Loons edged out in Fife goal fest

kevin byers.
kevin byers.

FORFAR Athletic are going through a somewhat sticky spell at the moment - two straight defeats relegating them to sixth spot in the Scottish second division after eight outings.

But, after a lack-lustre showing at home to Dumbarton a week past Saturday, the Loons showed much more resolve at the New Bayview.

Three times they clawed their way back into this pulsating match after going behind, and, at three-each early in the second period it was anyone’s game.

Indeed, the pendulum only really swung the home side’s way when Forfar goalkeeper saw red for what was deemed a professional foul outside the box with 14 minutes to go - the Fifers going on to grab what was to be the winner in the 83rd minute.

It was perhaps rough justice on the Loons, but, having got that real off-day at home to the Sons out of the system, perhaps the weekend break for more international footie will allow them to regroup and focus on facing league leaders Arbroath on Saturday, October 15.

The derby duel kicks-off an interesting month that will then take the Loons to Cowdenbeath, followed by home matches against Albion Rovers and Breghin City on successive Saturdays.

Back to Saturday’s fare at East Fife, and the Loons, without Tulloch, Ross and Wilson, had Hegarty, Bolochowkyj and Byers in from the start.

A poor defensive back-header forced McHugh into making a great save in the first minute, and the Fifers continued to turn the screw until they deservedly opened their account on the quarter-hour mark a Johnstone corner picking out former Loon Ovenstone, who had the simplest of tasks in heading home.

The Fifers were stunned two minutes later, however, when Forfar levelled. The ball was not cleared properly, and Kevin Byers found space to shoot, then head home the rebound off Ridgers.

Ridgers then made a great stop from a Byers volley, before the Fifers settled, and took the lead again in the 32nd minute.

A Park free-kick was knocked down by Wallace to Muir, who had time and space to pick his spot and fire home.

Forfar’s second equaliser came five minutes from the break - Templeman prodding the ball wide, for a killer low cross to be knocked into his own net by a retreating Ovenstone.

The action continued at pace and East Fife were in front for a third time just prior to the interval.

A long ball from Johnstone found Wallace, and he sent in a great cross for Ogleby to crash home.

Forfar started strongly in the second half, and after Fotheringham forced a superb save from Ridgers from a free-kick, the visitors scored from the resultant corner in the 53 minute.

The ball bounced around the box without being cleared and Shaughnessy blasted home from close range. The following twenty minutes saw the game switch from end to end. Just as it looked as though Forfar were getting on top - Ridgers having another great save and Durie clearing off the line from a corner - the game changed in 76 minutes.

Ogleby was sent through on goal and was up-ended by McHugh just outside the box, the keeper being red carded for his troubles,

Thereafter, the Fifers stormed forward, and got their rewards in the 83rd minute, Ogleby setting up Ryan Wallace to net the winner.

Forfar threw caution to the wind in an effort to grab a fourth equaliser, but the Fifers held out to take all three points.

East Fife - Ridgers, Durie, Park, Ovenstone, White, Muir, Linn (Sloan), Smith, Ogleby (Dalziel), Wallace and Johnstone (Cook).

Forfar Athletic - McHugh, Hegarty, McCulloch, Bolochoweckyj, Shaughnessy, Byers (R. Campbell), Fotheringham, Brown (Gibson), Templeman (Patterson), Crawford and Low.