FORFAR Athletic face a Scottish Cup third round replay after being held to a draw by Highland League outfit Nairn County.
Despite being 3-0 up at the break, the Loons failed to hold on to their lead and Nairn made the most of the home side’s lapses in concentration.
Ensuring a draw in the very last gasps of the game, Nairn County will now host Forfar Athletic at Station Park, Nairn, on Saturday at 3pm.
Both sides started brightly but it was the visitors who had the first chance at goal when Conor Gethins had a great run down the wing but was blocked by Steven Tulloch.
But it was Forfar who broke the deadlock just 10 minutes in courtesy of Chris Templeman who fired the ball home from 25 yards out.
The Loons struck again in the 25th minute when Gavin Swankie latched onto the ball after a good effort from Charlie King and neatly slotted it home past Nairn ‘keeper Callum Donaldson.
Three minutes later Nairn were forced into making their first substitution of the game when John Cameron went down injured and was replaced by Junior Mendes.
Forfar were looking strong as the half progressed and it was evident that another goal would be quick to come.
And it did just before the 40 minute mark when Steven Tulloch headed home a Kevin Motion cross with Donaldson having little chance of stopping it.
As the half drew to a close it was clear both sides were struggling with the strong light of the low sun and little more happened before the half-time whistle.
Half-time: Forfar Athletic 3, Nairn County 0.
Forfar looked confident coming out after the break and with the sun now setting visibility was no longer an issue.
However, in what turned out to be a scrappy half, Forfar soon started to fall apart.
Nairn made to changes early on with earlier substitution Junior Mendes making way for Craig McMillan and Ross Naismith coming on for Steven Ellis.
Just three minutes later, Nairn caught the Loons defence napping and Martin MacDonald casually sent the ball into the net from 12 yards.
Just just under 20 minutes to go Nairn reduced the Loons’ lead even more when Andrew Neill rolled the ball across to Ross Naismith who simply tapped it in past ‘keeper Derek Soutar.
Forfar were unable to capitalise on any of their chances throughout the second half and looked increasingly frustrated as time drew closer.
Unfortunately for the home side their worst fears were realised when Nairn substitute McMillan poked a Michael Morrison cross over the line to make it 3-3 in the very closing stages of the game.
Disappointed with the final score Forfar Athletic boss Dick Campbell said: “Instead of coming out and going for four or five, we just tried to hold onto a 3-0 lead.
“All credit goes to Nairn. They are still in the cup and deserve to be. I am just still pleased to be in it too.
“To be honest I thought we were fortunate to be 3-0 up at the break.
“The first goal after the break gives them a wee glimmer of hope then they get the second that gives them more. I can’t believe our defending, however.”
Forfar Athletic: Derek Soutar, Mark McCulloch, Iain Campbell, Michael Bolochoweckyj, Steven Tulloch, Kevin Motion, Ross Campbell, Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie, Danny Denholm. Subs: Barry Sellars, Michael Dunlop, Omar Kader, Duncan Reid and David Scott.
Nairn County: Callum Donaldson, Sean Webb, Michael Morrison, Martin MacDonald, Conor Gethins, Gregg Main, Andrew Neill, David Watson, Steven Ellis, Glenn Main, John Cameron. Subs - Ross Naismith, Craig McMillan, Junior Mendes, Craig Smith and Michael McCallum.
Forfar Athletic were due to face Queen of the South at home this Saturday but this match has now been rescheduled to Tuesday, November 20, at 7.30pm.