FORFAR ATHLETIC 2 BERWICK RANGERS 0
Berwick suffered their first away league defeat of the season when they went down 2-0 at leaders Forfar.
Rangers went into the game on a run of five successive league draws, whilst the Station Park side, after winning seven on the bounce at the start of the campaign, had only won one of their last four.
The defeat means the Shielfield Park outfit have now dropped to six points off the end of season play-off places and the team is desperate to get back to winning ways.
This week’s away game at Clyde, who are the team immediately above them in the table, is now a vital clash if they are to force their way back into contention with the leading sides.
A goal in first-half injury time gave Forfar the initial advantage, with a second just four minutes from the end of normal time consigned John Coughlin’s side to defeat.
Coughlin, not for the first time this season, found his selection options limited with two players – the midfield duo of Stevie Notman and Steven Thomson –both suspended after being sent off in the previous week’s 1-1 home draw against Cowdenbeath.
Both sides probed and tested each other in the opening stages and it took 17 minutes before the first serious effort was registered on goal when David Cox forced Kevin Walker into a save.
Walker was called into action again to save from Gavin Swankie, but there was a set-back for Rangers before the half-hour mark when full-back Kevin McKinlay had to leave the field through injury and he was replaced by Jordan Orru.
As Berwick came to life, striker Jordyn Sheerin forced home keeper Adam into making a save before Graeme Beveridge shot over from outside the box.
As Forfar upped the pace Martyn Fotheringham had a shot saved by Walker, before Jamie Bain and Danny Denholm both shot over.
It looked as if the teams were going to go in at half-tome goalless, but after Denholm again shot over, the home side made the breakthrough three minutes into first-half stoppage time when Cox headed into the net from close range from a Mark Scott cross.
It was a killer blow for Berwick, who again had Walker to thank when he saved from Cox early in the second half.
Greg Rutherford pulled a shot wide for Berwick, but Forfar looked the more dangerous of the two sides and Cox had another shot saved by Walker before Fotheringham fired over.
Lewis Milne then shot over for the home side, but just a minute later, in the 86th minute, he put the game beyond doubt, when he netted the second, finding the bottom corner with a shot from outside the box.
Deep into injury time, Josh Peters almost added a third for the Angus side when he shot narrowly wide.
Forfar: Adam, MacKintosh, Malcolm, O’Brien, Bain, Scott, Fotheringham, Milnes, Denholm (Peters 90), Cox, Swankie (Lister 90).
Berwick: Walker, Hamilton (Hogg 68), Fairbairn, Martin, McKinlay (Orru 28), Beveridge, Stirling, McKenna, Hurst, Rutherford, Sheerin (Watt 86).
Referee: Barry Cook.