Play-off chasing Forfar saw off struggling Stranraer with a 3-1 home despite being reduced to 10 men.
Midfielder Gavin Malin gave the hosts the lead after 18 minutes when he drove home from 20 yards out.
The Loons got a second on the stroke of half-time when Omar Kader swept home Gavin Swankie's cross into the bottom corner from the edge of the six-yard box.
And they found time to extend their advantage before the interval as Christopher Templeman tapped in Iain Campbell's cross from the right.
Craig Malcolm pulled one back for the visitors after 63 minutes when he knocked the ball past Darren Hill from centre of the penalty area.
The Blues almost got a second minutes later but Hill made a fantastic save to deny Michael Dunlop's header from close range.
Michael Bolochoweckyj saw red late on for a foul on Michael Moore but Athletic held on.