Forfar Athletic pulled themselves back from the dead as two late goals earned them a 2-2 draw with Annan Athletic in the League Two play off semi final first leg.
After Peter Weatherston and Aidan Smith sent Annan two goals up, Michael Travis pulled one back before Martyn Fotheringham scored an exquisite free kick to set up an exciting second leg on Saturday.
Gary Bollan tinkered with his line up again with a new formation as Andy Munro and Martyn Fotheringham started in place of Josh Peters and Eddie Malone.
Jim Lister saw his shot blocked in the opening sixty seconds but it was the hosts who took the lead after just three minutes; Aidan Smith’s cross was nodded home by the unmarked Peter Weatherston.
Jamie Bain sliced wide after forcing his way into the box before Michael Travis’ deflected effort spun into the area but Lister couldn’t get a clear shot away before it bounced out.
Annan had a great chance to double their advantage in the 15th minute when Grant Adam slipped, taking Smith down as well. The spot kick from the attacker was saved but he was more than happy to net the rebound.
The hosts could have had a third three minutes later as Weatherston took down a Rabin Omar cross but his shot was too powerful and flew over the bar with Adam beaten.
Swankie and Omar fired over for either side while Denholm and Lister nodded wide before half time as Forfar looked to find a way back into the game.
Thomas O’Brien made a great run back to deny Smith three minutes after the break with the striker teeing up to shoot and a counter attack led to David Cox heading Swankie’s cross over the bar.
In the 56th minute Swankie set up Cox and his cross was met by Bain but he couldn’t keep his acrobatic effort down.
Two minutes later McLaughlin found Bain again; his header parried by Blair Currie before being cleared.
Smith came close to another shortly after the hour mark with a long range effort floating past the post.
Bain nodded over in the 68th minute but Forfar came closer to a goal two minutes later when Cox rattled the crossbar from just inside the box before seeing a header cleared off the line.
Adam had to look sharp to tip an Omar free kick from 25 yards over the bar as the game entered the final quarter of an hour.
Forfar pulled a goal back with ten minutes left when Michael Travis rose to nod Swankie’s corner home and it was 2-2 a minute later. Fotheringham sent a beautiful free kick in via the top corner.
The popular Loons midfielder hit the wall with another free kick in the 84th minute with Denholm firing wide from the rebound.
Swankie came close with a curled effort that skimmed the roof of the net with Forfar looking likely to grab a late winner.
Smith sent a header into the side netting late on for the hosts as an entertaining game came to a close.
Annan Athletic: Blair Currie, Callum Home, Jean Guy Lucas, Raffi Krissian, Stephen Swinglehurst, Gavin Skelton, Rabin Omar, Barry Cuddihy, Peter Weatherston, Aidan Smith, Nathan Flanagan
Subs not used: Stephen Bronsky, Przemyslaw Dachnowicz, Peter Watson, Alex Mitchell (gk)
Forfar Athletic: Grant Adam, Jamie Bain, Chris McLaughlin, Martyn Fotheringham, Michael Travis, Andy Munro, David Cox, Thomas O’Brien, Jim Lister, Gavin Swankie, Danny Denholm
Subs not used: Stuart Malcolm, Marc Scott, Lewis Milne, Aiden Malone, Eddie Malone, Josh Peters, Joe McGovern (gk)