League One has new leaders after Dunfermline blew Forfar away to take the Angus side’s position at the head of the table.
The Pars were comfortable winners and the gulf could have been even more according to Pars boss Alan Johnston.
And, despite arguing that the visitors should never have been given a penalty one saved by keeper Rab Douglas, despite struggling with a thigh injury Forfar boss Dick Campbell was not denying the Fifers fully deserved the three points.
“We were emphatically beat,” he admitted.
“There really isn’t much more to say than that. Dunfermline deserved to win the game and I have no issues with the result at all. They have shown in the last few weeks they are capable of scoring goals.
“They have scored with their first attack but we missed two sitters before it, but those are the breaks of the game.
“Maybe it took its toll on us having a few players missing but I have no complaints. It just shows what we have to do. Dunfermline are ahead of us now but I have never seen a championship won in the first weeks of the season.”
Campbell admitted the reversal will make him think about how to continue taking his side forward.
“I will go and take stock, perhaps lick our wounds a bit and focus on going to Brechin next week for a local derby.
“But there are no ifs and buts today. I know what’s wrong and it is up to me to try and fix it next week.”
The Pars opened the scoring after just three minutes when Joe Cardle slotted home a Faissal El-Bakhtaoui cross.
They had chances to add to their tally with El-Bakhtaoui curling wide and Josh Falkingham heading over while Forfar’s Omar Kader was inches away from slotting home in his first game back in Loons colours after a short spell with Alloa.
El-Bakhtaoui forced a good save from Douglas in the 22nd minute before Cardle added to his opener on the stroke of half-time.
Lewis Allan missed two good chances for the Loons early in the second half before Cardle had a chance to grab his hat-trick in the 64th minute after a penalty was awarded but his weak effort was saved well by Douglas.
He did get that elusive third four minutes later, slotting home from an El-Bakhtaoui through ball.
Forfar had more chances to get back into the game with Danny Denholm, Kerr Hay and Bryan Hodge going close but the Pars saw the game out for the points, adding a fourth through Andy Geggan deep into injury time.
Johnston said: “I thought it was a really good performance. We know how hard a place this is to come. We thoroughly deserved the win and probably could have scored a lot more goals.
“Joe (Cardle) is in incredible form, scoring a hat-trick. That’s seven he’s scored already this year. He is in a great vein of form.
“Perhaps we could have been more clinical but you can’t complain when you score four.”
The Pars boss added: “Now we have just got to make sure we are fully focused on playing Ayr next week because we know it will be hard.”