Forfar Athletic kicked off their 2014-2015 League One season with a 1-1 draw at Stanraer after Stuart Malcolm cancelled out Jamie Longworth’s opener.
Three changes were made to the starting eleven after last week’s extra time defeat to Raith Rovers in the League Cup, with James Dale and Malcolm replacing suspended duo Stephen Husband and Darren Dods.
The Loons had the first chance of the game when Dale Hilson’s effort was fumbled wide after he was set up by Denholm’s flick on before Longworth hit the sidenetting at the other end.
Longworth gave the home side the lead after 17 minutes, curling the ball home from Stephen Stirling’s lay off.
Stirling almost put them two ahead a minute later, firing straight at Rab Douglas.
Malin then threatened with a free kick from 30 yards in the 19th minute, David Mitchell doing well to save the set piece.
Longworth had a header go inches past the post after 22 minutes as the Stair Park outfit looked to extend their lead.
Ten minutes before half time Mitchell produced a fantastic save to deny Chris Templeman’s close range header on the line from Hilson’s cut back after good work by the winger.
Five minutes into the second half Malcolm had a glancing header from Denholm’s corner tipped over the bar.
But the Loons equalised in the 63rd minute after Denholm swung a cornerin and SMalcolm’s diving header bulleted past the keeper to the delight of the small travelling support.
It was almost a second goal for the Loons in the exact same style two minutes later, but Malcolm’s header was saved by the alert Mitchell.
Douglas produced two good saves in quick succession from Longworth and Winter before Dale Hilson nodded wide.
Stranraer had two great chances to steal a winner in the dying moments of the game through Adam Forde and Chris Aitken but they came to nothing.
The Loons did have the ball in the net in the 89th minute but the referee booked Templeman after what looked like a push in the box saw him hit the ball with his hand as he fell.
Dick Campbell said: “I think with a bit more composure in front of goal and more league matches under our belts we could have won that game. Their goal was disappointing as I thought we could have had a bit more composure to clear our lines and I feel it is an area where we need improving. The second half we came out well, put them under pressure and we got our reward when Stuart Malcolm equalised.”
Stranraer: Mitchell, Rumsby, Longridge, Pettigrew, McKeown, Stirling (Marenghi 67), Robertson, Gallagher, Malcolm, Longworth (Forde 84), Winter (Aitken 73).
Subs not used: Russell, McCloskey, Fahey.
Forfar Athletic: Douglas, Dunlop, Steeves (Kader 38), Young, Malcolm, James, Hilson (Smith 87), Dale, Templeman, Malin, Denholm.
Subs not used: Fotheringham, McLellan, Keiller, Yates, Salmon.