EAST Fife were left to rue what might have been after losing by the odd goal in five at Station Park on Saturday.
Having gone two goals up early in the first half they managed to let the home side back into the game when Darren McCormack conceded a penalty and got himself sent off. The spot kick was duly tucked away and further defensive lapses just before the hour mark saw the loss of two further goals inside two minutes to let Forfar take the points and the Fifers dropped down to sixth place in the league.
East Fife started the game with a number of changes to the line-up. Out were David White, Scott McBride and Bobby Barr and in came McCormack, Robert Sloan and Jordan Forster.
There was not much in it in the opening minutes but with seven minutes gone East Fife went ahead. An excellent build up involving Paul Willis, McCormack, Craig Johnstone and Sloan saw Johnstone take Sloan’s return pass and coolly slot it into the net.
Forfar pushed forward to try to get back on level terms but a cool cushioned header from Johnstone back to Calum Antell averted the immediate danger. Swankie then sent a ball in dangerously across the penalty box and Hilson went close with a drive following a knock down by Templeman.
But despite their pressure it was the Fifers who got a second goal. David Muir’s header put Paul Willis clear and his clever header dropped behind Hamilton for the second goal.
Once again Forfar pushed for a goal and just after the half hour mark they got their reward when McCormack let Hilson get past him onto the ball and in his attempt to win it back the referee decided he had pushed the striker.
To make matters worse McCormack was red carded and Iain Campbell scored from the spot kick.
Although a man down it was East Fife who finished the half on the attack though. Steven Campbell was unlucky to have a header cleared off the line from a Scott Durie corner. Hamilton then saved from Willis.
Despite making a bright to the second half the roof fell in for the Fifers in 57 minutes Antell couldn’t keep out a shot from Denholm and then one minute late an unmarked Swankie scored Forfar’s third from close in.
Boss Billy Brown brought on Gareth Wardlaw and Liam Gormley for Samuel and Sloan to try and freshen things up but in the end the Fifers had to settle for defeat.
Forfar Athletic – Hamilton, Robertson (Main 80), I. Campbell, Bishop, Bolochoweckyj, Craigan, Hilson (Fotheringham 80), McCulloch, Templeman (R. Campbell 89), Swankie, Denholm. Subs (not used) – King, Scott.
East Fife – Antell, Durie, Johnstone, Muir, McCormack, Campbell, Sloan, (Gormley 84), Willis, Samuel, (Wardlaw 60), Pollock, Jamieson. Subs (not used) – R. Brown, Forster, Collier.
Referee – K. Graham.
Attendance – 619.
Starcheck – Willis 3 points, Pollock 2, Durie 1.
Starcheck table – Bobby Barr 22, Michael Brown 13, David Muir 12, Darren Smith 8, Calum Antell 7, Scott McBride 7, Robert Sloan 7, Paul Willis 7, Scott Durie 5, Paul McManus 5, Jamie Pollock 5, Collin Samuel 5, Darren McCormack 3, Gareth Wardlaw 3, Andy Collier 2, Liam Gormley 2, Scott Smith 2, Ross Brown 1, Steven Campbell 1, Jordon Forster 1, Sean Jamieson 1, Craig Johnstone 1.