Forfar Athletic 2 Raith Rovers 1 (League One) 13th March 2018

Forfar Athletic gave their survival hopes a boost as they moved out of the relegation play off spot with a 2-1 win over league leaders Raith Rovers on Tuesday.

A Matthew Aitken double gave the Loons all three points despite Lewis Vaughan’s late consolation.

Following Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Arbroath, Jim Weir made one change as Mark Millar returned from injury to replace Greg Hurst.

The Loons had the first chance of the game just ninety seconds after kick off when the influential Millar tried his luck from distance; Raith keeper Aaron Lennox smothering the shot with ease.

In the fourth minute Millar teed up Russell Dingwall who turned his marker and sent a shot towards goal but Lennox wasn’t to be beaten once again.

Four minutes later Matthew Aitken was sent in on goal by Murray Mackintosh; the striker lashing the ball across the face of goal with Lennox scrambling to try and get a hand to the shot but it went past the post.

Lennox almost handed Dale Hilson the opener shortly after when his poor kick landed at the feet of Hilson; the keeper managed to recover and deny the striker from 20 yards.

The visitors’ first chance came after 14 minutes when Jason Thomson’s cross found Greig Spence but he couldn’t keep his volley from the edge of the box down and it flew miles over.

Lewis Vaughan forced a save from Marc McCallum from a free kick in one of very few occasions the shotstopper was called into action throughout the evening.

Just after the half hour mark Vaughan sent another free kick into the danger zone, however Jason Thomson headed wide.

The Loons thought they had taken the lead two minutes before the break when Dylan Easton’s free kick was flicked on by Andy Munro for Michael Travis to bullet home but he was adjudged to have been offside and the goal was ruled out.

Hilson and Millar failed to find the target as Forfar kept up their pressure on the visiting defence in the second half.

Liam Buchanan fired horribly over the bar in the 57th minute for Raith while an Easton corner at the other end found Munro, only for his header to be cleared off the line.

Aitken headed over from a Bain cross after 64 minutes however he made up for that four minutes later; another cross from Bain was dropped by Lennox and the striker was more than happy to stab the loose ball into the net.

Another Easton corner found Munro with the defender heading wide this time but it wasn’t long before the Loons extended their lead.

With fifteen minutes remaining Millar sent Mackintosh racing away on the right wing; his teasing low cross into the box was diverted past Lennox by a stretching Aitken for his second of the evening and seventh of the season, making him the Loons’ top scorer in the league.

Raith pulled a goal back to make it a nervy ending for Jim Weir’s side as Vaughan netted from a Willis Furtado corner.

Easton almost made it three for Forfar with a couple of curling efforts from the edge of the box late on but he couldn’t find the target.

The result means the Loons move up to eighth in the table with a five point gap between them and Queen’s Park. They also have a one point gap over Albion Rovers, however they have two games in hand against Ayr United and Arbroath.

Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Bain, Whyte, Munro, Travis, Millar, Mackintosh, Dingwall, Hilson, Easton (Hurst 90+1), Aitken

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

Raith Rovers: Lennox, Thomson, Murray, Davidson, Benedictus, Hendry, Matthews (Court 82), Furtado, Buchanan (Zanatta 58), Spence (Barr 58), Vaughan

Subs not used: McHattie, McKay, Watson, Smith (gk)

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