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Scottish League (League Two)
|Paul Willis (6)||
Kevin Buchan (54)
Paul McManus (60)
Andrew Russell for Darren Lavery (20)
Ben Miller for David Gold (77)
Dean Horribine for Devon Jacobs (87)
Kevin Buchan for Euan Murray (24)
Kieran Stewart for Ricky Little (45)
Simon Murray for Paul McManus (87)
Scott Dalziel (72)
Stephen Tulloch (79)
Kevin Nicoll (65)
Mark Whatley (85)
Gavin Ross (Referee)
Arbroath made the long journey down to Shielfield Park in Berwick-Upon-Tweed in England to kick off their first game in SPFL League 2. Conditions couldn’t be perfect and a dedicated travelling support of about 50 Lichties witnessed the first league win for manager Allan Moore.
There were a few changes in the line-up with suspensions and injuries forcing the changes.
David Crawford started in goals with Michael Travis playing again as right back with Motherwell youngster Euan Murray coming in to play at left back with a central pairing of Ricky Little and Ross Fisher. The midfield consisted of Linn, Whatley, Nicoll, Hunter and McBride with Paul McManus up front alone in a 4-5-1 strategy.
Arbroath kicked off towards the ticket gates and things looked promising as they won a corner in the first minute but in the 6th minute found themselves a goal down as a poor clearance by Crawford from a pass back allowed Paul Willis to put the hosts in the lead. Berwick continued to keep up the early pressure and a missed shot from Notman and then a header by Hoskins which was saved by Crawford kept Arbroath on the back foot.
Within three minutes both teams were forced into early changes with Andrew Russell coming on for Darren Lavery and Kevin Buchan coming on for the injured Euan Murray. This meant a change of formation for Arbroath with Mark Whatley sliding into the left back role and Buchan joining McManus up front in a 4-4-2 formation.
Berwick’s Scott Dalziel cut in from the edge of the box on the right and his shot slammed of the cross bar and within two minutes he had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for a foul.
Arbroath struggled to get into the game and Scott McBride had two efforts but the first went high and over and the second was from an impossible acute angle. A real worry for Arbroath was when Ricky Little and a Berwick player both went for the same ball and Little was left on the ground. He received treatment and was able to see the half out.
Halftime – Berwick 1 – 0 Arbroath
Sadly for Arbroath Little didn’t come back out and Kieran Stewart came on as his replacement. Kevin Nicoll took over from Little in defence and Stewart slotting into the centre of midfield.
Berwick were left to rue their lack of finishing when Kevin Buchan drew Arbroath level in the 52nd minute. An Adam Hunter shot from 35 yards out was brilliantly saved by Bald in goal and the resulting corner seem Bobby Linn strike on target from the middle of the box but Bald managed to save but his save fell to Kevin Buchan who wasn’t going to miss! Game on………
Berwick again pressed but two saves from David Crawford kept things all square. The biggest change in the second half was Kevin Nicoll finding space and a second of time to look up and see who was on for a pass which meant Paul McManus had more time doing what he does best, getting the ball at his feet and taking on the defenders and pressing and he won a free kick about 25 yards out.
Scott McBride stepped up and rattled the crossbar with the ball coming down, onto the line (over it) then back out in which time McManus kept his run going and was the first person to the ball heading it over the line to put Arbroath into the lead.
Arbroath continued to chase the ball and get forward when they could and defensively always had an answer for what Berwick threw at them in the final 25 minutes. Mark Whatley in particular at left back really looked confident and won the ball time and time again.
Arbroath survived the 4 minutes of injury time and held on to the win. The first three points of the league campaign on the board and Allan Moore’s first league win for Arbroath. The players and management team applauded the travelling support for their journey and backing.
It was definitely a tale of two halves and two very different performances. The positives are obviously the win and the three points and coming back and the players in the squad being able to adapt to different positions but perhaps another day with strikers who had their shooting boots on we could have lost the game in the first 45 minutes. All in all a great day and a good win!
Match report written by Arbroath FC Official Website
|David Crawford (GK)||29||3||-||3||-|
|Kieran Stewart (sub)||20||2||-||2||-|
|Kevin Buchan (sub)||20||3||2||3||2|
|Simon Murray (sub)||22||3||1||3||1|
No league table has been added for this season.