Forfar Athletic boss Dick Campbell admitted he did not see his side’s 3-0 loss to Alloa Athletic coming.
The Loons were beaten by goals from Michael Chopra, Liam Buchanan and Daryll Meggatt as the Wasps won the Championship Play-off Final 4-3 on aggregate.
Uncharacteristic individual errors were the key as Danny Lennon’s Alloa retained their status in the second tier of Scottish football, and left Campbell’s side in League One for at least another year.
Forfar had enjoyed a successful 45 minutes until Chopra converted from 15 yards out right in the depths of first half injury time, with the striker surrounded by three static defenders.
Buchanan made it 2-0 and levelled the tie on 68 minutes when Chopra pounced on a mistake by Darren Dods and Rab Douglas to feed his strike partner, Buchanan finishing in superb fashion.
Graeme Holmes was sent off minutes later for a dangerous foul on Omar Kader but Forfar couldn’t make the advantage count, and Meggatt broke Forfar hearts when he powered home an 84th minute header from a corner.
I’m absolutely gutted because I never saw that coming, and I didn’t see us losing three goals.Dick Campbell
Campbell said: “I didn’t see that coming, I really didn’t see it.
“I’ve come down from the stand at 45 minutes and it’s 0-0. We’re well in control of the game, Rab’s not had a save to make. And then we don’t stop a cross coming in.
“We’ve got three players around Chopra and he hits it into the bottom corner. They don’t even have time to take the centre.
“It gives them a wee feel for it because if it gets to half-time and they need to score three, I’d have made sure they wouldn’t have done it.
“I could never see it coming what happened in the second half.
“Alloa work hard at the game and I respect them. But don’t tell me Forfar’s not as good as Alloa. Forfar’s a good football side.
“I’m absolutely gutted because I never saw that coming, and I didn’t see us losing three goals.”
Forfar Athletic: Douglas; Travis, Dods, Malcolm, Kennedy (Smith, 85); Kader, Fotheringham (Malin, 77), Young, Denholm; Hilson (Hay, 85), Templeman.