Forfar Athletic stay sixth in League One after a tough 1-1 draw with Arbroath at Station Park on Saturday in extreme weather conditions.
Four changes were made from the thrilling midweek cup win over Brechin, with injuries forcing Gavin Swankie, Odmar Faeroe and Gary Fusco out whilst Martyn Fotheringham dropped to the bench. Mark Baxter, Stuart Malcolm, Gavin Malin and Paul McManus came in to replace them.
With the wind and rain swirling around Station Park, the sides found it hard to create anything in the opening stages, both teams not really getting near the other side’s goal.
The first opportunity eventually came after 16 minutes, an Arbroath corner from Alan Cook coming to Colin Hamilton, but he could only fluff his shot wide.
Two minutes later Gayfield loanee Steven Doris, back on loan from Dundee where he failed to make a mark, set up player/manager Paul Sheerin inside the box although Sheerin couldn’t get his shot directed at goal and fired past the post.
Arbroath pushed for an opener and had a double chance in the 22nd minute, a long free kick from Bobby Linn went over the defence and was luckily put out for a corner, from which Michael Travis headed over.
Omar Kader went clean through in the box in the 24th minute but was muscled off the ball before he could get a shot away.
Sheerin went close for the Red Lichties again on the half hour mark, volleying over from the edge of the penalty area.
James Dale almost had his second goal of the season firing towards goal in the 37th minute that looked goalbound until his effort hit Paul McManus and went wide.
Half time: Forfar Athletic 0, Arbroath 0
During the interval Neil McCabe was taken off for Martyn Fotheringham and Fotheringham made a great impact, his corner within 90 seconds of the restart being nodded back in by Chris Templeman and McManus was on hand to touch the ball home.
Two minutes later Arbroath’s Alan Cook let fly with a long range shot that crashed off the bar with Rab Douglas helpless. He tried another attempt from the same distance in the 50th minute but Douglas pushed the shot out before Linn fired miles over.
In the 67th minute Doris was inches away from connecting with a Hamilton cross while at the other end Iain Campbell saw his free kick diverted into the keeper’s arms.
Campbell was involved in another attack in the 70th minute, his long free kick being knocked down for McManus, whose volley was blocked by a defender.
Bobby Linn had a piece of solo brilliance after 73 minutes, weaving his way past three Forfar players near the touchline before heading towards goal and curling an effort that Douglas had to scramble to push wide.
Steven Doris nodded wide again for the Red Lichties before Forfar’s McManus and Fotheringham had shots blocked in quick succession.
Arbroath equalised with eight minutes remaining, Linn swinging in a corner that was knocked in at the back post by Michael Travis despite Iain Campbell’s efforts to clear.
Graham Bayne had only been on the park for six minutes before he was shown a straight red for raising his hands to a Forfar defender in the 84th minute.
Despite chances for both sides in the closing minutes, neither could find a winner.
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Mark Baxter, Iain Campbell, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Neil McCabe (Martyn Fotheringham 46), Omar Kader (Jamie McCluskey 88), James Dale (Ross Campbell 75), Chris Templeman, Paul McManus, Gavin Malin. Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Craig Smith, Kerr Hay, Darren Hill (gk).
Arbroath: Scott Morrison, David Banjo, Colin Hamilton, Darren Smith (Graham Bayne 78), Michael Travis, Alex Keddie, Bobby Linn, Ross Chisholm, Steven Doris, Alan Cook, Paul Sheerin (Lee Sibanda 78). Subs not used: Bradley Donaldson, Christopher Scott, Lari Yao, Johnny Lindsay, Lennie Wilson (gk).