Jamie Redman 36
Forfar Athletic 0
Dick Campbell was “shattered” after the league leaders Forfar Athletic fell to third when they lose by a solitary goal to Peterhead on Saturday.
Jamie Redman nodded home a corner in the 36th minute and despite Martyn Fotheringham and Stephen Husband going close, the Loons left Balmoor Stadium with nothing.
Campbell said ““It was always going to be a tight game, and I’ve no doubt that Peterhead deserved to win the game. I couldn’t see that coming to be honest, we’ve won six out of seven and beat every team around us. We were slack today, never got going at all, we never completed the basics that we’re good at. The goal’s a set piece, we had a chance to clear it and we don’t, we give them a corner and the boy gets a free header, we’ve not lost a goal at a set piece all season.”
The manager was disappointed with the result but was already looking ahead to next week’s trip to Dunfermline “I don’t think we created a chance to be perfectly honest with you and I thought Peterhead deserved to win the game. I don’t think we played well enough at all today and that must be down to Peterhead or down to a lack of effort but the situation now is that we’ve got two games to go, Stranraer play Morton next week and we play Dunfermline, so we’ll lick the wounds if they’re needing licked and get on with it. I’m really, if you can detect by my tone of voice, I’m shattered at that result, because I was confident.”
The defeat meant Forfar dropped to third after Stranraer and Morton won, although the Loons are just a point behind new leaders Stranraer while Peterhead are unable to reach the play-offs after Brechin dismantled Dunfermline 3-0 at Glebe Park.
“Peterhead won today, but it’s done them no good at all because that’s them not even in the play-off race now after Brechin winning. Don’t take anything away from Peterhead though, they deserved to win the game and it was a goal worthy of winning the game, it was a great set piece.”
Campbell fielded the same side that defeated Airdrie last week, with the same bench as well after Mark Baxter was deemed to still not be fit enough for the game. This was Iain Campbell’s last game before he returned to Cowdenbeath with his loan expiring.
The Blue Toon had the first chances of the game, with veteran striker Andy Rodgers lobbing over Rab Douglas but the ball fell wide before Nicky Riley sent former Loon Jordon Brown’s cross past the post.
Gavin Swankie saw a shot from the edge of the box curl into Graeme Smith’s arms, although the keeper spilled it but was able to gather the loose ball before Chris Templeman was able to reach it.
Brown then saw a header go into Douglas’ arms from inside the six yard box, Riley swinging the ball into the area.
In the 33rd minute Brown had a fantastic chance to put Peterhead in front when he found himself past defenders with only Douglas to beat, with the big keeper making a great stop to deny the midfielder.
Three minutes later they were ahead, winning a corner after some poor defending, captain Steven Noble found Jamie Redman with the set piece and his free header found its way past the keeper.
Forfar almost grabbed an equaliser two minutes before half time, Chris Templeman’s ball in the box found Derek Young but his shot was blocked and the rebound was held before Omar Kader could get his foot to it.
At half time, Young was taken off for Danny Denholm as Forfar looked to get back into the game and went close in the 48th minute, Templeman heading wide from Iain Campbell’s cross.
Five minutes later, Martyn Fotheringham saw a free kick twenty five yards out fly inches past Smith’s post, with the Loons looking the better side so far in the second period. The popular midfielder then fired wide with a low effort just after the hour mark.
The game started to peter out in the last half hour, with chances few and far between, Andy Rodgers sending a long range volley over the bar before sub Dean Cowie missed a great chance with fourteen minutes left, firing Kevin Dzierawski’s cross across the face of goal and wide.
The final chance of the game came for the Loons in the 85th minute, a counter attack ending in sub Stephen Husband sending a long range strike towards goal, his effort took a bounce before it reached the goal but Smith managed to get a hand to it to push it wide.
Despite the defeat, everyone associated with Forfar will look ahead to next week as they chase the League One title, travelling to face a Dunfermline side who have been struggling this season, dropping to seventh in the table.
Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Ross Smith, Steven Noble, Ryan Strachan, Scott Ross, Gary McDonald, Nicky Riley (Dean Cowie 64), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (David Cox 77), Jordon Brown, Andy Rodgers (Kevin Dzierawski 69)
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop, Iain Campbell, Michael Travis, Darren Dods, Derek Young (Danny Denholm 46), Omar Kader (Gavin Malin 71), Martyn Fotheringham, Chris Templeman (Stephen Husband 71), Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson.
Subs not used: James Dale, Stuart Malcolm, Kerr Hay, Jason King (gk)