Dunfermline Athletic 1
Faissal El Bakhtaoui 76
Forfar Athletic 3
Martyn Fotheringham 8, Chris Templeman 18, Dale Hilson pen 35
Martyn Fotheringham netted his fourth goal in four games to help Forfar towards a 3-1 win over a lacklustre Dunfermline on Saturday.
The midfielder’s eighth minute free kick deceived Pars debutant Jamie Wilson and flew into the bottom corner. His goal will have relaxed the Loons faithful, having only ever lost three games when he has scored, the last defeat back in February 2012.
Fotheringham enjoyed his goal, speaking after the game “I seen the young keeper cheating, he was reading that I was going to cross the ball in so I thought I’ll give it a bash and go for the near post because we did say that we were going to have shots early doors and luckily enough it went in.”
The win takes Forfar up to second after Morton’s win over Stranraer but both sides are level on points, with Morton enjoying a better goal difference.
“All you can ask before the game is to take it to the last week, we’ve managed that, the first half was unbelievable, the boys were brilliant. Second half you expected Dunfermline to come back at us but it was just a case of digging in and seeing the result out.”
The long serving Fotheringham is now on six for the season, with four of those coming in the last four games “I said at Stenhousemuir my target was eight for the season and that’s me up to six now so I’ll take two next week!”
“I’m not really bothered, like I say, we’ve taken it to the last day, as long as we win our game, that’s all we can ask, if we end up in the play offs, we end up in the play offs. I think for a club like us to be fighting for the title on the last day of the season, that’s some achievement”
The Loons made two changes to last week’s defeat to Peterhead, Stuart Malcolm coming in for Iain Campbell, who returned to Cowdenbeath after his loan expired and former Par Stephen Husband for Derek Young.
They had the first opportunity of the game three minutes in when Chris Templeman fired straight at the keeper but were celebrating five minutes later. A foul on Dale Hilson saw a free kick awarded and while everyone expected a cross into the box Martyn Fotheringham curled the ball into the bottom corner at the near post.
Fotheringham went close from forty five yards soon after, the Pars young keeper Jamie Wilson looked to get his fingertips to touch it wide but the referee saw differently and awarded a goal kick.
Wilson looked nervous after only being told he was starting less than ten minutes before kick off due to an injury to Ryan Scully but did well to deny a Templeman header at the back post in the 16th minute.
Two minutes later the big striker nabbed a goal against the club he started his career with, a trademark big header from Michael Travis allowed Templeman to race clear of the defence before rounding the keeper and slotting home despite the best efforts of a defender on the line, his fifth goal of the season and one he clearly enjoyed celebrating.
Dunfermline came close a few times as well, with Faissal El Bakhtaoui firing past the post before forcing Rab Douglas into a save in the 29th minute.
Forfar went three goals ahead in the 35th minute, Templeman was fouled inside the box by Finn Graham and Andy Geggan, Graham receiving a yellow for his part in it. Dale Hilson stepped up and fired home the spot kick.
Captain Gavin Swankie was set up by Templeman a minute before half time but his effort was dragged wide.
Dunfermline came out for the second half looking a better side and almost grabbed a goal two minutes after the break, Rab Douglas missing a kick with El Bakhtaoui close but Darren Dods raced back to clear the ball from almost on the goal line.
The Moroccan went close again in the 56th minute, a Falkingham cross was met with a bicycle kick, the shot driving into the ground before bouncing up and forcing a fantastic save from Douglas.
Alex Whittle then blasted over in the last chance for almost fifteen minutes, with the Forfar defence organised and strong against a Dunfermline side desperate for a consolation at least.
They got their goal with fourteen minutes left and it was the always dangerous El Bakhtaoui who scored, curling past Rab Douglas from just inside the box.
In the 80th minute, Douglas pushed a Whittle shot over before Declan O’Kane saw a shot crash off the Loons crossbar from the corner.
Forfar held on despite pressure from a Pars side and will go into next week’s game high on confidence.
Dunfermline Athletic: Jamie Wilson, Ryan Williamson, Alex Whittle, Lewis Martin, Declan O’Kane, Finn Graham, Josh Falkingham, Andy Geggan, Michael Moffat, Shaun Byrne (Ryan Thomson 67), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
Subs not used: Gregor Buchanan, Kyle McAusland, Allan Smith, James Thomas, Cammy Gill (gk)
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Dunlop, Michael Travis, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Stephen Husband, Danny Denholm (Omar Kader 61), Martyn Fotheringham (Gavin Malin 67), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie (Craig Smith 73), Dale Hilson.
Subs not used: Michael Kennedy, Cameron Clark, Kerr Hay, Jason King (gk)