Cup hopes are over as Fifers go down to Forfar

Craig Johnstone tries to win back posession
Craig Johnstone tries to win back posession

The home side completed a hat-trick of wins this season against East Fife last Saturday in the Scottish Cup tie at Station Park.

Although it may not have had a direct effect on the outcome, the decision of the referee not to send off Marvin Andrews for his assault on Ross Brown must have made many think of the same referee’s decision to send off Gary Thom in the opening game of the season at Station Park.

Forfar central defender Andrews got away with a yellow card for a bad challenge on Brown.

The youngster had to be carried off and was replaced by Jonny Stewart.

An excellent move for the visitors saw Ryan Stewart do well down the right, but his cross into the penalty area was behind both Liam Buchanan and Craig Johnstone.

Stewart also tried his luck himself but that was blocked.

Into the third minute of added-on time at the end of the first half, the home side took the lead when Hilton prodded home following a corner.

Michael Andrews pushed away Andrews header but it fell for the Forfar man to score.

East Fife returned after the break and again took command – but could not find the net.

A Hughes effort was saved and Durie should have at least hit the target after a good build up by Jonny Stewart and Buchanan.

Despite having the majority of possession, the Fifers just could not find a decent finish. Johnstone shot over before Buchanan had a shot saved by Douglas. East Fife brought on Pat Clarke for Campbell.

Forfar did have a bit more of the ball by the midway point and it took a Johnstone clearance to stop them taking a two goal lead.

They obviously took heart from that and a short spell of pressure ended with them getting the second goal when Templeman headed home following a Malcolm knock down following a corner.

East Fife’s third early cup exit of the season looked on the cards, but they did manage to get one back with 16 minutes remaining.

Buchanan did well down the right and found Hughes whose ball across the six yard box gave Craig Johnstone the chance to blast home to make it 2-1.

The revitalised Fifers came close three minutes later when a Johnstone cross looked to be heading for Clarke but Douglas managed to get there first, as the Fifers tried to avoid their first ever Scottish Cup defeat at Station Park.

The home side went close with a Campbell free kick hitting the top of the bar and then Andrews had to make a late dive to save from Swankie.