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)

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