Gaffer hails Dale’s spirit

Pic credit: Christopher Coutts.

Pic credit: Christopher Coutts.

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Dick Campbell hailed his side’s “magnificent” home record after they saw off Dunfermline Athletic by a single goal at Station Park.

Stephen Husband’s remarkable goal from 35 yards earned Forfar Athletic a 1-0 win over the Pars, the Loons’ 10th home victory of the season.

The win means Forfar remain in third place in League One but after Stranraer’s defeat to Greenock Morton, there is just a single point separating the top three; Morton and the Loons are on 45 while the Blues have 46.

Campbell was chuffed with the three points and said Husband’s stunning strike was a goal worthy of winning any game.

He said: “It’s a great goal to win any game and it was going to take one like that to win this game.

“Both teams were at it and both teams tried to play.

“I thought it was an even game, I didn’t think anybody was on top of the game. It was tight until the very end, but it was a goal worthy of winning the game.

“Stephen Husband will enjoy that because he was with Dunfermline last year. What I enjoy is not losing goals and not losing games.

“As far as I’m concerned, our home record has been absolutely magnificent.”

There were two changes to the starting 11 that lost 3-1 to Airdrieonians a week before, Husband coming in for the suspended Gavin Malin and Dale Hilson replacing Danny Denholm, who dropped to the bench.

Hilson was a shock inclusion after his wife gave birth just a few hours before kick-off on Saturday, but after a sleepless night spent helping his wife through labour, the young striker was adamant that he’d play.

Dick was full of praise for the forward’s attitude.

The gaffer added: “Dale Hilson’s wife has been in labour all night, Dale’s never been to his bed. She had the boy this morning and he phoned me up and said ‘gaffer, I want to play.’ That’s the spirit that we’ve got in this club.”

It was 14 minutes before the first chance of the game fell to left back Alex Whittle, who blasted his effort right at Rab Douglas.

Gavin Swankie and Stuart Malcolm then went close before Faissal El Bakhtaoui fired into the side netting.

Swankie was unlucky not to score 90 seconds into the second half, Chris Templeman giving the captain the ball on the edge of the box but his goal-bound effort was palmed wide by the impressive Ryan Scully.

Templeman then fed Hilson but the striker’s scorching effort smashed off the post.

Andy Geggan cleared a Swankie attack right into the path of Husband and he was more than happy to pull the trigger on an absolute rocket that swerved up and over the outstretched Scully.

The ex-Pars lad saw a free kick go wide moments later before Omar Kader blasted his effort over the bar from inside the box.

Douglas pulled out top saves to deny Lewis Allan and Gregor Buchanan before Josh Falkingham headed wide.

Forfar’s next game is a trip to face Ayr United.

forfar athletic (4-4-2): Douglas; Travis, Malcolm, Dods, Campbell; Kader (Denholm 78), Young (Dale, 87), Husband, Swankie; Templeman, Hilson (Fotheringham, 84)

Subs not used: Salmon, James, Steeves, Baxter

dunfermline Athletic (4-4-2): Scully; Geggan, Urquhart, Buchanan, Whittle (Paterson, 39); George (Allan, 59), McAusland, Spence, Falkingham; Barrowman, El Bakhtaoui (Moffat, 70)

Subs not used: Goodfellow, Millen, Byrne, Hopkirk