HAVING gained a solitary point from six over the course of the past week, Forfar Athletic remain very much on the fringes of the relegation battle.
The Loons drew one-each at home to strong-going Dumbarton last Tuesday evening, but were then crushed four-nil at East Fife on Saturday.
The results leave the Loons with a lot to do if they are to escape from the nether regions of the Scottish second division.
And, the matches don’t get any easier!
On Wednesday evening (tonight), Forfar are due to make the trip to on-form Arbroath, for the latest derby encounter.
Fast and dangerous up front, the Lichties defeated Forfar four-two on their own patch just recently, and they will be keen to keep the pressure on front-runners Cowdenbeath in the race for the second division title.
Following the derby match, Forfar are at Albion Rovers this coming Saturday, with East Fife due at Station Park for a rescheduled match on Tuesday evening of next week.
If Forfar can play anything like they did at home to Dumbarton last midweek then they are more than capable of picking up vital points.
It was end-to-end stuff in the opening period, with both sides having their chances.
Joe Shaughnessy saw a great headed effort well saved by the keeper after only eight minutes while, at the other end, it took a brilliant double save from Marc McCallum to deny Mark Gilhaney.
The keeper then did the trick again soon after, somehow stopping a Pat Walker effort from a yard out and clawing the follow up from the very goal-line.
Having survived a siege, the Loons went up the park to take the lead.
With half an hour gone, Dale Hilson was the home hero, smashing the ball into the net after the keeper had blocked his initial effort.
Back came Dumbarton to level just on the break, Bryan Prunty firing low into the corner after finding acres of space in the Loons defence.
Both sides could have won the game in the second half, Hilson coming closest for Forfar and Gilhaney seeing another effort brilliantly saved by McCallum.
It was on to East Fife on Saturday - for a game to forget as far as Dick Campbell’s men were concerned.
The visitors were behind to a spot-kick conversion after only 11 minutes, Robert Sloan netting after Nicky Low was judged to have fouled Steven Hislop at a corner-kick.
Sloan soon doubled his tally with a superb 25-yard drive and then set up Hislop to head home on 36 minutes.
Ryan Wallace claimed the hosts’ fourth 20 minutes from the end with Sloan once again providing the assist.
The fourth goal killed the game stone dead as far as the Loons were concerned, although it was always going to be a tough ask coming from three down anyway.
The result leaves Forfar in third bottom spot - just above Albion Rovers and Stirling Albion.
But there’s still plenty of football to be played, although it would be easier on the nerves if the Loons can get points in the bag sooner rather than later, and so remain in the Scottish second division for another season.
East Fife - Brown, Durie, Campbell, White, Cook, Linn, Muir, Janczyk, Sloan, Hislop (Dalziel)and Wallace (McQuade).
Forfar Athletic - McCallum, Wilson, Shaughnessy, Iain Campbell, McCulloch, Byers (Mowat), Sellars (Coyne), Fotheringham (Ross Campbell), Low, Templeman and Hilson.