Arbroath 1 v 0 Stenhousemuir
Played at Gayfield Park, Arbroath on Saturday, 29th October 2011 at 15:00
Arbroath v Stenhousemuir at Gayfield Park, Arbroath on 29.10.11
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division
Arbroath 1 [Doris 82 pen] Stenhousemuir 0
This was a game where the Warriors would have felt that a share of the spoils was probably a fair result and will therefore feel aggrieved to have travelled home with no points at all. In all honesty though Stenhousemuir had some good chances in the game they rarely played to their potential with Arbroath adapting to the conditions better. Arbroath started play with the wind at their backs and Chris McCluskey was called on to save a Gavin Swankie attempt. Three minutes later Aussie Beau Busch should have done better than hit an effort wide from only 10 yards when under little if any pressure. It took until the 12th minute before Stenhousemuir were seen as a threat and when Stevie Murray threaded the ball behind the home rearguard for Stewart Kean but the striker fired a powerful effort over the bar. The game though competitive became bogged down for a while after that with defences on top and it was the half hour before the next clear cut chance came. Once again it fell to Keen after he took advantage of a mistake by Busch but Darren Hill was quick to react and saved Kean’s effort parrying the ball out of the box. It then fell to Willie Lyle who played the ball goalwards but Hill was able to clutch the ball without too much difficulty.
The opening exchanges of the second period were more lively than the whole of the first and it was Stenhousemuir that had the first attempt on target when Iain Thomson won the ball in midfield and Kean made a decent run before Hill saved his effort. The play transferred to the other end and Steven Doris crashed a 20 yard rocket off the bar with McCluskey stranded. Kean then had a golden chance to put Stenhousemuir ahead. A quick throw in by Andy Rodgers picked out Stevie Murray and his cross was met by Kean 8 yards out but he blasted the ball over. Once again the play moved to the other end and it was only cool defensive play from Martin Corrigan that denied another chance for the home side.
It was not only Stenhousemuir that were squandering chances though as Carlo Monti who was playing a trial for Arbroath when the best passing move of the game ended when he shot high and wide with just the keeper to beat. As the game progressed the home side were growing stronger and Josh Falkingham tested McCluskey with a shot that the keeper just pushed wide though a goal kick was given much to the ire of the Arbroath contingent.
A minute later McCluskey was in action once again but this time there was a less positive outcome for the Warriors. Stenhousemuir had lost the ball too easily in midfield and with Doris advancing in on goal the keeper brought him down. Referee George Salmond produced a red card and awarded a penalty. It was a stonewall penalty but with defenders getting back whether it was a dismissal is less clear. Ally Brown came off the bench with Martyn Corrigan being the sacrificial lamb. Doris stepped up and converted the penalty though Brown came close to stopping it. After this there was no way back for Stenhousemuir and it was Arbroath who looked as if they could extend their lead before the end of the game. With the Stenhousemuir defence shaky after Corrigan’s exit it was only a combination of saves from Brown and poor finishing that kept the score down to a one goal advantage for Arbroath and they maintained this till the final whistle blew with all three points staying at Arbroath and this moved them up to joint top and beginning to create a gap on Stenhousemuir.
Arbroath – Hill, Baxter, McAnespie, Kerr, Wedderburn [Brown 57], Busch, Falkingham, Ardallany [Sibanda 65], Doris, Swankie and Monti [Bryce 70. Subs not used – Gibson and White
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey [so 81], Lyle, C.Hamilton[b45] [McKinlay 67], Corrigan [Brown 81], McMillan [b90], Thomson [Dickson 74], Ferguson, Rodgers, Kean, Paton and Murray. Subs not used – Quinn and Fraser
Referee – George Salmond Assistants – Willie Conquer and Stuart Hodge
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