FORFAR Athletic’s build-up to the new season took a significant step forward on Saturday when they played the first of a number of home friendlies.

And, while Dundee United ran out comfortable enough winners by two goals to nil, home fans were reasonably happy with the performance of the Sky Blues against full-time opposition.

The Loons were without a handful of regular first team players, but it was an opportunity for the supporters to cast an eye over some of the close-season signings.

Striker Stevie Crawford caught the eye on his debut for Forfar, while other new men to start included goalkeeper Greg Paterson, defender Chris Hegarty and midfielder Kevin Byers, the latter starting a second stint at Station Park.

The bench included a number of trialists as Forfar manager Dick Campbell continued his bid to strengthen the squad ahead of the new season.

The only goal of the first period came in 32 minutes when Willo Flood worked his way in from the right before delivering an inviting low cross.

Before the ball could reach Jon Daly, home defender John Bishop slid in and diverted it just inside the far post.

United began to dictate play thereafter and, just after the hour mark, Scott Allan, one of three on-loan United players at Station Park last season, showed he had lost none of his spark, waltzing past three defenders to set up Johnny Russell for the second and final goal of the afternoon.

The second period saw a flurry of substitutions as Dick Campbell had a look at his trialists and Dundee United gave their squad players a run.

For the Forfar boss it was a worthwhile exercise against strong opposition.

“Given that we’ve only had three training sessions and were without five first-team regulars I was happy enough,” he commented.

The Loons build-up was continuing as the Dispatch and Herald went to press on Tuesday evening (last night), with Montrose due at Station Park for a friendly that same evening.

There are no further games until Tuesday of next week, when Spartans are in Forfar and then comes that mouth-watering fixture against what will be a very strong Aberdeen side a week on Saturday (kick-off 3 pm).

Looking forward to the visit of a premier league side led by former Scotland manager Craig Brown and ex-Loons player and manager Archie Knox, the club directors have announced that hospitality packages will be available.

The cost of hospitality is £35 and already the club has taken a few advance bookings.

Any individuals interested in booking a slot or for a party should make contact with David McGregor on 01307 464924 (home) or 07871 165689.