Manager rings the changes but result is the same

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Willie Aitchison again made changes to the starting line-up for the third visit of the season to Station Park.

However, the outcome was the same – another defeat.

Again, there was the hard luck story – having a man sent off in the first half – but this is the fourth defeat from Forfar this season. They have amassed over a third of their league points from East Fife this term!

The Fifers had a decent share of possession but, again, the lack of goal threat is evident. If Liam Buchanan does not score, problem! Rab Douglas in the home goal had very few saves to make.

A draw looked possible despite going down to 10 men before half-time, but it was not to be as the home side eventually got a double in the second period, which were down to bad defending as much as being a man short.

There was little between the sides in the first half before Fife were reduced to 10 men a few minutes before the break.

Greg Paterson initially seemed to have blocked a Swankie effort, but the ball went loose and Gary Thom was adjudged to have handled Hilson’s attempt on the line. Inevitably, he was sent off (for the second time at Station Park this season and third in all) and a penalty awarded.

Iain Campbell’s spot kick missed the target, but still left East Fife with 50-plus minutes to play with 10 men.

The Fifers did finish the half with a flourish – a saved Lewis Barr effort and a Buchanan shot which was not too far away. Craig Johnstone did not return for the second half and was replaced by Scott Durie.

It was the home side who forced the issue and Mbu did well again with a defensive header before Hilson missed a golden chance, blasting over.

There were little flurries for the visitors when a Smith cross, following Hughes’ pass, looked dangerous, but Douglas cleared up. He then held a decent effort from a Mbu shot following a corner.

Midway through the half it seemed to be reasonably comfortable for the Fifers, but then a Swankie run to the bye-line ended with a cut back to ex-Fifer Chris Templeman who had the easiest of tasks to put his side in front.

The manager’s response was to send on Cyrus Moosavi and Derek Holmes – the 27th player to play this season – to replace Barr and Smith.

There was a glimmer of hope for the visitors when Buchanan had a free header from a Hughes corner but he could not get enough on the ball and Douglas saved easily.

It was game over with 10 minutes left when a straight-forward Iain Campbell corner was headed home by substitute Ross Campbell, unopposed, in the middle of the penalty area.