Dick Campbell watched Forfar’s slim hopes of claiming a promotion play-off place vanish but insisted there are “exciting things” to come from his team.
To stand any chance of play-off qualification, the Loons needed to win by a high margin at Stranraer and made the perfect start with a goal inside five minutes.
Scott Rumsby mistakenly headed the ball against Frank McKeown, with the rebound landing at the feet of Gavin Swankie, who had all the time in the world to pick his spot for an early lead.
The strike pulled Swankie level with Dale Hilson as Forfar’s top scorer this season.
Stranraer almost replied when David McKenna’s snapshot smacked the post.
A series of chances followed with a McKeown header deflected on to the bar by McKenna and a Rumsby shot cleared off the line by Iain Campbell.
At the other end, only some last-ditch defending denied Omar Kader who had three attempts in quick succession blocked.
The home side levelled five minutes before the break when Sean Winter pounced in the box after Ryan Borris had nodded down an Andy Stirling cross.
Nine minutes after the restart, Rumsby atoned for his first half error by bundling the Stair Park side in front from Stirling’s free-kick.
McKeown made it three with a powerful header to convert a Stirling corner 19 minutes from time.
“We scored a good goal and I thought Stranraer were very nervous in the first 15 minutes. We should have taken better advantage of that and we didn’t,” Campbell said.
“I couldn’t believe a team of our ability, of our aerial power, could lose two goals at set-pieces to headers,”
“We have achieved what we said we would do and that’s stay in this league. Next year, I’ve got a lot of exciting things happening and some good young boys coming through.”