Forfar 3 - 0 Stranraer: Athletic on brink of final

FORFAR got the better of visitors Stranraer to take a 3-0 lead from the first leg of their Championship play-off at Station Park.

Dick Campbell's Forfar side take a commanding advantage into the second leg. Picture: SNS
Dick Campbell's Forfar side take a commanding advantage into the second leg. Picture: SNS

Forfar Athletic - Kader (61), Swankie (87), Hay (90)

Visiting goalkeeper David Mitchell had been in fine form until he was beaten by Omar Kader on 61 minutes and the tie could now be beyond the Stair Park men after late goals by Gavin Swankie and Kerr Hay.

Forfar pressed early and Mitchell rushed from goal to keep out an Kader flick with his chest. When the ball was played back across goal, Jackson Longridge blocked a Swankie volley.

Mitchell saved his side again when he used his legs to divert a Danny Denholm shot and Swankie went close with the follow-up effort.

Stranraer forced a hat-trick of corners at the start of the second half and it looked they had taken the lead from the third one when Longworth headed on Willie Gibson’s cross from six yards out. Rab Douglas stuck out a hand to claw the ball away and Frank McKeown pushed the rebound wide.

Forfar were soon back on the offensive and, when a free kick by debutant Michael Kennedy sneaked in behind the visiting defence, Swankie lobbed an effort over Mitchell but it came bouncing back off the bar.

A goal finally came just after the hour when Swankie picked out Chris Templeman and, when Mitchell produced another fine block, Kader turned the ball home from four yards.

Kader had a chance shortly afterwards to double Forfar’s lead but he sliced his effort wide.

However, a second goal came three minutes from time. Substitute Hay hit the inside of the post with a low drive and the ball was scrambled clear for a corner which was played to Swankie and he got the goal he deserved with a chipped effort that was deflected past Mitchell.

It got even better for Forfar three minutes into added time when Fotheringam reached the byeline and cut the ball back for Hay to slam home.

Forfar Ath: Douglas, Travis (Malin 90), Kennedy, Malcolm, Dods, Young, Kader (Hay 72), Fotheringham, Templeman ( Smith 73), Swankie, Denholm. Subs not used: Dale, Clark, Yates, King (G/k)

Stranraer: Mitchell, Pettigrew, Longridge, Rumsby, McKeown (McShane 75), Bell, Winter, Robertson, Stirling (Malcolm 68), Longworth (Stoney 68), Gibson. Subs not used: Russell, Tobin.