Arbroath v Stenhousemuir at Gayfield Park, Arbroath on 9.12.12
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 647
Arbroath 2 [Doris 10, Malcolm 50] Stenhousemuir 2 [Smith 3, Kean 90]
After a break from the league due to cup duties it was back to the bread and butter for the Warriors as they travelled to the birthplace of Scotland, Arbroath to meet the Red Lichties. The Second Division card had been ravaged due to the weather but this game was on due to the hard work of the Arbroath support that had made good use of covers to protect the pitch for this game.
This match from an Arbroath point of view was sandwiched between two games against Celtic in the cup and whilst this could have been a distraction to them Paul Sheerin made sure that his men were focussed on this vital league encounter.
Stenhousemuir suffered a blow on the day of the game when Andy Rodgers failed a fitness test and this meant that the Warriors were only able to field Stewart Kean as a regular forward in the starting line up. This meant that Darren Smith pushed more into the middle of the park to support Kean where possible.
The Warriors got off to a dream start taking the lead in the third minute of the game and indeed it was Smith who got his name on the score sheet. A ball from midfield was picked up by Bryan Hodge whilst the Arbroath players appealed for offside, this seemed to put Hodge off himself and he initially hesitated before advancing and picking out Smith in the middle who had the simple task of rolling the ball home from close range.Stewart Kean was then denied two minutes later by a great block from Stuart Malcolm as he shot towards goal after chesting the ball down.
Arbroath though equalised in the 10th minute of the game when Brian Kerr played the ball behind the Warriors defence for Steven Doris to latch onto and the in form striker made no mistake firing the ball past Callum Reidford to level the scores.
The Warriors throughout the first half had the bulk of the possession without having the cutting edge or a telling final ball and they were almost made to pay in the 26th minute when Doris was fouled by Kevin McKinlay just outside the box. Paul Sheerin stepped up and hit a free kick that struck the inside of the post before going back across the box and scrambled clear. It was hard lines for the player/manager as Reidford was rooted to the spot when the initial strike took place.
Three minutes later Scot Buist came close for Stenhousemuir when a well timed run into the danger area almost brought reward as he just failed to get a header from a Brown Ferguson cross on target.
The restart for the second half saw Stenhousemuir almost catch out Arbroath again but this time Scott Morrison was able to gather the ball just as Darren Smith was about to pounce. Arbroath’s Mark Baxter though had to receive treatment when the players collided in the incident.
The home side took the lead in the 50th minute of the game. A Paul Sheerin free kick was headed back across goal to Stuart Malcolm who powered a header home. For a while after this Arbroath took the initiative and Stenhousemuir struggled to get back into contention. With both Iain Thomson and Brown Ferguson being subbed, possibly due to the fact that they had been struggling with injuries in recent weeks, the composition of the midfield changed and as Eric Paton looked to be tiring as well the game looked to be Arbroath’s for the taking. Steven Doris almost scored his second but Callum Reidford saved from point blank range and that proved to be vital as the game progressed.
Stenhousemuir slowly recovered from the setback but as in the first half they lacked the cutting edge creating few clear cut chances to trouble Arbroath. With the game drawing to a close they did almost equalise when Smith timed his run to perfection to take him away from the home defence but his headed went just the wrong side of the post.
That could have been that but to Stenhousemuir’s credit they kept going and in the 92nd minute of the game got the equaliser. Once again Bryan Hodge was the provider as he played his way into the box and behind the defence before picking out Stewart Kean in the middle. The striker took full advantage to bundle the ball home and thus secure a well deserved point for a Warriors team that had the bulk of the play without really imposing themselves on proceedings.
Arbroath – Morrison, Baxter, Hamilton, Kerr, Malcolm, Keddie, Birse [Gribben 62], Robertson, Doris [Rennie 70], Holmes and Sheerin [Currie 74]. Subs not used – Sibanda and Bullock
Stenhousemuir – Reidford, Ross, McKinlay, Buist, McMillan, Paton, Ferguson [Dickson 62], Thomson [McKay 72], Kean, Hodge and Smith. Subs not used – O’Grady, Love and Fairley
Referee – John McKendrick Assistants – Ross Haswell and Anthony Cooper
|December 8, 2012||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2012/2013||90'|
|Gayfield Park, Arbroath|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|