Arbroath v Stenhousemuir at Gayfield Park Arbroath on 28.4.12
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 643
Arbroath 0 Stenhousemuir 2 [Anderson 11, Rodgers 20]
Stenhousemuir went into this game knowing that they needed at least a share of the points and probably all three to stay on the fringes of the play-off race. The manager Davie Irons made one change to the side that beat Brechin City the previous week with Keiran Millar replacing Iain Thomson in midfield. Whilst this surprised some, Millar showed the form on the day to justify his place. In fact he came close to opening the scoring in the first minute of the game working a wall pass with Stewart Kean but just failed to get on the return ball before a brave dive at his feet by Darren Hill.
Stenhousemuir had more to play for in this game as Arbroath had already secured second place and a play-off spot but although several players were rested those that did feature were not half hearted in their play and this was highlighted by the booking of Craig Wedderburn for a late tackle on Grant Anderson that could quite easily have been a sending off instead.
Stenhousemuir were looking the more composed team and they were rewarded for their endeavours in the 11th minute. A swift passing move gave Stewart Kean a decent opportunity for a shot at goal but rather than go for glory he unselfishly played the ball into the path of the overlapping Grant Anderson and he fired the ball into the net.
The Warriors extended their lead in the 20th minute through top scorer Andy Rodgers. Most of his goals have been of the spectacular nature but this one was more mundane as he rolled the ball into an empty net after Darren Hill and a central defender collided as Hill went to gather a Kean cross and the unfortunate keeper dropped the ball at Rodger’s feet.
Rodgers threatened to score again when Arbroath struggled to clear their lines and he managed to poke the ball towards the goal before it was cleared off the line. In the 27th minute he was booked for simulation. There did appear to be a sound of contact when he fell in the box but the referee thought otherwise and brought out the yellow card.
Arbroath were struggling to get in the game and they almost went further behind when Brown Ferguson struck a superb 30 yard free kick that Hill did well to tip over. Eventually the home side mustered up a worthwhile attack and Ally Brown was at last called into action to make a routine save from a Gavin Swankie header in the 42nd minute.
Arbroath player-manager Paul Sheerin made a double change at half time to try and get back into the game and indeed Graham Girvan showed their intent with a long range shot that went just over the crossbar in the first minute of the second period. Sheerin then tested Brown with a free kick that the keeper stopped but didn’t gather cleanly. The best chance though fell to Stenhousemuir in the 56th minute. Kieran Millar won the ball in midfield before playing the ball wide to Grant Anderson who strode past his marker before picking ut Andy Rodgers who took a fresh air swipe at the ball when he only had the keeper to beat. If this chance had been converted it would have killed off the game but it was not too be and as a result Stenhousemuir were always aware that it might only take a moment for the game to turn. Kevin McKinlay did well to block a Keith Gibson effort on the hour but the defender was less clever when he appeared to pull the jersey of Liam Caddis as he advanced into the box a couple of minutes later. Luckily for Stenhousemuir the referee Mat Northcroft did not spot the infringement and no penalty was forthcoming. The ball did fall to Steven Doris though but his effort was saved. Although Caddis came close with a chip shot, the home side were only a limited threat in a fairly lacklustre second half.
Stenhousemuir were the more threatening without being outstanding though they did create the better opportunities and Anderson came closest to increasing the lead with an effort that was dragged wide. However in the end they were victorious by two goals and with Airdrie United winning by a similar margin it goes to the final league game of the season to see who gets fourth place in the league and the last remaining play-off spot.
Arbroath – Hill, Girvan [b87], Brown, Kerr [Falkingham 72], Malcolm, Wedderburn [b7], Sibanda [Caddis h/t], Gibson, Doris, Swankie [Samuel h/t] and Sheerin. Subs not used – Busch and White.
Stenhousemuir – Brown, N.Devlin, McKinlay, M.Devlin, McMillan, Millar, Ferguson, Rodgers [b27], Kean, Paton and G.Anderson [Dickson 87]. Subs not used – Thomson, Deuchar, Murray and Shaw
Referee – Mat Northcroft Assistants – Paul Reid and Scott Lambie
|April 28, 2012||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2011/2012||90'|
|Gayfield Park, Arbroath|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|