Goals from Danny Denholm and Iain Campbell weren’t enough for Forfar Athletic as 10 man Ayr United came back to take a share of the points on Saturday.
First half goals from the pair had Forfar 2-0 up at half time but Andy Graham and Ross Caldwell rescued a point for the visitors, who had Nicky Devlin sent off.
The point wasn’t enough for the Loons to stay in third place, dropping to fifth behind Airdrie and Albion Rovers.
Three changes were made from the draw with Peterhead a fortnight before, Rab Douglas, Danny Denholm and Chris Templeman all returning from injury with Scott Gallacher, Michael Dunlop and Martyn Fotheringham dropping out.
Forfar made the perfect start after less than two minutes, Andrew Black’s cross finding Danny Denholm who beat Nicky Devlin to the ball, volleying home.
Two minutes later the Loons were dealt a blow when Michael Travis went down while defending.
He was forced off to be replaced by Kerr Hay.
In the 10th minute, Ayr had their first shot on goal, Brian Gilmour failing to trouble Douglas as he fired over the bar.
Denholm then could have scored a second when he rose to meet a Baxter cross but Greg Fleming held it easily.
The game turned into a midfield battle with no efforts on goal until after the half hour mark, Paddy Boyle seeing his shot from close range smothered by Douglas.
Two minutes before half time Jordan Preston sent a cross into the box and found Alan Forrest who blasted into the side netting.
Forfar extended their lead in injury time, Mark Baxter’s cross was cleared but only as far as Iain Campbell, who stepped forward and sent a rocket into the top corner from 30 yards.
Templeman went close to making it three six minutes after half time, forcing Fleming into a save from Swankie’s lay off.
Ayr pulled a goal back after 53 minutes, Gilmour’s corner was met by Andy Graham, and his header went in after Douglas failed to push the ball out.
In the 68th minute the Honest Men were reduced to ten, Nicky Devlin went to control a poor pass from his teammate but Denholm raced in to collect it, as a result Devlin caught Denholm at knee height and the referee sent the captain off.
With twenty minutes left Campbell tested Fleming again with a long range shot before Ayr went up the park and equalised, Ross Caldwell stabbing home.
Both sides had chances to win the game late on, with Swankie and Gilmour going closest for each side.
The Loons now face a difficult trip to East End Park next week to face new league leaders Dunfermline.
The club hope to run a Supporters Coach to the game, it would leave the Myre Car Park at 12.45p.m. returning straight after the final whistle.
Seats costing £8 can be reserved/booked at the Loons Direct Shop at Station Park at Saturday’s game against Ayr United or alternatively you can e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07871165689.