Loons off the top following Dunlop’s headed equaliser

Pic credit Christopher Coutts.
Pic credit Christopher Coutts.

Mikey Dunlop’s brilliant headed effort ensured Forfar Athletic finished the first half of the League One season unbeaten at Station Park.

The defender’s 79th minute goal - his second of the season - restored parity after an excellent Airdrieonians side had deservedly taken the lead through Paddy Boyle.

Despite that incredible unbeaten record remaining intact, the Loons were knocked off the top spot after Stranraer went above Forfar on goal difference.

Martyn Fotheringham made the starting 11 for the first time this season, replacing Omar Kader in the only change to the squad.

Dale Hilson had the first chance after eight minutes before Bryan Prunty drew a terrific save from Rab Douglas.

Jim Lister then saw a header cleared off the line as Stephen Husband tested Andy McNeil with a pair of long range efforts.

Hilson almost put Forfar in front before the break but McNeil was able to nab the ball from his feet.

It should have been 1-0 to the hosts after the restart, Hilson flicking the ball over McNeil before hitting a weak half volley.

The Loons were made to pay for that just seconds later, Boyle curling a delicious effort into the bottom right corner of the net.

Ben Richards-Everton and Dunlop traded headers at either end before the latter denied the troublesome Jim Lister with a superb piece of defending.

And the defender’s fine run continued when he levelled affairs, towering over his marker from a Gavin Malin corner.

Forfar’s subs changed the flow of the game as Malin, Omar Kader and Chris Templeman added width and shape to the final third.

A goalmouth scramble amazingly saw Airdrieonians clear the ball off the line three times, but it finished 1-1.

Forfar Athletic (4-4-2): Douglas; Baxter, Dunlop, Dods, Paterson; Fotheringham (Kader, 61), Smith, Husband (Malin, 69), Denholm; Swankie, Hilson (Templeman, 72).

Subs not used: Salmon, Malcolm, Dale, James.

airdrieonians (4-3-1-2): McNeil; O’Neill, Docherty, Gasparotto, Boyle; Blockley, Richards-Everton, Fitzpatrick; Fraser (Bain, 83); Lister, Prunty (Parker, 87).

Subs not used: Ferguson, Boyle, Watson, Watt, Scott.