Forfar Athletic were booed off at Station Park on Saturday after a 4-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Annan Athletic.
The result saw them slip to the bottom of League Two for the third time this season, despite being tipped as one of the favourites for the title.
Those at the club won’t have to look too far to see how dangerous a position they occupy, with nearest rivals Brechin previously falling through the trap door and down to the Highland League.
Irvine ‘confident’ of turnaround
Boss Gary Irvine believes he is still the man to steer the club to safety.
He said after Saturday’s defeat: “I have to show my players that I’m the right type to roll up the sleeves up and rally to correct things.
“I’m confident in myself that I can do that.”
Last month, the Forfar board gave the former Dundee and St Johnstone defender their backing in a Facebook statement.
However, the side have since fallen back to the bottom spot after a win and two defeats.
Courier Sport takes a look at the stats behind Forfar’s torrid start to the season.
Gary Irvine had the nucleus of his side formed following the previous campaign, with 12 players continuing for the new campaign.
Since then he’s added 12 more.
Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Loons, who lost each of their pre-season games – in particular, a 6-0 home defeat to Dunfermline raised eyebrows.
The Angus side then went into the League Cup and lost three out of their four group games.
They drew 2-2 with Stranraer before winning on penalties. They were later awarded a 3-0 win after The Blues were found to have fielded an ineligible player.
Poor home form
Last season, Forfar were close to returning to League One at the first time of asking but fell short in the play-offs.
With Kelty out of the road, this looked like the Angus side’s chance of a clear run at the title.
Thirteen games in and three wins, two draws and eight losses to show for it, they have already matched the number of defeats they suffered in the whole of last season.
An opening day defeat at Bonnyrigg Rose got things off to a shaky start.
But Station Park was their fortress. They remained unbeaten there until Boxing Day in the 2021/22 season.
They kicked things off brightly with a 2-0 win over Stranraer – but that has been the only time they’ve recorded three points on their own turf.
Since then, Forfar have succumbed to four losses out of the seven at home.
Lack of accuracy in front of goal
On the pitch, Gary Irvine’s side have attempted the second-highest number of shots in the league (155), 10 behind Stirling Albion.
However, they have the fewest number of goals to show for it (12) while the Binos are top of the scoring charts with 30.
At the other end, keeper Marc McCallum has been the busiest in the division. He has been forced into 48 stops, three more than Stenhousemuir’s Connor Brennan.
Despite their position, McCallum is second in the clean sheets table, keeping four shutouts.
They also sit mid-table for the number of goals conceded. Forfar have let in 21 goals compared to Annan who have shipped in 25. Top two Stirling and Dumbarton have conceded the least with 13.
Room for optimism?
Last time round they remained in the top four all season, this time they have mostly been stuck in the bottom three.
If we look back to their relegation season of 20/21 over the same period, the picture looks a bit similar.
The Loons were bottom of League One with nine points after 13 games with two wins, three draws and eight losses.
While that season was almost cut in half due to Covid, Forfar fans fear history could repeat itself.
But unlike that season there is still time and they are not cut adrift.
Forfar are only where they are on goal difference. Just eight points separates fourth and tenth.
A few wins under their belt and they could find themselves back up the right end of the table.