2 - 0
2 - 0
Scottish League (Second Division)
Steven Doris (9)
Paul Sheerin (45)
Lee Sibanda for Beau Busch (42)
Keith Gibson for Connaire Connelly (67)
Kevin Brown for Stuart Malcolm (83)
Scott Davidson for Daly McSorley (71)
Josh Flood for Darren Smith (79)
Lewis Bonar for Shaun Fagan (82)
Stuart Malcolm (45)
Craig Wedderburn (90)
Shaun Fagan (41)
Scott Davidson (88)
Craig Charleston (Referee)
ARBROATH CLOSED to within two points of Cowdenbeath at the top of the Second Division with a hard earned win over Stirling Albion, who remain rooted to the foot of the table.
Fans were allowed free entry to compensate for the original game, on Boxing Day, being abandoned after just 18 minutes because of storm-force winds. A bigger than average crowd of 901 hardy souls gave up their fireside seats to watch the action on a bitterly cold evening.
Stirling gifted arbroath the lead after nine minutes. Gary Thom’s attempted passback was intercepted by Steven Doris who touched the ball beyond advancing keeper Callum Reidford then fired into the empty net for his 10th goal of the season.
Gavin Swankie had a chance to make it 2-0 a few minutes later but he blasted wildly into the side-netting. The Lichties striker then came close with a 20-yarder which skimmed narrowly wide.
Stirling weathered the storm and began to settle into the game and created a couple of half chances, the best of which fell to Alan Cook whose blistering drive was tipped behind for a corner by the alert Darren Hill.
Arbroath doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time with a quickfire move. It ended with Swankie crossing into the six yard box where Doris brought the ball under control before feeding player manager Paul Sheerin who calmly tucked the ball beyond the helpless Reidford.
Grahamweir came close to reducing the leeway shortly after the interval but his curling effort went beyond Hill’s left hand post, while Arbroath responded with a Stuart Malcolm header which Reidford blocked on the line.
Sheerin then saw his 20 yard free-kick curl narrowly over the bar as the home side upped the tempo and Sheerin came close again when he bundled a Lee Sibanda cross over the bar.
Stirling refused to throw in the towel but despite enjoying a considerable degree of possession they seldom troubled Hill in the home goal. Weir had another half chance and Cook sent in a couple of threatening balls but the Arbroath defence held firm.
Sheerin was happy to get full points even though the quality of play was not up to his side’s usual standards.
He said: “We’ve managed to cut the gap on Cowdenbeath at the top from eight points to two over the last few weeks, so I’m pleased with that.
“We didn’t play too well but we’ve won which is the main thing. It was a comfortable win but we expect to do better, I know that. But our home form is good and we’ll recharge the batteries and be ready for Airdrie on Saturday.”
Sheerin said he still hopes to strengthen his squad for the title run-in.
He said: “I’ve got my eye on someone so we’ll just have to wait to see if something can be done by Saturday. We have a big month ahead with a lot of games. If we can get through February unscathed then we’ll have a real opportunity.”
Binos boss Greig Mcdonald was disappointed to come away empty-handed. He said: “It’s a strange feeling to have played so well and ended up with nothing. I thought we created the better chances but we were given a good lesson in how to be clinical. If we play like that on a regular basis, though, we’ll win more games than we lose.”
Match report written by The Courier
|Darren Hill (GK)||30||24||-||166||-|
|Kevin Brown (sub)||20||8||-||8||-|
|Lee Sibanda (sub)||27||24||5||36||6|
|Keith Gibson (sub)||31||21||-||99||9|
No league table has been added for this season.