Queen’s Park 2 Forfar Athletic 2 (League One) 24th February 2018

A fantastic free kick from Dylan Easton rescued a point for ten man Forfar Athletic in their relegation clash with Queen’s Park at Hampden.

Despite Dale Hilson’s early opener, the Loons fell behind to goals from Adam Cummins and Aidan Keena but Dylan Easton rescued a point despite Eddie Malone’s red card.

Jim Weir fielded the same starting line up that hammered Stranraer the week before and it looked like it would pay off again within three minutes; a long kick by Marc McCallum allowed Dale Hilson to race clear and send the ball past the keeper from 20 yards.

In the ninth minute the hosts had their first opportunity; Ross Millen’s cross found the head of Sean Burns but he could only send the ball over the bar.

Eleven minutes later Adam Cummins did the same as Burns from a David Galt corner.

Hilson had Forfar’s only other chance of the half after 24 minutes, however he snatched at the ball from long range and couldn’t keep his effort down.

The Spiders brought themselves level after 33 minutes; Galt’s free kick was bulleted home by Cummins with the defence left standing.

Aidan Keena was unlucky not to push the hosts ahead just before half time with a curling effort that McCallum had to look sharp to tip over.

Keena managed to find the back of the net six minutes into the second half when a ball into the box was taken down by the striker and he coolly slotted past McCallum.

Robbie Leitch almost added a third after 53 minutes as a Galt corner was flicked on by Anton Brady but Leitch couldn’t keep his shot down.

Leitch created a chance for Kenna on the hour mark with McCallum able to hold the header.

Three minutes later Russell Dingwall found Andy Munro with a cross into the danger zone with the defender heading on to the roof of the net.

The Loons were dealt a blow in the 72nd minute when Eddie Malone was sent off for two bookable offences.

Despite the disadvantage Dylan Easton levelled the scores with a fantastic free kick from 20 yards into the top corner.

This gave Forfar a lift and Matthew Aitken should have put Forfar ahead in the 76th minute but was denied twice by the defence in quick succession.

Daniel Nimmo headed wide for the hosts with eight minutes remaining as both sides looked for a winner.

Both sides came close deep into added time with Kenna and Hilson denied by the opposite defences.

Queen’s Park: Michael White, Ross Millen, Sean Burns, Daniel Nimmo, Adam Cummins, Scott Gibson (Ciaran Summers 76), Gregor Fotheringham, Anton Brady (Jamie Gullane 80), Aidan Keena, Dominic Docherty (Robbie Leitch 36), David Galt

Subs not used: Luke Donnelly, Billy Mortimer, Thomas Orr, Lewis Magee (gk)

Forfar Athletic: Marc McCallum, Jamie Bain, Murray Mackintosh, Eddie Malone, Darren Whyte, Mark Millar (Andy Munro 40), Greg Hurst (Josh Peters 61), Russell Dingwall, Dale Hilson, Dylan Easton (Michael Travis 88), Matthew Aitken

Subs not used: Scott McBride, Ross MacIver, Kevin McNaughton, Grant Adam (gk)

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Forfar Athletic 5 Stranraer 1 (League One) 17th February 2018

An empathic Forfar Athletic display ensured they moved out of the danger zone with a 5-1 win at home to Stranraer.

A Matthew Aitken double along with goals from Russell Dingwall, Greg Hurst and Dylan Easton clinched a well deserved three points at Station Park as Forfar moved up to eighth in League One.

Jim Weir was forced into two changes from the previous week with Michael Travis and Andy Munro suspended; Dylan Easton and the returning Dale Hilson taking their place.

The Loons were ahead after just 90 seconds when Matthew Aitken connected with a Russell Dingwall corner and fired home through a group of players.

Two minutes later another Dingwall corner caused problems with Darren Whyte and Mark Millar seeing shots blocked by the visitors’ defence.

In the 4th minute Forfar added a second to keep up their empathic start to the game; Dylan Easton sending a cross to the back post for Aitken to stab past Max Currie.

Dale Hilson almost grabbed a goal on his return to Station Park after six minutes as he outmuscled David Barron but his effort cannoned off the crossbar with Currie beaten.

Angus Beith blasted over from yards out for Stranraer in one of very few chances in the first half for the visitors.

Easton, Aitken and Greg Hurst were all denied by a desperate Stranraer defence as the Loons looked to add to their tally.

They eventually did so in the 24th minute; Dingwall made his way towards goal and let fly with a low effort from 25 yards for his first ever senior goal.

Four minutes later the Loons were further ahead and it was another first as Hilson and Easton combined to allow Hurst to grab his first goal for the club.

Kyle Wilkie failed to trouble Marc McCallum twice in quick succession and at the other end there was almost a fifth for Forfar ten minutes before the break as Easton saw his effort fly just past the post.

Forfar seemed to take their foot off the gas at the start of the second half as Stranraer tried to squeeze their way back into the game.

Half time sub Dean Hawkshaw fired over in the 53rd minute while Grant Anderson did the same shortly after.

On the hour mark Easton saw his shot deflected over the bar but he wasn’t to be denied in the 71st minute when Forfar added a fifth.

A brilliant ball across the box from Mark Millar found Easton and he controlled it before lashing home past Currie.

Forfar looked to be home and dry with three points and a clean sheet but with two minutes left the latter was taken away from them; sub Paul Woods’ effort on goal took a massive deflection and sent McCallum the wrong way.

The result lifts the Loons up to eighth in League One with another big match this weekend as they travel to Hampden Park to take on Queen’s Park.

McCallum, Bain, Mackintosh, Malone, Whyte, Millar, Hurst (McBride 82), Dingwall, Hilson (Peters 79), Easton (MacIver 76), Aitken

Subs not used: McNaughton, Starkey, Allan, Adam (gk)

Alloa Athletic 1 Forfar Athletic 0 (League One) 10th February 2018

Forfar Athletic fell to their second solitary goal defeat in a row on Saturday as Alloa Athletic sent them packing from the Indodrill Stadium.

Andy Graham’s 24th minute header ensured the Wasps took all three points despite Forfar threatening on a few occasions.

Jim Weir made three changes from the previous week with Eddie Malone, Mark Millar and Darren Whyte replacing Dylan Easton, Kevin McNaughton and Ross MacIver.

The Loons had the opening chance of the game after seven minutes; Andy Munro’s cross found Greg Hurst but he couldn’t get his header on target.

A minute later Alloa had a similar opportunity of their own when Ross Stewart got his head to Scott Taggart’s cross but Murray Mackintosh was on hand to clear the danger.

Mark Millar almost celebrated his return to the starting XI with a fantastic 25 yard effort shortly after; Wasps keeper Neil Parry doing well to push the shot onto the bar.

Hurst and Jordan Kirkpatrick were both denied by the opposition defence in quick succession before Mark Millar curled a free kick over the bar.

The deadlock was broken in the 26th minute by the hosts when Steven Hetherington’s free kick was headed past Marc McCallum by Andy Graham.

McCallum almost handed the Wasps a second three minutes later; his poor kick landed at Stewart’s feet however the striker’s shot was poor and McCallum gathered easily.

Alloa looked to kill the game off at the start of the second half; Kirkpatrick sending a long range effort wildly over before Graham headed over the bar from a Flannigan free kick.

McCallum had to be sharp to ensure the score kept the same in the 53rd minute when Munro sliced a clearance and the keeper pushed the ball over the bar.

A minute later Stewart was denied by the Loons keeper while Jamie McCart couldn’t keep his header down from the corner.

Matthew Aitken dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box shortly before the hour mark as the Loons looked for an equaliser.

Stewart could and probably should have put Alloa further in from in the 68th minute; he was sent racing clear but when one on one with McCallum, he fluffed the opportunity wide.

Hurst headed past the post from yards out three minutes later.

The striker saw another chance deflected wide shortly after; from the corner Michael Travis had a header cleared off the line as Forfar looked to build up some pressure on the Alloa backline.

In Hurst’s final action of the game he blasted over from the edge of the box before being replaced by Ross MacIver.

With the game edging closer to full time Millar was unlucky not to find the back of the net from 25 yards as Parry did well to tip the ball over.

Deep into injury time Millar tried his luck again from almost the same spot; this time he couldn’t keep his shot down as it flew into the terracing.

The result, coupled with Queen’s Park’s victory means that Forfar drop to bottom on goal difference.

They face a tough challenge next week when they host Stranraer but will have centre back pairing Andy Munro and Michael Travis suspended.

Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, McCart, Fleming (Robertson 82), Cawley (Crossan 67), Hetherington, Stewart, Kirkpatrick (Smith 75), Flannigan

Subs not used: Renton, McKeown, Monaghan, Wilson (gk)

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Whyte (Easton 46), Bain, Munro, Travis, Mackintosh, Dingwall, Millar, Aitken, Hurst (MacIver 75), Malone (Peters 65)

Subs not used: McBride, McNaughton, Starkey, Adam (gk)