Forfar lose lead in defeat by East Fife

Forfar Athletic threw away a lead to lose to East Fife in the odd goal in three this past Saturday at Station Park in the side’s final meeting this season.

After last week’s crushing defeat at Airdrieonians, suspenisions and injuries ruled out Iain Campbell, Darren Dods and Marvin Andrews so in came Chris Duggan and James Dale to the starting 11 from the bench while Gavin Swankie and Ross Campbell returned from knocks to take a spot on the bench.

Action from Saturday's match against East Fife.

Action from Saturday's match against East Fife.

There was also a substitute place for Keith Gibson, his first appearance in the squad of 18 since his injury in September of 2012.

The Loons started off well with Chris Duggan forcing ex-Loon keeper Jack Hamilton into a good save from close range before he then set up Templeman with a great cross, Templeman though just failing to connect with it.

East Fife were unlucky not to score in the 15th minute, Darren Hill saving Kevin Smith’s effort but he could only parry it into Liam Buchanan’s path and his shot towards an open goal was excellently cleared by Gary Fusco off the line.

Just after the half-hour mark Forfar took the lead, Hilson and Templeman unlucky not to score with Hamilton making great saves again. From the corner after Templeman’s shot was pushed over, Chris Duggan burst through the East Fife defence, powering his header home.

The visitors equalised two minutes later, Buchanan setting up Nathan Austin but his shot was pushed into Buchanan’s path and he slotted home.

Duggan had the closest chance for Forfar before half time, Fotheringham sending a great ball for him and he muscled his way past Scott Durie before sending a low effort inches wide.

Deep into first half of injury time a long run with the ball by Kevin Smith, beating several players, ended in him cutting the ball back for Austin, who bundled the ball home to make it 2-1.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 East Fife 2

Chances came and went for both sides in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, with Austin going close for East Fife while Stuart Malcolm, Hilson, Duggan and Fotheringham all saw attempts go wide of the

In the 65th minute Liam Buchanan fired over from a Smith cross before in the 79th minute Duggan set up Gavin Malin but his long range strike went just over.

Two minutes later a Fotheringham free kick on the edge of the area found Gary Fusco but he could only knock the ball into the sidenetting.

At the other end Nathan Austin headed on to the roof of the net after a great run by Kevin Smith before Stephen Hughes set up Buchanan again, his shot cannoning off the bar before being cleared with just five minutes
to go.

The Loons spent the last five minutes chasing the game but couldn’t create any chances for an equaliser, the only thing of note being Chris Duggan receiving a yellow card for a shoulder barge his namesake ‘Hacksaw’ Jim would be
proud of.

The club now has a two-week break until their game with Dunfermline, as they were due to play Rangers next week but with Rangers in their first ever domestic cup final this coming Sunday, when they play Raith in the Ramsdens Cup, that league game is now being played in

Forfar Athletic: Darren Hill, Neil McCabe (Gavin Malin 34), Mark Baxter, Gary Fusco, Stuart Malcolm, James Dale, Omar Kader (Gavin Swankie 75), Martyn Fotheringham, Chris Templeman (Ross Campbell 81), Chris Duggan, Dale Hilson.

Subs not used: Gavin Thomson, Paul McLellan, Keith Gibson, Ross Salmon (gk).

East Fife: Jack Hamilton, Scott Durie, Craig Johnstone, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Stevie Campbell (Gary Thom 79), Stephen O’Neill (Marc McKenzie 67), Nathan Austin (Jonny Stewart 85), Lewis Barr, Liam Buchanan, Kevin Smith, Stephen Hughes.

Subs not used: Liam Wooley, Ryan Stewart, Bruce Inkango, Connor Shaw (gk).