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Dunfermline Athletic 2 Forfar Athletic 2

Saturday, 09 April 2016 22:29

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Potently Peerless Proudly Promoted Pars Procure Point Post Peculiarly Profligate Penalty Pandemonium.

With games running out for all those concerned with league survival, the Loons headed to Fife to play the recently crowned champions. Whilst Dunfermline are no doubt worthy winners of the league title, the Loons had their own agenda to concern themselves with and could not afford to be distracted by their hosts’ success.

Paton curled a shot round the post early on as the home side looked to imposed themselves on the game, but it was the Loons who took the lead after thirteen minutes when Swankie steered a free kick around the wall and into the far corner of the net after Kader was fouled twenty yards out. Forfar then took the initiative and Craig saw his shot from just inside the box go past Murdoch’s near post. However, the home side drew level on the half hour mark when Moffat scored from inside the box after some hesitancy in the Forfar defence. Forfar responded well and Ryan saw his header from a Denholm cross cleared off the line. The Forfar striker then followed up within the minute with a left foot shot which went the wrong side of the post. As the first half came to an end there was a flurry of activity at both ends of the park. Firstly, a home corner caused some consternation in the Forfar box before the ball was eventually fired wide of the mark by a Dunfermline boot. The Loons then went straight up the park, and when Swankie played in Kader on the right the Forfar winger’s floated ball into the box was met by Ryan only to be cleared off the line by a home defender. Then, just before the whistle, another effort by Ryan, this time with his right foot, went just past the post.

HALF TIME: Dunfermline Athletic 1 Forfar Athletic 1

Forfar started the second half on the front foot and were back in the lead after fifty minutes when Ryan punished the home side’s inability to clear their lines, despite having two opportunities to do so, by smashing the ball home after showing excellent perseverance and alertness in front of goal. Dunfermline then had a strong penalty claim waved aside when the ball appeared to strike the hand of the grounded Martin as Forfar defended a home attack from down the right. A quick free kick over the top nearly saw Forfar caught napping, but Moffat just failed to connect as the ball went out for a goal kick. With the home side in the ascendency for this period of the game, an excellent move down the right ended with a low cross being driven across the front of the Forfar goal only for the unlucky Moffat to see the ball bobble just before he scooped his effort over the bar from six yards out. Wallace then blazed a shot over the bar after a one two at the edge of the box as the league champions tried to level the game. The equaliser did eventually arrive on the hour mark when Moffat reacted quickest to knock the ball home for his second goal of the game after a powerfully struck McCabe free kick was parried by Hill in the Forfar goal. As the half progressed there was little between both sides although Dunfermline did have a headed McKay effort from a corner chalked off for an infringement in the box. Two minutes into injury time the largely incident free game ended in controversy in the Forfar box. From a Dunfermline corner kick referee Charleston awarded the home side a penalty for the reaction of home defender McKay to a challenge by Forfar’s O’Brien. In the ensuing protests as a result of the decision, O’Brien was shown a yellow card for the initial incident and a red card for appearing to lift his hands to the referee. Once the dust had settled on the situation, instead of completing his hat-trick, Moffat lifted the spot kick over the bar only for referee Charleston to order a re-take for encroachment, a rare thing in the game these days. So, despite being given another chance to take the match ball home, Moffat proceeded to smack it off Hill’s left hand post and as Hodge knocked the rebound to safety referee Charleston blew for full time.

A strange end to an entertaining and well contested football match. Elsewhere at the bottom end of the league Cowdenbeath got the better of Brechin late on by the odd goal in three, and Stenhousemuir surrendered two points in injury time as Airdrieonians levelled for a one each draw. This sees Forfar’s local rivals move back to the bottom, one point below the Loons who are on thirty-four with Cowdenbeath moving on to thirty-eight, one point above the Warriors. With three league games left to go it’s time for tight tummy muscles as all four clubs look like they may well be scrapping it out right until the final Saturday.

FULL TIME: Dunfermline Athletic 2 Forfar Athletic 2

Match report by Cameron Davidson

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