Loons take a tumble after 2-1 defeat to East Fife at Bayview

Forfar Athletic’s 100 per cent record against East Fife this season came to a bitter end at Bayview on Saturday following a 2-1 defeat.

Loons boss Dick Campbell made one change with Mark Baxter returning to the starting XI after returning from injury on Monday night in Odmar Faeroe’s absence.

Stuart Malcolm clashes with East Fife's Gray Naysmith and Jonathan Stewart.

Stuart Malcolm clashes with East Fife's Gray Naysmith and Jonathan Stewart.

Meanwhile, Bayview boss Gary Naysmith handed debuts to four new signings, Kevin Smith, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Stephen O’Neill and Marc McKenzie.

East Fife started with a spring in their step and Rab Douglas had to be at his best to stop a close range Joe Mbu drive.

But the visitors gradually worked their way into the game and looked the most likely to break the deadlock.

An Iain Campbell drive was well held by Greg Paterson before Dale Hilson fired an effort just wide with the Fife ‘keeper beaten.

Dick Campbell’s side had started the game in fifth place and five points clear of the Fifers.

They looked to be on their way to making that gap even wider when they grabbed the lead on the half-hour mark.

Omar Kader found space to scamper down the line and his cross picked out Gavin Swankie who made no mistake from eight yards.

The Bayview surface, which survived a pitch inspection over an hour before kick-off, began to cut up, but credit goes to both sides who still put on a display as the game swung from end to end.

Rutkiewicz almost pulled East Fife level but his shot was stopped on the line by Campbell.

East Fife started the second half as brightly as they started the first and it wasn’t long before they grabbed a deserved equaliser.

With no pass on, McKenzie opted to try his luck from long range and his effort caught a massive deflection off Darren Dods and beyond Douglas.

Scott Durie was unlucky with a drive which, again, caught a wicked deflection, this time off Campbell, but spun over Douglas’s bar.

The Methil men peppered the Forfar goal and eventually got their reward. Douglas pulled off a great save from Liam Buchanan with the ball going out for a corner.

From the resultant set-piece Forfar were unable to clear their lines and O’Neill was on hand to ram the ball home.

The defeat saw the Loons slump to seventh in the league after two harsh defeats in the space of a week.

East Fife: Paterson, Durie, Naysmith, Fisher (Stewart - 87’), Rutkiewicz, Mbu, McKenzie, O’Neill, Smith, Buchanan, Stewart (Willis - 83’). Subs not used: Johnstone, Grieve, Lennie, Barr, Shaw.

Forfar Athletic: Douglas, Baxter, Campbell, Fusco (Campbell - 81’), Dods, Malcolm, Kader, Fotheringham (Dale - 82’), Hilson, Templeman (Malin - 82’), Swankie. Subs not used: Andrews, Smith, McCabe, Hill.