Swankie demands title after Peterhead romp

Pic credit Christopher Coutts.
Pic credit Christopher Coutts.

When the dust has settled on this remarkably competitive League One season, it will be instances of individual genius that separate teams.

There is perhaps nobody in the league better at those moments of magic than Forfar Athletic skipper Gavin Swankie, whose brace helped the Loons to a 3-1 victory over Peterhead on Saturday.

And it was one such incident that gave the hosts their second goal of the day, Swankie dancing his way from the left flank inside two defenders before he bedazzled goalie Graeme Smith with a near post finish.

Manager Dick Campbell hailed the goal as “fabulous” while Swankie himself made his season objective absolutely clear - he wants a championship.

Swankie said: “We’re after a league title here. The win puts us one point off the top of the league, that’s all we can do.

“I thought the first goal was pivotal. We went 2-0 up, we were doing really well keeping the ball and making them run around - we had the extra man.”

Rory McAllister had been sent off shortly after Chris Templeman opened the scoring - itself a tidy finish - for two bookable offences, both of them for off-the-ball incidents involving Darren Dods, who himself received a caution.

The arrears in playing staff left Peterhead stretched and Forfar made the most of that, adding their second, before Cameron Kerr’s strike winded the Loons just as they looked ready to dish out a hammering.

“We were switching the play around and keeping them moving, then we lost a goal and we kind of panicked,” said Swankie.

“We kept the ball, we kept them moving, we didn’t let them settle. Obviously they were down to 10 men so we had to keep them moving and tire them out. I thought we did that well and then we lost the goal.

“I don’t think we were under any real sort of pressure though, we were quite comfortable.”

The gaffer said Forfar were “outstanding” after the interval, but commended the visitors as Jim McInally’s side made things difficult for the hosts.

Dick said: “We made it hard for ourselves. I thought Peterhead did well, they went for it at the end. It was their right back that scored when they’ve only got nine outfield players, so credit to them.

“I thought for a 15 minute spell after half time that we were outstanding. It was a fabulous goal from Swankie’s point of view.

“His confidence will be taking a boost getting a double, there were questions asked before.

“I thought we deserved to win the game, albeit there were spells of the game that we’re not too happy with. But to be honest, 3-1 was a true reflection of the game.

“I’m very happy. I thought we did well. At this stage of the season, it’s just about getting three points at home.

“Our home record is the best in the league and it makes me very happy to say that.”

Peterhead boss Jim McInally took responsibility for McAllister’s dismissal, saying he could see the second yellow card coming.

McInally said: “I thought the whole second half, we were by far the better side.

“But the 10 men is my fault. I should have substituted Rory after his yellow, because the referee had wore him down.

“He was on the end of some poor decisions and I should have taken him off.”

Forfar have this week confirmed the signing of midfielder Bryan Hodge who has agreed a pre-contract with the Station Park outfit.

The 27-year-old Stenhousemuir midfielder will join the Loons at the end of this season.

Club officials had tried to bring Hodge in before the end of the transfer window but that deal fell through after Warriors boss Scott Booth was sacked on Friday evening after a poor run of results.