Arbroath 3
Forfar Athletic 3

3 - 3

Saturday, July 19th, 2014
Attendance: 403
3:00 PM Kick-off

Bobby Linn (31)
Bobby Linn (39)
Paul McManus (49)
Dale Hilson (20)
Omar Kader (41)
Chris Templeman (89)

Team Managers
Allan Moore
Dick Campbell

Starting Eleven
Scott Morrison
Johnny Lindsay
Michael Travis
Ross Fisher
Ricky Little
Kieran Stewart
Scott McBride
Kevin Nicoll
Kevin Buchan
Bobby Linn
Paul McManus
Robert Douglas
Mark Baxter
Andrew Steeves
Michael Dunlop
Stuart Malcolm
James Dale
Omar Kader
Derek Young
Dale Hilson
Gavin Swankie
Danny Denholm

Craig Johnstone
Mark Whatley
Chris Scott
Kieran McWalter
Connor Birse
Andy Black
Jack Smith
Simon Murray
Ross Salmon
Darren Dods
Liam Keillor
Craig Smith
Paul McLellan
Stephen Husband
Chris Templeman
Aaron James

Simon Murray for Paul McManus (61)
Jack Smith for Kevin Buchan (61)
Andy Black for Michael Travis (69)
Chris Scott for Bobby Linn (77)
Mark Whatley for Kieran Stewart (85)
Craig Johnstone for Johnny Lindsay (90)
Ross Salmon for Robert Douglas (46)
Stephen Husband for Stuart Malcolm (46)
Aaron James for James Dale (46)
Darren Dods for Mark Baxter (46)
Liam Keillor for Omar Kader (70)
Chris Templeman for Derek Young (70)
Paul McLellan for Dale Hilson (70)
Craig Smith for Danny Denholm (70)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Gavin Duncan (Referee)
Stuart Stevenson & Chris Fordyce (Assistants)

Photography by Graham Black

Match Report

Arbroath lined up with Scott Morrison in goals and then Michael Travis playing right back and Johnny Lindsay at left back with a central pairing of Ricky Little and trialist Ross Fisher (Queen’s Park and Kilmarnock). The midfield was Captain Kevin Nicoll and trialist Kieran Stewart (St Johnstone) playing as the central pair with Bobby Linn on the right and Scott McBride playing on the left with new signing Kevin Buchan and Paul McManus up front.

As the earlier electrical storms and torrential rain had passed by Gayfield was looking splendid as both teams emerged. Arbroath started proceedings are were shooting towards the harbour end. The opening exchanges seen both teams have lots of possession, but for brief periods as nobody could really make much of an impression. Forfar who did grab the initiative as James Dale almost opened up the scoring for Forfar before Swankie tried his luck, but their pressure finally paid off and Dale Hilson took advantage of Lindsay to poke Forfar into the lead in the 20th minute.

This seemed to spur Arbroath into action and with more possession and the ball finding the attacking players quicker Arbroath started to press and won a few corner kicks, but it was a great through ball to Paul McManus who only had Douglas to beat but a miss hit the of the ball and it was pushed wide. However moments later in almost an identical move Bobby Linn found himself one on one with Douglas and this time Arbroath did score as Linn swept the ball into the back of the net.

Arbroath continued the pressure and Paul McManus again was in with a great opportunity and very uncharacteristically couldn’t find the back of the net, but after Kevin Nicoll took a quick free kick on the half way line Bobby Linn fired in a long range effort which beat Douglas at his near post. An impressive 15-20 minute spell which Arbroath had nullified Forfar and produced two good goals.

However just minutes later a ball into the Arbroath box caused problems and after a few clearances and shots Omar Kader smashed the ball into the back of the net to make things even, however just as half time approached you would have bet your house on Paul McManus scoring Arbroath’s third but he couldn’t find the target.

Halftime and it was all square. As the entire ground waited for the second half to start a huge round of applause filled the ground as Kevin Nicoll emerged a few, eh, well lets just say seconds behind his team mates!

It had been coming, but Paul McManus finally scored to put Arbroath ahead for the first time in the game. A fine cross by Bobby Linn and probably the most difficult finish he had all day but Paul McManus drove a diving header past the substitute Forfar keeper.

Both teams started to make a strong of substitutions and Arbroath’s first came with McManus and Buchan being replaced by Murray and trialist Jack Smith. There is already a growing anticipation of excitement whenever Simon Murray gets the ball as his tireless running and wanting to take on defenders has already wet the appetite for the new season amongst the fans and again he didn’t disappoint.

Michael Travis was replaced by another trialist (name to come) who slotted in at right back. The game perhaps unsurprisingly didn’t have the feel of a pre-season but more of a heated derby and there were some heavy challenges in the middle of the park throughout the game. Simon Murray went on a mazy run before finding Bobby Linn who was within half an inch of completing his hat-trick but just the post denied him. Moments later he went off for Chris Scott.

Play was going from end to end and Kieran Stewart almost scored for Arbroath when his cross fooled everyone and hit the top of the Forfar cross bar. Arbroath continued to make changes and Mark Whatley who had signed in the summer from Spartans came on to replace Kieran Stewart. Whatley arrived at Gayfield with a great reputation as a goal scorer and highly talented and he almost grabbed Arbroath’s fourth goal but a fantastic save from the Forfar keeper, who somehow managed to leap across the goal and save the header.

As the misty har started to slowly fill Gayfield Arbroath were hit with a suckerpunch as Templeman managed to connect and score to equalise. In the build up to the goal Johnny Lindsay appeared to suffer an injury and was replaced in the final minutes by Craig Johnstone.

Full time – Arbroath 3 – 3 Forfar. It was a friendly but Arbroath showed they are more than capable and for long periods looked the stronger side against a well established Forfar side who have added quality from the leagues above. My man of the match was Kevin Nicoll. He controlled the game from sitting just infront of the defence and challenged for every ball, but with his bag of turns and change of pace and running forward looked dangerous throughout, Bobby Linn was a close second with his runs and how well he took both his goals and almost nabbing a hat trick. Young Chris Scott has impressed with his running, passing and crossing and he is sure to play a big part in the league campaign this year.

That was the final scheduled friendly and as Alloa come to town next week be sure to be there to see the new chapter in the history of Arbroath FC.

Match report written by Arbroath FC Official Website

Squad Statistics (as at July 19th, 2014)

2014-15 All Time

League Table (as at July 19th, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.