4 - 2
Scottish League Cup (First Round)
Gordon Forrest (6)
Gary Wood (34)
Alex Burke (40)
Gary Wood (84)
Craig Feroz (51)
Craig Feroz (pen.) (87)
Alan Neill for Anton Smith (64)
Neil Bennett for Darren Smith (80)
Dougie Blackley for Gordon Connelly (89)
Kevin Heenan for Murray McDowell (30)
David McInally for John McAuley (45)
John Cusick for John McGlashan (45)
Dale Gray (25)
David Murie (55)
Martin Neil (60)
Grant McNicoll (68)
Gordon Forrest (88)
Andy Cargill (24)
Innes Ritchie (26)
Craig Feroz (89)
John Gilmour (Referee)
John Brownlie’s team were tactically under prepared for this cup-tie and yet again we make no progression. Hinchcliffe had hurt his back in training this week, giving a competitive debut to Garry Gow in goal. With a change of keeper, it is not the time to change last week’s solid back four into a three. But that’s what he did. Currie, Ritchie and Browne are all perfectly competent players, but they did not know where to position themselves and how to cope attacks down the flanks and players cutting in from midfield. In the first half they were over run and unsure of what to do they back off from challenging and the shots rained in. Our midfield five consisted of Bowman on the right, McAulay, McGlashan, Cargill and Henslee. McDowell had recovered from feeling unwell last week to partner Feroz upfront. Jordan Tait was in the stand beside Flo, so the subs were Heenan, Swankie, young keeper Woodcock, and the returning McInally and Cusick.
We kicked of in warm sunshine, up the hill and into the breeze. Rain in the morning had made the surface ideal for passing, after a couple of minutes bluster from Berwick in seemed as if the class would prove the difference as Feroz spun cleverly in the box to give us the first shot on target. The twenty or so Lichties fans then started to worry as we recognised that it was the same referee as last week. We worried even more when Berwick’s Forrest cut inside and with defenders backing off and midfielders not picking up Berwick took a sixth minute lead as he drove a powerful shot past Gow.
Gow was to punch too many crosses and Bowman showed that his right foot’s only for standing on as he failed to clear, putting us under pressure. The lack of coaching was clear as diagonal balls were catching out our defence every time and Ross Currie was having a torrid time, one such ball should have resulted in a goal if the forward hadn’t totally miscued. Then came a Berwick 3 on 1, fortunately McAulay tracked back to make the tackle. Then it was Andy Cargill having to win a header in midfield. We fought back to win a couple of free kicks, the first by Bowman came to nothing, but the second from midfield created a game of head tennis in the box and Henslee shot over from six yards.
McDowell was scythed as he made his way to the box, but Bowman’s free kick was too close to the keeper. Crafty Cargill released Bowman on the left in space, Henslee met his cross at the back post, but he headed tamely at the keeper from a great position. Murray then went off and although he seemed happy to stay on he appeared on the bench with a bandaged foot. Heenan replaced him and fans again worried who would score the goals.
The defence were still backing off and a break from our corner left the back line exposed. Again Ross Currie was playing 10 yards behind the line and allowed attackers room down the left, the cross was headed gently over Gow and into the net.
The team looked in disarray and JB looked defeated on the bench.
Five minutes later the game was made safe when the defence was dragged over to the left again, with no one knowing quite where they should be, someone should have been on the man who got the free header past Gow. It almost got worse as McAulay headed a corner off the line.
Brownlie had to do something at half time and what he did was to replace McGlashan and McAulay, who seemed to be the only player with fight and replaced them with Cusick and McInally in centre midfield. Cusick was to put in a captain’s performance. No offence Innes, but John was screaming instructions from the second he was on the park and pulled the strings in midfield. Immediately we looked like a team offensively, but still Berwick had a shot off the crossbar. We got our first goal quickly. Cargill, with a Ljundbergesque Maroon stripe on his Mohawk skinned his man on the right and crossed, the nod down was volleyed home superbly by Feroz.
Fans thought the second came moments later when Cusick volleyed a long throw by McInally, but somehow the keeper parried it and Andy crashed the ball into the side netting.
We had the whip hand and Heenan was looking a class act coming forward as he passed to Feroz in space. Buoyed by his goal he shot when there were other options and Cargill was leaning back as he struck the rebound. There fears as McInally went down in a two-footed challenge, but he got back up after the referee played a strange advantage. A Cargill corner was headed down, but Feroz was tackled as he shot. As we pushed forward in the last ten minutes, Browne made a very weak challenge at the left hand touchline, the ball was crossed low and Wood bundled the ball over to make it 4-1. Berwick then had a goal chalked off for offside, a tight decision.
Even at this point in a cup-tie no defenders were allowed to push forward. A consolation goal was scored as Henslee was upended in the box after a fine dribble. Cusick was taking the captain’s responsibility by looking to take the penalty. Forrest was being a pain, walking around him and pulling the ball from his hands. A word of persuasion from Andy Cargill and the ball was tossed to Feroz, who was desperate to take, with Lichtophiles fearing the worst he slotted it home. But it was too late.
We won the second half as a direct result of Cusick being on the park. Hopefully he’ll be fit for St Mirren next week. JB let the fans down by a huge error for the first half. The fans want Cusick to be captain and today’s performance, he must be.
Match report written by arbroathfc.org.uk
|Garry Gow (GK)||25||1||-||1||-|
|David McInally (sub)||21||3||-||34||-|
|John Cusick (sub)||27||4||-||69||6|
|Kevin Heenan (sub)||20||6||-||59||2|
No league table has been added for this season.