All set for local derby

Chris Templeman is sandwiched between two Rangers players at Ibrox on Tuesday evening.

Chris Templeman is sandwiched between two Rangers players at Ibrox on Tuesday evening.

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Forfar Athletic are gearing up to welcome near neighbours Arbroath Football Club tomorrow for a local derby at Station Park.

The Loons have had a busy week - they were away to Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday when they drew 0-0, and on Tuesday they travelled to Ibrox to take on Rangers, on that occasion losing 3-0.

Now all the attention is on the game against The Lichties.

The ‘Loons’ go into what is their penultimate home league game of the season, on the back of a disappointing four game run without a victory.

In fact the only point gleaned from those four games came from the club’s first 0-0 draw in over 100 competitive games at East End Park last Saturday.

Those results mean that the Station Park outfit have only the faintest of hope of a play-off spot at the top end of the table and it would certainly require a three game winning run, allied to an amazing sequence of results elsewhere up to the May 3 to see that hope realised.

The Forfar management team hope to welcome back skipper Gavin Swankie to the ranks after he missed Tuesday night’s match at Ibrox through illness. Thankfully no further injuries were reported following the 3-0 reversal to the runaway league leaders, though it is unlikely that any of the handful of players who missed the match through either long or short term injury will be fit for Saturday’s clash.

Paul Sheerin’s side travel to Station Park following an excellent 4-2 win over Stranraer at Gayfield last Saturday, Paul McManus, who moved from Station Park in January, again one of their goal scorers.

That results saw the Gayfield outfit throw themselves a lifeline at the foot of the table, moving within four points of East Fife who currently sit in the play-off spot.

The spoils have been shared to date this season between the sides, each having recorded a victory at Gayfield, while a 1-1 draw was the outcome of the December clash at Station Park played in horrendous overhead conditions.

The game will be refereed by Ayrshire based Des Roache who took charge of the September fixture at Gayfield between the sides and also Forfar’s visit to Airdrie four weeks back.

Home season ticket holders should utilise voucher 22.