Report: Ruthless Forfar Athletic storm into League One play-off final

Martyn Fotheringham got the leveller in the first leg. Pic by Chris Coutts.
Martyn Fotheringham got the leveller in the first leg. Pic by Chris Coutts.

Forfar Athletic will play Peterhead in the League One play-off semi-final after dispatching Annan Athletic over two goal-filled legs.

The Loons won 4-2 at Station Park on Saturday (6-4 on aggregate) after a remarkable fightback at Galabank in mid-week after going 2-0 down early on.

Forfar were ruthless in front of goal with Gavin Swankie hitting a brace for the hosts alongside goals for Jim Lister and Jamie Bain.

Annan had a great spell after the break though and scored twice through Aidan Smith and Darren Ramsay to bring it back to 3-2, before Bain netted to send Forfar through to the final.

The hosts had three chances inside the first six minutes - Blair Currie punched a cross off of Danny Denholm's head before having to tip Martyn Fotheringham's raking strike aside.

From the following corner, Tam O'Brien's shot from inside the box was deflected onto the crossbar.

An opening goal wasn't long in coming as Swankie netted with a tidy finish under Currie from inside the box after Fotheringham found the skipper with a sublime ball forward on 12 minutes.

Annan began to grow into the game after going behind but it was the Loons who looked much more dangerous, with Denholm twice going close to increasing Forfar's lead.

Eddie Malone had to be alert to clear Aidan Smith's lob on 31 minutes after a defensive mistake let the forward ping the ball over Grant Adam, but Malone raced back to clear the shot off the line.

And it was 2-0 moments later, Jamie Bain finding Lister with a low cross and the striker tapped home from right in front of the goalkeeper.

Forfar were relentless going forward and it was 3-0 on 39 minutes, Swankie smashing the ball home from close range after Lister sliced his own shot.

The Galabankies pulled one back from the penalty spot after five minutes of the second half, Smith converting and he was fouled by Adam.

Nathan Flanagan then forced a top save out of the Forfar keeper after a superb run.

The Loons were sitting back too much after the break which gave Annan all the impetus they needed to get forward, and substitute Darren Ramsay made it 3-2 on 68 minutes with a lovely goal.

He dribbled through five or six Forfar players on his way into the box before drilling low beneath Adam.

Annan kept attacking but that left themselves open to the counter, and Bain grabbed the hosts' fourth goal on the break to give the Loons a bit of breathing room.

The end of the game saw both sides on the attack but there were no more goals scored.

Forfar will host the Blue Toon on Wednesday evening in the first leg of the final before they visit Balmoor Stadium next Saturday for the decisive second leg.