Forfar Athletic 3-1 Dunfermline Athletic
Former Dunfermline Athletic striker Chris Templeman scored twice as Forfar Athletic left the Pars' First Division survival under serious threat.
Willie Robertson opened Forfar's account in the play-off semi-final first leg with a rising strike from the edge of the area after 34 minutes.
Templeman headed in a Gavin Malin cross four minutes later and rose to convert another on the stoke of half time.
But Stephen Husband drilled in a free-kick six minutes from time.
That gives Jim Jefferies' full-timers some hope of pulling back the deficit at East End Park on Saturday.
However, it is the Division Two side who sneaked into the play-off with victory over Ayr United at the weekend as Arbroath lost at home to Alloa Athletic who hold the upper hand.
Dunfermline had been consigned to the play-offs after being docked 15 points for going into administration and a final-day defeat at home to relegated Airdrie United as Cowdenbeath won at Hamilton.
And they were blitzed by three goals in 15 first-half minutes by the side managed by former Dunfermline boss Dick Campbell.
Templeman, one of three former Pars players in their line-up, rounded it off by heading home a Gavin Swankie centre.
The striker came close to a hat-trick midway through the second period, but goalkeeper Michal Hrivnak tipped over Templeman's drilled effort from the edge of the area.
Willie Robertson also blazed over from inside the six-yard box before former Blackpool midfielder Husband reduced the arrears from 30 yards.
The victory completed a double over the Pars for Forfar, who knocked the Fifers out of the Ramsdens Cup in July's first-round stage, 3-2 at the very same Station Park.
It leaves the club who had been forced to release several first-team players following administration now not only still fighting against the odds for financial survival but for their First Division status.
Forfar: Hill, Dunlop, McCulloch, Bolochoweckyj, Iain Campbell, Ross Campbell (Kader 71), Robertson, Malin (Brown 82), Hilson (King 86), Templeman, Swankie. Subs Not Used: Salmon, Sellars.
Booked: Iain Campbell, Ross Campbell, Robertson, McCulloch, Bolochoweckyj.
Goals: Robertson 34, Templeman 38, 45.
Dunfermline: Hrivnak, Geggan, Young, Potter (Millen 79), Whittle, Falkingham, Husband, Byrne, Kane (Dargo 63), Smith, Thomson. Subs Not Used: Goodfellow, Martin, El Bakhtaoui.
Booked: Falkingham, Thomson.
Goals: Husband 84.
Ref: Allan Crawford