ANOTHER good away-day performance by East Fife moved them a place up the table and kept them in contention for a play-off spot, breaking a run of three defeats at Station Park.
The Fifers got off to a good start and managed to establish a two goal lead before sloppy defending allowed The Loons back into the game.
However, two more goals in the second half snuffed out any chance of an upset and gave the Fifers their best win at Station Park for over a quarter of a century.
The two enforced changes in the visitors’ line-up saw John Ovenstone take the injured Andrew Cook’s place and Steven Campbell returned from injury for the suspended David White.
East Fife started very brightly and a Ryan Wallace effort, following a Neil Janczyk pass, was saved by Patterson in the home goal.
Minutes later the same pair were in action with Campbell supplying the striker on this occasion.
Patterson then had to make a save from Robert Sloan’s free kick with, already, the foul count against the home side mounting.
The Fifers got the breakthrough with 15 minutes on the clock.
Darren Smith started the move off with a pass to Janczyk who found Scott Dalziel who ran on and slipped a low shot past the ‘keeper into the corner of the net.
Within three minutes the lead was doubled.
A Sloan corner found Bobby Linn whose cross was headed into the net by top scorer Wallace.
There was a bit of a rally by the home side at this juncture and former Fifer Chris Templeman had a shot saved, then a Hilson effort went over the bar.
They did, however, get a goal back with 13 minutes of the half remaining.
An innocuous long throw was not dealt with by the Fife defence and Byers punished them when he swept home.
This gave the home side a lift for a few minutes and there was certainly no lack of effort on their part, although referee McDermott was lenient, to say the least, with several physical challenges.
The Fifers took control of the game as the second half got underway and Wallace had a chance from a Sloan corner, but he seemed unaware of the proximity of the ball and it was cleared.
At the other end excellent anticipation saw Darren McCormack intercept a dangerous ball played for Hilson.
The Fifers third goal was possibly Wallace’s best of the season when he weaved his way into the penalty area with his close control taking him past three or four defenders before despatching high into the net.
Michael Brown’s first serious save of the match came a few minutes later when he held from a Byers attempt.
Another excellent tackle, this time by Ovenstone, brought an end to a dangerous Forfar move.
However, the Fifers continued to dominate and a McCormack header from a Sloan corner was saved by Patterson, before Wallace missed a great chance to complete his second hat trick of the season.
The first booking of the match was for a dive by Iain Campbell.
Into injury time the Fifers got their fourth goal when a Johnstone cross was missed by Wallace but Dalziel was on hand to notch his brace.
Forfar Athletic - Patterson, McCulloch, I. Campbell, Shaughnessy, Bolochoweckyj, Ross (Coyne 75), Byers (R. Campbell 72), Templeman, Hilson, Fotheringham, Motion (Hegarty 64).
Subs not used - Gibson, McKane.
East Fife - Brown, Durie, Ovenstone, McCormack, Campbell, Smith (Muir 78), Linn (Johnstone 78), Janczyk, Dalziel, Wallace, Sloan (Hislop 85);
Subs not used - McQuade, Collier.
Referee - F McDermott
Attendance - 559
Starcheck ratings - Wallace 3 points, Dalziel 2, McCormack 1.
Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 47, Bobby Linn 36, Michael Brown 22, Darren Smith 20, Mark Ridgers 17, Robert Sloan 14, Craig Johnstone 12, Rob Ogleby 11, Steve Campbell 10, Scott Durie 10, John Ovenstone 9, David White 9, Matthew Park 8, Steve Hislop 5, Darren McCormack 5, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Scott Dalziel 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1.