Arbroath 1
Livingston 1
Scottish League (Second Division)

1 - 1

Scottish League (Second Division)
Saturday, April 17th, 1999
Attendance: 977
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jon Crawford (45)
John Robertson (89)

Team Managers
Dave Baikie
Ray Stewart

Starting Eleven
Craig Wight
John Gallagher
Jon Crawford
Kevin Tindal
David Arbuckle
Scott Peters
John McAulay
Barry Sellars
Colin McGlashan
Chris Devine
John Elliot
Ian McCaldon
Neil Bennett
Paul Deas
Gregg Watson
Graham Coughlan
Jimmy Boyle
Billy MacDonald
Charlie King
David Bingham
Mark McCormick
Ian Ferguson

Dougie Scott
Barry Donachie
Jim Mercer
Brian McPhee
Ian Little
John Robertson

Barry Donachie for Chris Devine (82)
Jim Mercer for Colin McGlashan (82)
Brian McPhee for Ian Ferguson (54)
Ian Little for Charlie King (66)
John Robertson for Mark McCormick (73)

John Gallagher (84)
Craig Wight (90)
Mark McCormick (45)
Brian McPhee (69)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

David Somers (Referee)
M MacGregor & F W Y Smith (Assistants)

Match Report

Yet another crunch match as the Lichties try to fight off the dreaded relegation to the Scottish Third Division. At least at this level we do not have to play our last match of the season at the ridiculous time of 6.05 pm to tie in with Sky broadcasts.

This morning saw me waken up to a snow covered Ballater where I was assisting Lewis get his new holiday home ready. The 7.30am awakening was due to the Tar for the drive arriving with four lads from Arbroath, one of whose lass is a star keeper for a local Ladies Team (improved the defence from losing around 25 goals a game to now only using around 7) and another is the father of one of under 16s who have just beaten Dundee United who had been undefeated this season up till this match. After doing the garden, once the snow melted, if was off to Stoney to put a couple of quid on a 3-1 win and then down to Gayfield. The crack in Tutties was that Mark McWalter was now into his third match of his four week suspension after getting sent off in a, believe it or not, reserve match against Brechin, Vinnie was again not playing as he had been seen having a pint in there earlier with Coops who was either suspended due to the totting up of booking or was out of favour with Dave Baikie following their heated exchange when Coops was substituted during the Alloa match.

Upon entering the Gayfield, I bought a programme (not a rare occurrence) which featured in April’s Programme Monthly as the worst Programme in the Scottish Second Division - now that’s a surprise!! After paying my £100 towards next season’s season ticket, I was informed that all of the programmes, for the second home match on the trot, had been sold out before kick-off - was the small production run a tactical decision to stop people buying our crap programme or was it yet another administration cock-up? It was however good to hear that Jim Leishman had swelled the proceeds of the half time 50-50 draw by buying £10 of tickets which meant that this weeks prize would have been swelled to around £30 - wow!! Even last week’s 400 plus crowd at Alloa realised a payout of well over £100 which says a lot for our entrepreneurial skills.

Enough of the moans. The Lichties lined up with Wight in goals, aback four of Peters, McAulay, Crawford and Gallagher, a defensive midfield of Sellars, Tindall and Arbuckle with a forward midfield/attack of Elliott, "Sidney" Devine and McGlashan. On the bench were Dougie Scott, Donachie and Mercer. Playing towards the "Switchie" end we defended well at the Harbour end with the highlights of the first 30 minutes being superb defending, some fine goalkeeping from Wightie, a superb cross from McGlashan on the left being met by Sellars at the far post and headed back towards goal where the ball was just cleared by a defender just before it would have been (well so we hoped) hammered home by inrushing Elliot. The manager’s strategy seemed to be stop Livi from scoring and boot the ball upfield with the hope that McGlashan and/or the two youngsters, on loan Elliot from Dundee and "Sidney" Devine whose contract we think was bought from Dundee United until the end of the season, could latch onto the ball and do some damage. This was not too successful a strategy as our brave threesome were all relative midgets compared with the Livi defence and their keeper - there was a buzz on the terracing that Baikie should have played "Big" Jim Mercer for a bit of height up front and I must admit that I did subscribe to this idea. Livingston were not looking like league leaders, especially up front where McAulay, Peters, Crawford and Gallagher were playing magnificently. Just before half time we got a free kick on our right and Gal’s cross was touched on, by "Sidney" to Crawford who found himself clear at the back post and hammered the ball home for his second goal in three matches (not bad considering he has had to play in goals for the other two of our last four matches) to put us into a 1 nil lead at half time.

The fans at half time were happy at being 1 nil ahead but not too happy at the performance of the front three, especially the two Dundee youngsters who should have been trying to impress next season’s first division club. There were no changes at half time though I, and a few others, would have liked to have seen Mercer on in order to challenge for the high balls up front. We pushed forward a bit more in the second half, well mainly on the counter attack, as Livingston eventually used up all of their substitutes in an effort to liven up their attack. Gallagher elected to shoot instead of passing to McGlashan who had made a fine run but his shot was easily saved at the far post. The two youngsters, Devine and Elliot, were starting to look a bit out of place in the battle against the league leaders b being caught in possession and not being positive enough when given a sight of goals. Sellars, who looks a better player than the Dundee pair, got the ball following a stramash in the Livi penalty box and had a superb dribble to the goalline and his fine cross was met by Tindal who was just off and the ball was cleared to Arbuckle who had a good shot from about 35 yards which just went past the post. As time started running out, Dave Baikie brought on Mercer for McGlashan and Donachie for Devine but alas the Mercer Gayfield jinx struck again as "Big" Jim, in front of goal, collected a pass from Sellars, took two attempts to control the ball and then attempted a pass to, or so I think it was, Arbuckle who was free on his left but his pass failed to find its target. Livi were pushing hard at the other end and in the last minute their third substitute, John Robertson, scored an equaliser which was hotly debated by the home Management team to earn the League Leaders a draw and pull us back into the relegation mire.

Our forwards are letting us down, McWalter is still banned for the next match due to his reserve sending off (what can one say!!), the two Dundee youngsters are frightened to take a chance at goal , Mercer has a Gayfield jinx and should only be played in away games and relegation is back on the agenda. On the positive side though, the defence today was quite magnificent and the fans were wondering why Baikie had fallen out with Scottie Peters earlier on this season as he has had a couple of cracking games recently and has always been a player who can fit into a number of positions in the team - "a fine utility player" as one fan said. It’s now onto New Bayview next Saturday for a 6 pointer against East Fife.

Match report written by

Squad Statistics (as at April 17th, 1999)

1998-99 All Time
Craig Wight (GK)20 9 - 21 -
John Gallagher29 33515812
Jon Crawford29 3521356
Barry Sellars23 305325
John McAulay26 3411525
Scott Peters26 1011024
David Arbuckle25 264264
Kevin Tindal28 33316520
Chris Devine20 3 - 3 -
Colin McGlashan35 25102510
John Elliot18 9 - 9 -
Barry Donachie (sub)19 1 - 1 -
Jim Mercer (sub)24 311311

League Table (as at April 17th, 1999)

No league table has been added for this season.