Craig Malcolm 33, 70, Steven Bell 37, Jackson Longridge 90
Forfar Athletic 2
Dale Hilson 46, Gavin Malin 90
Forfar Athletic fell to a 4-2 defeat away to League One leaders Stranraer on Saturday, and as well as dropping to third, are now six points behind the Stair Park men.
Despite pulling goals back through Dale Hilson and sub Gavin Malin, the Loons were unable to make the long journey home with any points.
After last week’s derby defeat, three changes were made, after Jim Paterson had now moved to Dunfermline, Omar Kader and Danny Denholm dropped to the bench with Michael Travis making his official debut, Stuart Malcolm returning to the heart of defence and Chris Templeman starting up front. Youth player Jason King was named as a trialist on the bench with Ross Salmon unavailable.
Sean Winter wasted Stranraer’s first chance in the third minute, firing past the post when one on one with Rab Douglas. Willie Gibson sent an effort at Douglas before Winter nodded over from the winger’s corner in the 7th minute.
Forfar struggled to get into the game and the closest they came to a chance was Chris Templeman’s weak shot from an angle at David Mitchell.
The home side took the lead in the 33rd minute after Craig Malcolm fooled Michael Dunlop into a tackle and he stepped past him before curling home. It was two nil four minutes later in bizarre fashion, Douglas tipped a Steven Bell shot onto the post but the ball came back and went in off the keeper’s back.
Chris Templeman saw a volley held by Mitchell as they went into half time trailing the league leaders.
Just over sixty seconds into the second half Forfar reduced the deficit, Dale Hilson weaving past players before firing home under Mitchell.
Scott Smith set up Templeman in the 50th minute but Mitchell was more than capable of holding the shot. Craig Pettigrew and Jamie Longworth wasted chances before Stranraer restored their two goal advantage with twenty minutes left, Gibson swinging a free kick in for Craig Malcolm to sweep home for his second of the match.
Bringing on subs Omar Kader and Gavin Malin seemed to galvanise the Loons in the final ten minutes, with Swankie setting up Malin for a shot that was pushed wide before the subs combined for Chris Templeman to volley over the bar.
Mark Baxter’s cross in the 86th minute found Templeman but his flick on was stabbed wide by Kader, captain Swankie sending an attempt at the keeper two minutes later from Michael Travis’ long ball.
Kader saw his follow up to Templeman’s saved effort cleared off the line before Malin slipped the ball past the keeper in the last minute to give the side and travelling support hope they could salvage something.
Those hopes were dashed almost straight away as left back Jackson Longridge made sure of the result with the first attack after kick off. Seconds before the final whistle Swankie sent a shot past the post with Mitchell beaten.
Stranraer: David Mitchell, Craig Pettigrew, Jackson Longridge, Scott Rumsby, Frank McKeown, Steven Bell, Sean Winter, Grant Gallagher, Craig Malcolm (Danny Storey 90), Jamie Longworth (Jon McShane 71), Willie Gibson (Barry Russell 84)
Subs not used: Chris Aitken, Stephen Stirling, Daniel Tobin (gk)
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop (James Dale 66), Mark Baxter, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Scott Smith (Gavin Malin 71), Michael Travis, Stephen Husband (Omar Kader 71), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson.
Subs not used: Martyn Fotheringham, Danny Denholm, Aaron James, Trialist