Played at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on Saturday, 29th September 2012 at 15:00
Stenhousemuir v Arbroath at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 29.9.12
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 633
Stenhousemuir 2 [Gemmell 46, Ferguson 90] Arbroath 2 [Sibanda 61, Currie 90]
For the second league game in a row Stenhousemuir had to produce a late late show to salvage a point from a game that they could have possibly have won.
Stenhousemuir went into this game without the injured Iain Thomson and Brown Ferguson though the latter was on the bench. They then suffered another blow with Scot Buist pulling up in the warm up and this meant that Alan Lawson was drafted into the left back berth with Kevin McKinlay moving to an unfamiliar central defensive role.
Despite the exertions and disappointment of the Tuesday night defeat on penalties to Inverness Caledonian Thistle it did not seem to have a negative effect of the Warriors who took the game to Arbroath in the early stages of the game and they could have taken the lead in the sixthminutes after a sweet move involving Darren Smith, Stewart Kean and John Gemmell. The latter’s shot from the edge of the box, however, whistled inches wide. The home team remained on top and Andy Rodgers went close before again dribbling into the box only to be blocked out by force of numbers.
With 22 minutes on the clock it appeared that Stenny would finally break the deadlock when Smith was put through by Gemmell. Just as the striker was about to pull the trigger though, Alex Keddie slid in with a tremendous block to save the day and when the loose ball was played back into the danger area Gemmell headed wide. .
Just before the interval the Warriors were again unfortunate when Alan Lawson cut back from the left to Kean on the angle of the six yards. The striker directed the ball goalwards but though it beat Scott Morrison the Red Lichties were to be saved by the woodwork as it struck the post. The Warriors had controlled the first period against a subdued Arbroath team who looked as if they were happy to contain until the second half when they would have the wind at their backs.
It took the home side just two minutes into the second period to grab the opener though. Andy Rodgers won the ball on the left touchline and it was transferred through a number of players before being played to Kean on the right. His cross was perfection and Gemmell rose to power home a header from eight yards.
The visitors responded immediately and Lee Sibanda fired just wide before crashing another effort off the bar in the 51st minute after being set up by a clever back heel from Steven Doris. The midfielder was not to be denied, however, and levelled the scores on the hour mark with a wonderful 16 yards drive that soared into the top corner.
This led to a period of ascendancy for the visitors and they must have felt that they were going to take the lead in 65 minutes when Doris was about to pull the trigger inside the box only to be denied by a superb sliding tackle by Ross McMillan who seemed to appear from nowhere to keep the scores level.
Craig Anderson saw an effort dip just over and this was followed by a Rodgers curling free kick that struck the upright only seconds later. The game was becoming stretched and Stenhousemuir looking to secure victory were caught on the counter attack after giving the ball away cheaply and were to pay the price when Paul Currie fired home in the 90th minute.
To their credit Stenhousemuir summoned up one last effort and they were awarded a corner with only seconds of the game remaining. Bryan Hodge swung in the corner from the right and Kevin McKinlay headed home to bring the scores level and thus Stenhousemuir picked up a well deserved share of the spoils.
Stenhousemuir – R.Thomson, Ross, McKinlay, Lawson, McMillan, Hodge, Rodgers [Ferguson 78], C.Anderson, Gemmell [b56][Dickson 66], Kean and Smith. Subs not used – Love, Brash and Shaw.
Arbroath – Morrison, Baxter, Hamilton, Kerr, Malcolm, Keddie, Gribben, Robertson [Banjo 85], Doris, Sibanda and Birse [Currie 69]. Subs not used – Holmes, Brennan and Mackie
Referee – Frank McDermott Assistants – Frank Connor and Simon MacLean