Facing the leaders

HAVING had a break to recharge the batteries after two defeats on the trot Forfar Athletic will have a testing time at Station Park this weekend.

Visitors to town on derby business are current league leaders and free-scoring Arbroath.

Up from the third division after having been pipped by the Loons the previous season, the Lichties are going great guns out in front at the moment.

They have only dropped five points to date and are currently eight points ahead of Dick Campbell’s men as the league campaign reaches the quarter-point on Saturday.

Sandwiched between Arbroath and Forfar are the tightly packed Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir, East Stirlingshire and Airdrie United.

But eight points is nothing at this stage of the campaign if a team can go on a winning run, and what better way to shrug off reverses at home to Dumbarton and away to East Fife than to put one over the team currently cutting out the running in the table.

The game is the first of three at home in the space of four Saturdays, with another derby match on the horizon.

A week on Saturday, Forfar are away to Cowdenbeath, with Albion Rovers at Station Park on October 29 and Brechin City looking for revenge for the one-nil drubbing they received at the Glebe earlier in the campaign when they come to Forfar on November 5.

Ahead of the the weekend break, Forfar took the opportunity to give fringe players match practice last midweek, when they went down three-one to Montrose.

Manager Dick Campbell will have to decide whether to freshen the side up in the face of the two most recent league defeats, but, while Forfar were well under par at home to Dumbarton, they did play their part in a seven-goal thriller at Methil.

Indeed, had they not lost their goalkeeper to a red card just after levelling for a third time they may have gone on to win the game. As things stand, Adam McHugh’s sending off for a professional foul means that he will sit out this Saturday’s derby match, with Greg Paterson set to return between the sticks. and probably the youth keeper on the bench.