ROSS CAMPBELL returned to scoring form with two quality strikes as Forfar Athletic maintained their impressive start to 2011 with a comfortable away win at Alloa on Saturday.
The result took the Loons’ tally to ten points from a possible 12 since they returned from a lengthy enforced winter break and keeps Dick Campbell’s men firmly on course for a promotion play-off place.
Forfar now find themselves five points clear of Saturday’s rivals with five games in hand, a position that could have been further strengthened last night (Tuesday), when Alloa were due to visit Station Park in a re-arranged fixture.
Whatever the outcome of that fixture - if it beat the weather - there will be further opportunities for the men from Station Park to cement their promotion play-off credentials in the coming week.
Second-top Ayr United are due to visit town this coming Saturday, with the Loons due to visit Airdrie United on Tuesday of next week, ahead of the home joust with second-bottom Dumbarton on Saturday, February 26.
If Forfar can take the form they showed on Saturday past into the forthcoming fixtures they can soon be challenging not only for a promotion play-off spot but for pole position in the table itself, although most would agree that Livingston remain firm favourites to make it back-to-back championships.
Saturday’s trip to Recreation Park was always going to be an important fixture, given that Alloa remained within touching distance of that coveted fourth spot.
But it was the Loons who dominated from start to finish and the only real surprise was the fact that the game remained scoreless at the break.
The visitors went into the game without the suspended Martyn Fothringham (a bad boy the previous Saturday) and the injured Iain Campbell, who were replaced by Barry Sellars and David Mowat.
Playing some impressive flowing passing football, the Loons took the game to the Wasps, and created a number of openings in that first period, Ross Campbell twice coming close to opening the Loons’ account.
The pattern of play continued in the second period, with Forfar keen to convert their superiority into goals.
And, after Dale Hilson had passed up a glorious opportunity, electing to shoot wide when the presence of Templeman and Ross inside might have been the better option, the opener duly arrived in the 61st minute.
Bishop did well to intercept on the edge of the penalty box and, when the ball broke clear to Sellars, the midfielder drilled a 40-yard inch-perfect pass straight to Campbell, who took a touch before firing a left-foot shot low past the home keeper.
If that was a cracking effort, the second was even better. Soon after a Chris Templeman header had been touched on to the bar by the keeper Ross Campbell collected the ball around 35 yards out and hit a wonder strike into the top left-hand corner of the goal.
The points were all but sealed at this stage, but Forfar still found time to add a third goal, substitute Callum Smith scoring his first goal of the season after fastening on to a Mowat pass.
The result delighted Forfar boss Dick Campbell.
“I’m really pleased with the three goals because they were worthy of winning any game.
“I had to give our lads a pep-talk at half-time to get them going - but it worked.
“It was an impressive result and not to lose any goals made it all the better.”