Hilson seals victory for the Loons

Forfar Athletic are still in the play-off hunt after the second win this week against a 
struggling Stranraer, this 
time winning 1-0 at Station Park on Saturday, writes Lee Smith.

With Darren Dods suspended, Stuart Malcolm came into the starting XI in 
what was the only change for Forfar.

Stranraer started off strongly, with Steven Bell firing over from long range before a long clearance by keeper David Mitchell reached Jamie Longworth but his effort was cleared off the line by Marvin Andrews in the fifth minute.

Malcolm nodded wide from an Iain Campbell free kick in the sixth minute and nine minutes later, The Loons were ahead. Dale Hilson picked the ball up on the right side of the box, beat a defender, before taking the ball past him again, dancing past another two Stranraer players and curling the ball past David Mitchell at the near post for his 10th goal of the season.

Just after 20 minutes Scott Rumsby headed over before Rab Douglas parried a close range Sean Winter shot and then saved the follow-up header.

Stranraer started to press as they then had a chance from Grant Gallagher saved before Jamie Longworth hit the side netting after dodgy defending.

The Loons had the ball in the net just before half time, Omar Kader netting after a good passing move but the stand side linesman bizarrely judged him to be offside.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 Stranraer 0

Straight from kick off Iain Campbell made Mitchell nervous with a shot from inside his own half that the wind carried towards goal, Mitchell gathering close to his line.

Forfar were enjoying the majority of chances in the second half, with Swankie, Iain Campbell, Fotheringham and Malcolm all going close in the space of 10 minutes.

In the 64th minute Jamie Longworth fired wide whilst at the other end nine minutes later Craig Smith set up Hilson, who saw his shot fly just over the bar.

In the 80th minute Marvin Andrews was unlucky to score as his goalbound effort was blocked by a defender, while two minutes after Stuart Malcolm sent a ball to Templeman, who set up Hilson again and his run ended in a shot across goal going just past the post.

Ex-Loon Martin Grehan collected a loose ball just outside the box after 84 minutes but he sclaffed his shot wide whereas Andy Stirling fired straight at Rab Douglas.

Dale Hilson’s free kick from just inside the attacking half almost went in in injury time, but David Mitchell had to be sharp to tip the ball over. From this corner Gavin Malin raced into the box, cut the ball back for Smith and his shot cannoned off the cross bar before being cleared as the ref blew the final whistle.

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Marvin Andrews, Stuart Malcolm, Gary Fusco, Omar Kader (Craig Smith 69), Martyn Fotheringham (Gavin Malin 69), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie (James Dale 75), Dale Hilson.

Subs not used: Neil McCabe, James McCluskey, Paul McLellan, Darren Hill (gk).

Stranraer: David Mitchell, David McGregor, Mark Docherty, Scott Rumsby, Frank McKeown, Steven Bell, Sean Winter (Ryan Borris 75), Grant Gallagher, Martin Grehan, Jamie Longworth (Adam Forde 84), Andy Stirling.

Subs not used: David McKenna, Lloyd Kinnaird, Stephen Stirling, Chris Fahey (gk)