Forfar Athletic 4
Dale Hilson 19, Michael Dunlop 21, Omar Kader 71, Chris Templeman 88
Stirling Albion 0
Forfar Athletic extended their unbeaten run to three games with a comfortable 4-0 win over strugglers Stirling Albion at a windy Station Park.
Goals from Dale Hilson, Michael Dunlop, Omar Kader and Chris Templeman wrapped up all three points, with Dunlop and Iain Campbell also rattling the crossbar in the second half.
There were two changes from last week’s derby win, with Gavin Malin and Michael Dunlop coming in for Derek Young and the suspended Michael Travis. There were also four of the impressive under 20’s squad on the bench, the freescoring pair of Kerr Hay and Cameron Clark along with Jason King and defender Michael Kennedy.
Stirling had the first couple of chances, with Andy Stirling seeing a shot touched wide before Chris Smith put Sandy Cunningham’s free kick over the bar.
The opener came in the 19th minute with Forfar’s first real opportunity, Martyn Fotheringham with a great pass allowed Dale Hilson to race clear before lobbing Callum Reidford.
Less than a minute later Danny Denholm raced to the byline before cutting the ball back for Gavin Malin, the midfielder took aim but his shot took a touch off a defender and flew over.
From Fotheringham’s corner, Michael Dunlop nodded home with a diving header, the defender’s third of the campaign.
On the half hour mark Hilson had a shot blocked before Swankie fired inches over as the Loons started to control the game.
Swankie set up Hilson in the 37th minute but he could only blast his effort over the bar.
Chris Templeman fired low at Stirling’s sub keeper Cameron Binnie three minutes into the second half before fellow half time sub Omar Kader saw his shot inside the box blocked.
In the 51st minute Templeman laid the ball off for Fotheringham, whose long range effort was inches away from going in.
Kader saw his shot from Swankie’s cross pushed past the post before Dunlop fired wide from Iain Campbell’s corner.
With twenty five minutes of the game left Stephen Husband set up Campbell and similar to Fotheringham earlier, his thirty yard shot was agonisingly close to going in.
In the 71st minute it was three for the Loons, a great ball from Hilson allowed Kader to race towards goal, slotting home under Binnie.
Three minutes later Dunlop almost had a second of the afternoon, his header from Campbell’s corner crashing off the cross bar and coming down on the goal line before being cleared.
With less than fifteen minutes left Campbell saw a free kick spilled over the bar before then hitting the bar himself, his corner poorly cleared and his cross coming off the underside of the bar, Dods failing to knock the ball home.
Chris Templeman delivered the coup de grâce in the 88th minute, heading home Stephen Husband’s cross from the right.
The result means Forfar are still a point behind Stranraer and level with Morton after their victories as well and look ahead to facing Stenhousemuir at Ochilview next week, with the Warriors having never scored against Forfar in three meetings this season.
Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Michael Dunlop
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 6, Iain Campbell 6, Michael Dunlop 8, Darren Dods 7, Gavin Malin 6 (James Dale 64, 5), Danny Denholm 6 (Omar Kader 46, 7), Martyn Fotheringham 7 (Stephen Husband 64, 5), Chris Templeman 7, Gavin Swankie 7, Dale Hilson 7.
Subs not used: Michael Kennedy, Kerr Hay, Cameron Clark, Jason King (gk)
Stirling Albion: Callum Reidford (Cameron Binnie 46), Ross McGeachie, Ross Forsyth, Willie Robertson, Adam Cummins, Chris Smith, Lee Hamilton (Phil Johnston 71), Craig Comrie, Lewis Coult, Andy Stirling, Sandy Cunningham (Gordon Smith 80)
Subs not used: Scott Davidson, Jordan Sinclair, Jordan Herron