FORFAR Athletic’s hopes of a place in the Scottish first division are all but over – barring a miracle at Ayr on Saturday.
A series of defensive lapses allowed Ayr United to build a four-one advantage in the opening leg of the play-off semi-final played at Station Park on Wednesday evening in front of a 942 crowd.
The Honest Men raced into the lead as early as the second minute, the nippy Michael Moffat fastening on to a good through ball from Jonathon Tiffoney to slide the ball under Neil Duffy for the opener.
Forfar did well to respond in positive fashion, a series of corner kicks ending with a great headed leveller by Chris Templeman from an Iain Campbell pin-point cross.
The home side survived a dangerous moment on the half hour when Moffat raced clear on goal to slide the ball past the keeper and on to the base of the post.
But, five minutes later, the same player tormented the Loons again, this time cutting in from the bye-line for his cross to be touched by Ross and then McCulloch before crossing the line.
Forfar tried hard to work their way back into the game, but, as the second half progressed, Ayr always looked the more dangerous on attack.
Duffy saved the day with a point-blank stop from a Martyn Campbell header, but there was nothing he could do when Ryan McCann broke clean through on goal to crack home from 18 yards.
Four minutes from time and Forfar’s promotion dream was all but extinguished, as Andy Rodgers found himself perfectly placed to clip home after a cross from the right was headed back into the mix.