Dismay as Loons sink to the bottom

Forfar's Dale Hilson under pressure from Arbroath.

Forfar's Dale Hilson under pressure from Arbroath.

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Ten man Forfar Athletic fell to the bottom of League One after a poor display saw them lose 3-0 to Angus rivals Arbroath at Gayfield.

Dick Campbell fielded the same 11 that had played well at Rangers the previous week, hoping to see a similar performance.

The Loons started off well, almost taking the lead after just three minutes, a quick free kick by Iain Campbell through to Chris Templeman ended in keeper Scott Morrison blocking his attempt.

Arbroath went ahead seven minutes later, poor defending allowed Paul Sheerin to set up Ross Chisholm and his cross was swept home from close range by an unmarked Alan Cook.

Dale Hilson almost grabbed an equaliser on the quarter of an hour mark, sending a 20-yard free kick inches over the bar before Darren Dods did well to clear an Alex Keddie effort off the line.

Six minutes before the break the Red Lichties’ Bobby Linn’s excellent solo run from the halfway line culminated in his shot from the edge of the box being palmed away by Darren Hill.

Forfar had their best chance of the game a minute later, a cross from the left found nobody, Omar Kader touched the ball back to Dale Hilson and his cross was met by the head of Chris Templeman, but his header was pushed over by Morrison.

Neil McCabe was replaced by Gavin Malin at half time as the Loons looked to find an equaliser, and they almost found one seconds into the second half, a corner found its way to Gavin Swankie, his shot was blocked while Omar Kader’s follow up was saved by Morrison.

Linn threatened for Arbroath again with an effort that forced a good save from Darren Hill and Lee Sibanda nodded over whilst Swankie fired over for the Loons. Youngster Craig Smith then made his debut for Forfar, coming on for 35 minutes replacing James Dale.

In the 66th minute a Forfar corner towards to back post was cleared poorly out to Gavin Malin but his 18 yard attempt went just over the bar.

Cook and Linn both threatened yet again for the home side, but it was Lee Sibanda that doubled their advantage after 69 minutes, a good cross was met by the head of Sibanda, knocking it over the advancing Hill to the delight of the Arbroath support.

Paul McManus came close twice and Gavin Swankie saw another effort touched over by Morrison for Forfar while Bobby Linn and Ross Chisholm went near to adding Arbroath’s third.

The third goal came in the 83rd minute, mediocre defending allowed Motherwell loanee Lee Erwin to turn his man and lash home from inside the box, this being the final straw for away fans, almost all of them leaving before the final whistle.

The Loons’ day was made further worse when Gavin Swankie was booked for dissent in the 86th minute and then getting what looked a straight red three minutes later for the same offence.

Arbroath: Scott Morrison, David Banjo, Colin Hamilton, Darren Smith (Lee Sibanda 54), Michael Travis, Alex Keddie, Bobby Linn, Ross Chisholm, Lee Erwin (Graham Bayne 83), Alan Cook (Keiran McWalter 79), Paul Sheerin.

Subs not used: Steven Milne, Lari Yao, Bradley Donaldson, Josh Gray (gk).

Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Marvin Andrews, Darren Dods, Neil McCabe (Gavin Malin 46), Omar Kader (Paul McManus 63), James Dale (Craig Smith 56), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson.

Subs not used: Stuart Malcolm, Ross Campbell, Gary Fusco, Rab Douglas (gk).