Stenhousemuir 2 v 0 Arbroath
Played at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on Saturday, 13th August 2011 at 15:00
Stenhousemuir v Arbroath at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 13.8.11
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 492
Stenhousemuir 2 [Ferguson 12, Rodgers 56] Arbroath 0
Although this was the fourth competitive match of the season it was the first to be played at Ochilview. There was a sombre start to the proceedings as prior to the game there was a minutes silence for those that had been killed recently in Norway.
Ross McMillan was out through injury so Kevin McKinlay moved across to central defence, Paul McHale took the midfield berth and Andy Rodgers joined Stewart Kean up front as the Warriors went for a more attacking formation.
In the opening exchanges the home side showed their intent and Darren Hill in the Arbroath goal had to be alert to deny Kean and Rodgers in quick succession. Player/manager Paul Sheerin did have a long range effort that was saved by Chris McCluskey in 8 minutes but the majority of the possession was with the Warriors. They took the lead in the 12th minute when a deft pass by McHale was met by Brown Ferguson who had ghosted behind the Arbroath defence and headed past Hill who was stranded in no mans land. Two minutes later Rodgers headed a Stevie Murray cross over the bar from close range but in all fairness to the striker he was always stretching to get it. Arbroath should have equalised in the 19th minute when Gavin Swankie took advantage of poor communication in the Stenhousemuir ranks to head past McCluskey but his effort went narrowly past the post. That was the last goalscoring opportunity Arbroath had in the half as Stenhousemuir were in control. A low Stevie Murray free kick caused havoc in the Arbroath defence but although the Red Lichties struggled to clear their lines they were rescued by the intervention of the referee who blew for an infringement. In the 33rd minute Rodgers hit a superb shot on the bounce but Hill proved to be up to the task with a fine save. This was followed by claims for a penalty after Stuart Malcolm handled in the box but no award was forthcoming. In the latter stages Stewart Kean made a chance for himself with an interception but hit a weak effort that was comfortably saved. Although Stenhousemuir had dominated the first half the fact that that they were only a goal ahead must have been a worry as Arbroath would have been expected to give a better showing in the second period.
There was a scare for the Warriors in the 46th minute when a Swankie free kick was seen late by McCluskey but the keeper managed to just stop the shot. At the other end Stuart Malcolm would have been grateful to see a headed clearance from a Murray cross hit the bar and go over when it could have just as easily went in. Andy Rodgers then managed to get a shot away after the ball had got under his feet and although Hill had to bring off a save a better option would have been a pass out to Murray who was unmarked. In the 56th minute though Rodger’s did get the goal that his play deserved after he picked up a loose ball and fired home after Stewart Kean had been stopped when going through on goal.
Arbroath had chances just after that when Willie Lyle was forced to clear two efforts off the line after the referee failed to give a foul for McCluskey being taken out of play. Swankie was booked for dissent after the visitors had a penalty claim turned down as possibly a hand had been used. If it had been awarded Lyle would have been off and it could have turned the game.
After this Rodgers had an overhead kick go just over before McCluskey stopped a Lee Bryce effort and when the rebound fell to the striker somehow Lyle managed to get back and clear off the line once again. Arbroath were coming more into the game in the latter stages and McCluskey saved from Swankie. Eventually Sheerin hit the net with an effort but had used his hand to force it in and was rightly booked. Before the end of the game Rodgers saw a header from a Sean Dickson cross clutched by Hill and then the keeper tipped over another Rodgers effort. In stoppage time Bryce struck the crossbar with a header but the Warriors held on fairly comfortably for all three points.
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle, Dickson, Corrigan, McKinlay, McHale, Ferguson [Thomson 83], Rodgers [Quinn 89], Kean, Paton and Murray. Subs not used – Hamilton, McCafferty [t] and Diamond.
Arbroath – Hill, Girvan [b88], Baxter [b47], Gibson [Mair 78], Malcolm, Buesh [Wedderburn 64], Falkingham, Kerr, Sibanda [Bryce 64], Swankie [b58] and Sheerin [b78]. Subs not used – McAnespie and White
Referee - Gary Hilland Assistants – Graeme Stewart and Howard Wilkin
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