Forfar’s hopes of hauling themselves back into the play-off mix suffered a severe dent as they lost out to Dunfermline in an exciting topsy-turvy match at Station Park.
While the Pars are looking to secure second spot and more immediately a guaranteed play-off place Forfar’s recent run of, at best, mixed results leaves them looking over their shoulders towards the bottom of the table as well as clinging on to hopes of post-season participation.
Manager Dick Campbell admitted it could have been different had his side closed out the match when they went ahead with just 25 minutes remaining.
“We created umpteen chances in the second half,” he said. “When we went 2-1 ahead in the second half we should have gone on to win. But we were punished and I am really disappointed. We have been doing better than that but we just switched off today.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Dunfermline, from their point of view they will have been delighted to come back like that. But I am more interested in Forfar and they were bad goals to lose.”
A frantic start to the match saw Pars keeper Ryan Scully save his side with a point-blank stop from Gavin Malin, allowing the visitors to race upfield and take the lead after just three minutes.
The impressive Faissal El Bakhtaoui got away from Stuart Malcolm then hit the byline before clipping the ball over Rab Douglas from a tight angle and into the net.
Dunfermline looked dangerous going forward but Scully again saved his aide with another great claw away, this time from Gavin Swankie.
Forfar levelled in the 34th minute after hesitancy at the back from the visitors. The defence failed to deal with a Chris Templeman knock-down and James Dale pounced to stab the ball home from 12 yards.
The second half was evenly balanced but Forfar went ahead in the 59th minute after sharp thinking from Gavin Malin saw him take a quick free-kick to Swankie.
He strode forward from the halfway line to drill a low, 25-yard shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
However, Dunfermline turned it round within the space of 60 seconds.
First they equalised in the 68th minute through a 25-yard screamer from Stephen Husband, fired high into the top corner then, less than a minute later, Darren Dods turned a Stewart Grainger cross into his own net when Douglas looked set to gather.
With two minutes left, substitute Lawrence Shankland made sure of the points with a lovely lobbed finish over Douglas after collecting a free-kick from Grainger just outside the box.