Forfar Athletic lose top spot to rampant Dunfermline

Photo - Chris Coutts.
Photo - Chris Coutts.

Forfar Athletic manager Dick Campbell said the better side won after the 4-0 defeat to Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday.

The side were replaced at the summit of League One by the Pars, whose goals came from a Joe Cardle hat trick and Andy Geggan, Cardle also missing a penalty with Rab Douglas in fine form.

Campbell said: “We got beat, simple as that. Dunfermline deserved to win the game. I’ve not got any issues with that at all, they’ve shown in the last few weeks that they can score a lot of goals. They’ve scored with their first attack, we missed two sitters before that and that’s the breaks that Dunfermline get but they deserved to win the game.

“The last few games have maybe taken its toll a wee bit, I’ve got three of four players missing; against Dunfermline, you can’t afford to have that but I’ve no complaints, it shows you what we’ve got to do.”

Forfar made two changes to last week’s draw with Ayr, Omar Kader making his second debut after resigning during the week with Thomas O’Brien returning from injury, with young duo Michael Dunlop and Kerr Hay relegated to the bench.

The Pars opened the scoring after just three minutes with their first attack, Cardle slotting home a Michael Paton cross.

They had chances to add to their tally with Faissal El-Bakhtaoui curling wide and Josh Falkingham heading over whilst Forfar’s Kader was inches away from scoring on his second debut, his header rolling past the post on the quarter hour mark.

El-Bakhtaoui forced a good save from Douglas in the 22nd minute before the game went through a dull spell, neither side creating any goalscoring chances of note.

Dunfermline had the last chance of the half when Cardle’s long range effort was saved by Douglas but the ball spun into the net.

Early in the second half former Par Lewis Allan had a great chance to get the Loons back into the game but his effort went just past the post.

Douglas held an El-Bakhtaoui free kick before Allan and Bryan Hodge combined, the midfielder’s resulting shot curled wide.

Cardle had a chance to grab his hat trick in the 64th minute after a penalty was awarded but his weak effort was saved well by Douglas.

He did get that elusive third four minutes later, slotting home from an El-Bakhtaoui through ball.

Forfar did have more chances to get back into the game with Danny Denholm firing over from a Martyn Fotheringham ball and then Hay lashing across goal in the 84th minute.

Hodge then had another shot held before Dunfermline delivered the coup de grace in the final minute, Geggan rising to nod home a corner for the side’s fourth.

Campbell added: “That’s Dunfermline two points ahead of us now and I’ve never seen a championship won in September in my life and we shouldn’t be talking like that but give credit where it’s due, Dunfermline deserved to win the game.

“I’ll need to take stock of the game, lick our wounds if you like and look to Brechin next week.”