5 - 2
Scottish League (Second Division)
David O'Brien (5)
Paul Hay (40)
Stewart Devine (47)
Stewart Devine (70)
Scott McLean (89)
Duncan McLean (50)
Paul Farquharson (55)
Barry Neville for Paul Nugent (68)
James Allen for David O'Brien (81)
Chris Scotland for Barry Neville (85)
Greig Henslee for Michael Renwick (46)
John McAuley for Alan Brazil (68)
Paul Farquharson for Gavin Swankie (80)
|George Rowe (25)||
Gavin Beith (18)
John Cusick (21)
Michael Renwick (27)
Gavin Beith (65)
Gavin Beith (65)
John Rowbotham (Referee)
Today was one of those days that say summer football in Scotland is a great idea, blue, sunny skies, not a breath of wind. Of course the maroon marauders managed to make it feel like a wet December weekend in Fraserburgh. Many who witnessed the game will blame the referee, but in hindsight Kirkcaldy’s favourite delivery driver was barring one incident fair to both teams. Stirling players who went down quicker than an FA secretary didn’t help him.
The Tayside Torino lined up with surprise starting goalkeeper Inglis in goal. Paper talk suggested that he was still unavailable.
McMullen, Bishop, Trialist (ex-Hibs Michael Renwick) and Beith made up the back four. Miller, Cusick, McDonald and Swankie were the four midfielders and Brazil and MacLean started upfront.
Arbroath started brightly enough but as early as the third minute we found out why the trialist hadn’t been picked up by anyone else. Stirling’s first through ball saw Renwick foul their forward. The resultant freekick was just over the bar. Bishop then made the mistake of trying to play football in defence, but worked hard to regain possession, but soon the start of a tortuous afternoon was to begin. MacDonald left and called that a through ball should be Renwick’s, whilst he looked around to see if anyone else in the team shared his name he allowed the attacker to pick the loose ball run in to space and curl the finish past Inglis.
Lichtie fans were further frustrated when Swankie well timed and thought out clearance from a corner released McLean into space, he sprinted past the covering defender and rounded into the box at the by-line, his cutback was textbook, pity not one maroon shirt was within 30 yards of him.
AFC were starting to get the better of the play but were getting caught offside to often. Renwick was poor again as he allowed his man to turn and shoot. Beith was then booked for a rash challenge and a good reaction save from Inglis at the near post kept the score the same.
From the ensuing corner great play and a run from defence by Greg Millar won a freekick, which Beith took short, and ballsed up. Brazil’s link up play was well intentioned but his passes were failing to find teammates. Former favourite George Rowe was then booked for pulling down Brazil, but again MacLean was caught offside at the freekick. McDonald and Miller were linking up well as Miller had a great game, still not well enough for some headcase down the front.
The trialist then got booked for finding himself the wrong side of his man and pulling him down. He really looked like he had never played the game before and fans were fed up.
A Cusick free kick was weak and wide, but Gavin did better in receipt of a short pass, he worked some magic and Brazil headed (nutted?) narrowly over.
Our most positive play was through Miller; the spine of the team seemed disjointed and soft. As an attacking force we looked good, defensively McMullen and Bishop were only just holding the rest together. The weak left side of the defence was forcing Swankie to play deeper to protect them, so we didn’t get the best out of him.
The trialist was at fault for the second Stirling goal too, he allowed his opponent time to receive the ball, turn and find the pass to the onrushing right midfielder who raced past Beith and slotted home. The trialist then capped his performance by getting beaten in the air; fortunately Inglis saved the day.
It was obvious at halftime that Renwick had to come off as otherwise the game had been pretty even. Fortunately Kirk saw sense and brought Henslee on for him. He played at right midfield, Miller moved into the centre and the ineffectual Cusick moved back into defence.
It looked much better until the left back for Stirling came charging in from Miller’s old position, ran past everyone and rocketed the ball past Inglis.
3 goals down things got much better, with a more secure defence behind him Swankie could get more involved and players seemed to be trying harder. Miller put in a lot of work to win a corner, this was won by Bishop beyond the back post, his header back in was cheekily back headed by MacLean and the ball looped over the keeper into the net. (Is it me or does Duncan look like Marco out of big brother?).
The comeback was really on when Swankie did some great stuff down the left and crossed for Henslee to side foot home. The game had evened up and Henslee was showing why he should be starting very week.
Rowe should have been off after slicing down Miller, it was even more poignant moments later when Beith received his second yellow for a lesser tackle. The sending off ruined the game.
A couple of minutes later Brazil was replaced by McAulay to make three at the back with McMullen and Henslee wingbacks and Swankie joining Duncan up front.
On the seventieth minute Stirling scored a well worked fourth, pressing down the right, they drew all the defenders to that side; their left back left our forwards behind, as they didn’t track back. He found acres of space in which he received the ball, and then fired a bullet shot past Inglis.
Farquharson came on for Swankie and his enthusiasm rubbed of and we could have made it 4-3 if MacLean had got on the end of Paul’s excellent cross. 5-2 came after Miller lost the ball in midfield, Scott MacLean turned McAulay inside out before easily passing Inglis.
Many were calling for Steve Kirk’s head. The team can’t rely on John McGlashan with a history of back trouble and advancing footballing years to lead the team week in week out this season. Either Kirk has to recruit a leader or one of the players has to step up and take the responsibility. The defence maybe better with Rennie back.
Match report written by arbroathfc.org.uk
|Neil Inglis (GK)||29||1||-||1||-|
|John McAuley (sub)||32||2||-||304||7|
|Greig Henslee (sub)||21||2||-||78||3|
|Paul Farquharson (sub)||19||1||1||17||1|
No league table has been added for this season.