Forfar Athletic 4 (6) Annan Athletic 2 (4) (League Two Promotion Play-Off Semi Final Second Leg) 13th May 2017

Despite a second half scare, Forfar Athletic advanced to the final of the League Two Promotion Play-Offs after a 4-2 win over Annan Athletic on Saturday.

After coming from behind on Wednesday, the Loons went 3-0 up before Annan pulled two goals back with Forfar adding a fourth to kill the tie and win 6-4 on aggregate.

One change was made from the first leg with Andy Munro dropping to the bench to be replaced by Eddie Malone.

Forfar started off strongly with Martyn Fotheringham seeing his low driven effort pushed wide before Thomas O’Brien rattled the crossbar from the resulting corner in the opening five minutes.

O’Brien did well at the other end in the tenth minute as he raced back to deny Aidan Smith as the Annan striker shaped up to shoot.

The corner from this was cleared and Forfar broke away; Martyn Fotheringham delivered an inch perfect ball from his own half for Swankie to run on to and slip under the advancing Blair Currie.

The visitors came close to an equaliser almost instantly with the experienced Gavin Skelton seeing his long range effort deflected wide.

Danny Denholm tested Currie again with the keeper parrying his shot but Chris McLaughlin couldn’t get the rebound on target.

Smith had another great chance for the visitors on the half hour mark when he pounced on some slack defensive work; Grant Adam got a hand to his lob taking the sting out of it but Eddie Malone had to get back to clear the danger.

Just sixty seconds later Annan paid for this as Forfar went two ahead; Jamie Bain’s cross was met by Jim Lister with his shot hitting the post before finding the net. The goal was awarded to Lister and Denholm, who followed it up, by different media outlets however the highlights showed it was indeed Lister’s goal.

The Loons were further in front after 36 minutes as Fotheringham gave David Cox the ball and the attacker set up Swankie for his second of the afternoon.

Annan looked a different side at the start of the second half and pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after 49 minutes. Adam fouled Smith for the second penalty this week and it was the attacker who stepped up to fire it under the keeper.

The visitors could have had another goal almost straight from kick off as a slack pass presented Nathan Flanagan with a chance but despite weaving his way into the box he could only shoot straight at Adam.

Swankie and Lister tested Currie again but it was Jim Chapman’s side who grabbed the next goal to make it 3-2 on the day and 5-4 on aggregate. Substitute Darren Ramsay forced his way through the defence before coolly slotting it home after 66 minutes.

Any nerves in the home support subsided six minutes later when Swankie squared the ball for Jamie Bain to control and place past the keeper for his first goal of the season.

Sub David McKenna nodded over the bar from six yards before Lister flicked a header past the post from a Bain cross as both sides threatened in the final fifteen minutes.

Swankie was keen to grab a hat trick and came close in the 78th minute after latching on to a Denholm ball but his shot from a tight angle was pushed wide by Currie.

The result means that the Loons will take on Peterhead in the final after the Blue Toon defeated Montrose 4-1 on aggregate. The first leg will be on Wednesday at Station Park with the second leg at Balmoor next Saturday.

Forfar Athletic: Adam, Bain, McLaughlin, Fotheringham (Milne 87), O’Brien, Travis, Cox, E Malone, Lister (A Malone 82), Swankie, Denholm (Scott 82)

Subs not used: Munro, Peters, McCawl, McGovern (gk)

Annan Athletic: Currie, Home, Stewart (McKenna 73), Krissian, Swinglehurst, Skelton (Wright 82), Omar, Cuddihy, Weatherston, Smith, Flanagan (Ramsay 58)

Subs not used: Osadolor, Lucas, Watson, Mitchell (gk)

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