas.
Forfar equalised with twenty minutes to go, Husband’s through ball found Kader and his low cross found Swankie and he fired past Smith despite the best efforts of the defenders to block the shot.
The Loons then took the lead in the 76th minute, Kader had the ball on the right wing, Dale Hilson overlapped him, Kader gave him the ball and his cross was headed home by Chris Templeman for his ninth goal against his former club in Forfar colours.
Trouten had another chance saved before he netted an equaliser with eight minutes to go, poor defending allowing him to round the keeper before slotting home into the empty net despite the best efforts of the Loons defenders to get back and clear it.
Barr and Hilson both had chances to win the game for each side in the final minutes but neither could find a way past the keepers.
The result means the Loons are knocked off top spot for the first time in two months but are just a point behind new leaders Morton, they will hope to regain the position next week as they take on Ayr United at Station Park.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Dale Hilson – did a lot of the work himself
Brechin City: Graeme Smith, Ewan McNeil, Paul McLean, Darren McCormack, Gerry McLauchlan, Gary Fusco, Bobby Barr, Greg Cameron (Craig Molloy 67), Andy Jackson, Jamie Masson, Robert Thomson (Alan Trouten 67)
Subs not used: Jamie McCormack, Ryan Ferguson, Patrick O’Neil, Ben Tough (gk)
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop, Aaron James (Trialist 83), Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Stephen Husband (Gavin Malin 83), Omar Kader, Chris Templeman, Dale Hilson, Gavin Swankie, Scott Smith (James Dale 83)
Subs not used: Danny Denholm, Jack Neave, Kerr Hay, Ross Salmon (gk)