Loons so close to a play-off spot

Forfar Athletic defendefr Stephen Tulloch - available for selection after a long spell out through injury.
Forfar Athletic defendefr Stephen Tulloch - available for selection after a long spell out through injury.

FORFAR Athletic make the short trip east this coming Saturday, looking for three more points that would surely clinch a top-four slot in the Scottish second division.

Indeed, with Brechin City also very much in the promotion picture, the scene is set for a thriller of a derby at the Glebe.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), the reds were preparing to entertain East Fife in a match that gave them the opportunity to leap-frog the Loons back into third-top spot.

You will know how that game went by the time you read this, but, whatever the result, both teams will be keen to secure their promotion play-off place as soon as possible.

Loons assistant manager Ian Campbell is looking forward to the latest derby joust.

He was full of praise for the way his side stamped their authority on the game after being pegged back to one-one at home to Alloa Athletic on Saturday.

“I don’t think anyone could say we didn’t deserve to win,” he commented.

“Alloa are a good, strong side, but we scored three excellent goals and played some lovely football.

“Going in at half time at one-nil we were perhaps a bit ahead of the game, but we re-organised at the break and are dangerous going forward.

“We have players who can score from a lot of different places on the pitch and we also struck the bar twice and the post once.”

Ian is expecting nothing less than another tough ninety minutes at the Glebe, but says Forfar will be travelling with confidence.

Both clubs will be missing key players on Saturday as injuries and suspensions kick-in.

Brechin will go in without the suspended Rory McAllister and Ewan Moyes, while the Loons will have Iain Campbell out, as he is in the midst of a three-match ban.

Injuries have also robbed Forfar of the services of on-loan keeper Scott Gallacher and striker Paul McQuade.

However, the good news is that defender Stephen Tulloch is now available for selection, having been side-lined for a long spell through injury.

It will be like getting a new player back for a crucial stage of the season, especially with Michael Bolochoweskyj a card away from another four-match ban, Iain Campbell unavailable for the home game with Peterhead and Chris Templeman also set to sit out the Peterhead and Dumbarton matches through suspension.

Following the Saturday trip to the Glebe, Forfar will complete their home fixtures with a visit from the Blue Toon boys on Saturday, April 30, and a trip to the Rock to take on Dumbarton on Saturday, May 7.

Then, all going well, there will be the little matter of the promotion play-offs to look forward to.

If the Loons finish fourth, they could be taking on Cowdenbeath, or perhaps Ross County. Second or third spots could set up a mouth-watering double header with Brechin City, or it could be Ayr United in the semi-final stage of the play-offs, depending on how things pan out over the course of the next couple of weeks.

Everything’s a bit up in the air in terms of who will be facing who, but all that matters is getting into that top four - and taking your chance whoever the opponents turn out to be.

You just never know, Forfar Athletic could yet be playing first division football next season.