Six-goal thriller at Brechin puts Forfar second as Ton move ahead

Picture credit Christopher Coutts.
Picture credit Christopher Coutts.

Forfar Athletic are now without a win in five following an exhilirating 3-3 derby draw at Glebe Park on Saturday that saw them knocked off the top.

The visitors overturned a 2-0 deficit to lead 3-2 with 14 minutes left on the clock, only for Brechin City to level in the 82nd minute.

New signing Scott Smith, one of the Loons’ star performers on Saturday, admitted the performance wasn’t Forfar’s best.

The 19-year-old Dundee United loanee said: “We didn’t play to the greatest level we could, but we battled through it and feel we could have had the three points at the end of it.

“It was good we came back and got ourselves in front, but we just needed to hold on to the lead.”

Dick Campbell made two changes from last week’s defeat, with Jim Paterson suspended for the first of two games and Gavin Malin dropping to the bench, as Aaron James played for the first time since his injury three months ago and Omar Kader returned.

The bench also included former Arbroath centre back Michael Travis as a trialist.

Forfar had the best chances of the opening stages with Chris Templeman heading over from a Swankie cross before a Smith corner was knocked towards Stephen Husband, and his well struck shot took a deflection and cannoned off the underside of the bar before being knocked over.

Brechin winger Bobby Barr almost set up Robert Thomson but his ball across goal in the 15th minute was hacked away by James.

The home side took the lead in the 19th minute when the excellent Barr beat James on the left and his cross was nodded past Rab Douglas by former Loon Andy Jackson.

The hosts doubled their advantage with a fantastic goal in the 33rd minute; a cross was headed towards Barr outside the box and his first time volley flew past Douglas.

But the visitors grabbed a goal back five minutes before half time, Smith sending a volleyed cross into the box for Kader to stab home.

A counter attack following a poor corner saw Robert Thomson race clear of the defence and round Douglas but his goalbound shot was hacked off the line by Gavin Swankie.

There was a series of chances at both ends before the visitors levelled, Swankie firing past Smith after he received Kader’s cross inside the box.

And it was 3-2 minutes later when Dale Hilson’s terrific cross was nodded home by Templeman.

Sub Alan Trouten netted an equaliser with eight minutes to go, poor defending allowing him to round the keeper before slotting home into the empty net despite the best efforts of the Loons defenders to get back and clear it.

Barr and Hilson both had chances to win the game for each side in the final minutes but neither could find a way past the keepers.

The result means the Loons are knocked off top spot for the first time in two months but are just a point behind new leaders Morton.

Smith is hopeful Forfar can end their poor run this Saturday against Ayr United, adding that he’s delighted to be at Station Park and getting the chance to work a manager as experienced as Dick Campbell.

He continued: “We’re off the top spot but it’s a long season, I’m sure we’ll end up back up there at some point in a week or two.

“We haven’t won a game since Stenhousemuir at home, so hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

“It’s good playing in a team with this firepower. Before I came in I knew myself having watched this league a few times that Forfar are a really good team.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Dick Campbell, he’s a great guy, always wants to try and play football and passing the ball.

“He’s got a lot of experience in the game.”

Brechin City: Smith, McNeil, McLean, McCormack, McLauchlan, Fusco, Barr, Cameron (Molloy 67), Jackson, Masson, Thomson (Trouten 67)

Subs not used: McCormack, Ferguson, O’Neil, Tough

Forfar Athletic: Douglas, Dunlop, James (Trialist 83), Malcolm, Dods, Husband (Malin 83), Kader, Templeman, Hilson, Swankie, Smith (Dale 83)

Subs not used: Denholm, Neave, Hay, Salmon