2 - 0
2 - 0
Scottish League (League Two)
Steven Doris (51)
Martin Scott (77)
Thomas O’ Brien
Gavin Malin for Ryan McCord (66)
Josh Skelly for Steven Doris (66)
Bryan Prunty for Bobby Linn (85)
Danny Denholm for Thomas O’ Brien (35)
Marc Scott for Josh Peters (62)
Allan Smith for Lewis Milne (86)
Ryan McCord (55)
Bobby Linn (59)
Gavin Swankie (40)
Stuart Malcolm (74)
|Jamie Bain (40)
Craig Napier (Referee)
Arbroath welcomed Forfar Athletic to Gayfield yesterday for what was to be the first time the two sides have met in the league since April 2014. The anticipation had been building since the league fixtures were published back in the summer with Arbroath manager Dick Campbell facing his old side for the first time.
On the pitch, the Loons have been setting the pace with 7 straight wins giving them a massive lead over the chasing pack and their play was rewarded with both September Manager of the month and player of the month for Gary Bollan and Thomas O’Brien.
As ever, both sides were peppered with former players which has become the norm in any Angus derby. For the Lichties, Omar Kader, Michael Dunlop and Gavin Malin had all made the summer switch to Gayfield from Station Park and Forfar included former Lichties in Andy Munro, Stuart Malcolm, and Gavin Swankie who alongside Steven Doris was pivotal in our title win back in 2011.
Arbroath were without on loan defender Jassem Sukar who served the first of his two match suspension and striker Kane Hester, who was tied up with work commitments.
Ricky Gomes (GK) was given his first league start of the season and David Gold (RB) came into the side to play at right back, with Gary Phillips (LB) replacing Sukar at left back with Ricky Little (CB) and Colin Hamilton (CB) continuing their partnership.
Mark Whatley (CM) returned to central midfield to partner Ryan McCord (CM) with Omar Kader (RM) and Bobby Linn (LM) on the right and left wings with Martin Scott (ST) moving up to support Steven Doris (ST) in attack.
Arbroath were still able to name 7 substitutes - Josh Skelly (ST), Bryan Prunty (ST), Liam Callaghan (RM), Michael Dunlop (CB), Gavin Malin (CM), Josh Thomson (RB) and Robbie Mutch (GK).
The Gayfield pitch was looking in fantastic condition and had weathered the heavy rain over the previous 36 hours as both teams ran out and showed their support to “Show Racism the Red Card Scotland.” Arbroath were in all maroon with Forfar in light blue and white with the visitors kicking off as Arbroath attacked the harbour end.
The Lichties started off brightly and almost were in on goal with their first attack as a mix up between Stuart Malcolm and Forfar Keeper Grant Adam led to the former Lichtie clearing a Linn cross as Adam went to catch the same ball.
The vision and passing of Ryan McCord was on show early as he found David Gold who played in Omar Kader with a nice lob pass, but Kader’s final ball didn’t have enough power to reach Steven Doris and Martin Scott who were ready to pounce.
Forfar’s first chance came after a great cross in from former Lichtie Gavin Swankie who despite running away from goal, managed to turn and send in a dangerous cross into the box but the headed clearance fell to Thomas O’Brien but his half volley from 25 yards curled well to the right of Ricky Gomes’s goal for a goal kick.
On the slick surface the Lichties were passing around the ball well and combined well in a nice move from Gomes to Little to Gold who found Scott. His quick pass to Doris was soon returned before Scott switched play out to the wing to Linn who took a few touches before unleashing Phillips down the wing who found Doris in the box, but the referee blew for a foul to Forfar just as Linn went to shoot in from the rebound. Despite the foul, the passing was impressive from the home team.
Scott, who was playing just behind Doris was seeing plenty of the ball and his natural skill and ability was bringing out the best of his team mates. Gomes found Scott just inside the Forfar half with a precise long ball before Scott again finding Linn running down the left flank giving him the momentum to run down the wing cutting into the box before finding Doris again but this time he was marked by Malcolm and Adam was able to clear.
Arbroath were enjoying possession and another quick move followed, this time by architect McCord who found Kader who was running down the right wing. Kader let the ball slide pass him before thumping a shot with this right foot but his angled drive was on the wrong side of the post.
Ricky Gomes had been kept quiet but he showed his own skill set when a long goal kick up the pitch by Grant found Josh Peters. Peters was able to evade challenges from Gold and Kader before squaring the ball to Michael Kennedy whose cross-come-shot across goal was tipped over the bar by Gomes. From the resulting corner Gomes again had to be alert as danger loomed before Steven Doris hooked the ball away.
Arbroath’s play was starting to click, as Scott came closest to the opening. A beautiful pass from the half way line from Linn found Doris who controlled the ball before rolling it back to the on rushing Scott who slid down to lash a shot at goal but Adam matched the effort with a fine save.
Forfar Athletic were forced into an early change when Thomas O’Brien departed with an injury to be replaced by Danny Denholm.
In the 26th minute Forfar won a free kick about 20 yards out from the Arbroath goal. Lewis Milne teed the ball up for David Cox but his strike was safely handled by Gomes. As the players rushed back into position after the free kick came to nothing, the young Canadian keeper rolled the ball out to Phillips whose long long field pass was cut out. Scott picked up the loose ball before McCord found Gold who was in space before passing the ball out to Kader on the wing.
Kader ran down the wing chased by Swankie and Kennedy before sliding the ball between both players and running towards the goal. Swankie had continued to chase Kader, but as both players approached the box Swankie pushed Kader in the back sending the winger to the ground and with Referee Craig Napier less than 3 feet away he directly pointed to the spot.
Arbroath’s record with penalty kicks over the years hasn’t been great, but Bobby Linn took responsibility fresh from scoring against Stirling Albion from the spot a few weeks prior. However this time Linn’s chip penalty down the centre of the goal hit the bar then down onto the line then out again and just as Linn was about to hit the rebound the referee blew his whistle (presumably for offside?)
Grant Adam kicked off play and his long wind assisted goal kick was crossed into the Arbroath box by Jim Lister before Ricky Little had to head the ball clear of danger.
Remarkably Arbroath were awarded another penalty kick in the 40th minute. Captain Mark Whatley pressed and harassed winning the ball back in the Arbroath half before Hamilton found Scott then to McCord who played an inch perfect ball through the Forfar defence for Doris to chase in on goal. As Doris was chased he was bundled down from behind by Jamie Bain with referee Napier again pointing to the spot before brandishing the red card to right back. As the Forfar players disputed the challenged Gavin Swankie was also shown the yellow card.
Ryan McCord stepped up and hit his penalty with this right foot to the left hand side of Adam’s goal but his strike wasn’t hard enough and Adam guessed the right direction with the ball being cleared for an Arbroath throw in.
Half Time - Arbroath 0 - 0 Forfar Athletic
A beautiful cross field pass by Ricky Little found Linn out on the wing before he continued his run into the box before his cross was put out for a corner kick. Ryan McCord’s curling corner was pushed out by Adam for Arbroath’s second corner in quick succession. The Lichties won their 3rd corner when Whatley’s cross back into the box was headed clear.
This time McCord played a short corner to Linn who caught the Forfar defence napping as he ran towards the corner flag. Linn held up the ball before finding McCord again who whipped in a cross into the box where Steven Doris flicked a header across goal. As the ball was heading towards goal it bounced off the boot of David Cox, but as far as I’m concerned it should be credited to Steven Doris! There was a huge celebration as all 10 outfield players celebrated the strikers first league goal.
Even though Forfar were down to 10 men they still posed a threat and a nice ball by Milne found Denholm in space and the substitute ran on his left foot before turning to his right before hitting a low right foot shot that Gomes pushed out for a corner kick. From the corner kick Gomes did well as he saved from a Munro header.
Both Ryan McCord and Bobby Linn found themselves in the referee’s notebook for fouls on Danny Denholm and David Cox.
In the 62nd minute Forfar brought on Mark Scott for Josh Peters before Gavin Malin replaced Ryan McCord and Josh Skelly replaced Steven Doris.
A free kick by Whatley was headed into the Forfar box by Hamilton and both substitutes were involved straight away. The ball was just about to bounce up for Malin to strike until Malcolm made a flying block and as the ball pin-balled it’s way around the box it was Skelly who finally latched on to it, again with Adam pulling of another good save.
Gavin Malin had a great impact on the game after coming on and played a cutting ball through for Skelly to chase but Adam made the decision to run out, but his clearance was mis hit and it fell to Linn who took the opportunity to try his luck at the open goal but his shot, which was on target was cleared by Malcolm but only as far as Skelly who smashed the ball first time and was unlucky as his effort hit the post.
At the other end Forfar also struck the woodwork as a long throw in by Milne was flicked on by Munro to find Scott at the far post and after controlling the ball his effort hit the post.
Former Arbroath stalwart Stuart Malcolm was booked for a foul on Josh Skelly in the 74th minute.
Arbroath were to finally get their second goal and kill off the game in the 77th minute. A foul by Michael Kennedy just at the end of the main stand allowed Josh Skelly to whip in a left footed cross which Martin Scott dived down low to flash a header into the far corner of the net before encouraging his team mates to join him in a Klinnsman Esq. celebration at the corner flag. It was much deserved as Scott was full of energy and drive throughout the game and even in the dying seconds was sprinting to win every ball.
In truth Scott should have had a second goal just minutes after as a long header back down the field by Hamilton was picked up by the Forfar defence but Skelly chased the ball down and his perseverance was rewarded when the clearance hit off his back and allowed him to chase the ball down the wing before crossing to Scott but with only the keeper to beat he didn’t get enough power on his shot and Adam saved again.
In the closing moments Arbroath introduced Bryan Prunty for Bobby Linn and Allan Smith replaced Lewis Milne for Forfar.
In the last minute a Skelly corner was headed back into the box by Little with his header catching the wind and coming off the bar.
Full Time - Arbroath 2 -0 Forfar Athletic
An organised and skilful performance for the Lichties secured all 3 points and a clean sheet. Despite Forfar playing the game for 50 minutes with only 10 men they showed why they are at the top of the league but not to take anything away from Arbroath. It was a determined team performance with players again showing their versatility and skill playing in different positions with players coming off the bench to make a real difference. A great day for all Arbroath supporters.
A different type of game next Saturday as we return to Scottish Cup Action and welcome University of Stirling.
C’mon the Lichties!
Possession - Arbroath 51% - 49% Forfar Athletic
Total Shots - Arbroath 13 - 7 Forfar Athletic
On Target - Arbroath 5 - 3 Forfar Athletic
Off Target - Arbroath 7 - 3 Forfar Athletic
Blocked - Arbroath 1 - 1 Forfar Athletic
Corners - Arbroath 12 - 11 Forfar Athletic
Fouls Committed - Arbroath 13 - 12 Forfar Athletic
Match report written by Arbroath FC Official Website
|Ricky Gomes (GK)
|Gavin Malin (sub)
|Bryan Prunty (sub)
|Josh Skelly (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.