Stenhousemuir v Arbroath at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 5.4.14
SPFL Division One Att 512
Stenhousemuir 2 [Greenhalgh 38, Higgins 85] Arbroath 2 [McManus 29, Linn 70]
Both teams went into this game needing a win to keep their season realistically alive. The Warriors to try and get into the promotion play-offs whilst for Arbroath it was to give them a slim chance of avoiding relegation.
That could have explained the frenetic start to the game with both teams having chances to score in the first minute of the game. Indeed the Red Lichties could have scored in the 7th second when Paul McManus headed an Alan Cook cross wide of the target when he was unmarked in the box. The Warriors went up the other end of the park and a cross come shot by Josh Watt was tipped over the bar by Scott Morrison in 50 seconds and then Stewart Greacen headed the resultant corner over the bar.
Both teams pushed for the opening goal but usually lacked the wherewithal to make the breakthrough. The game was a stop start affair though with several players having to be treated for knocks. The Warriors were forced into a double substitution after only 22 minutes with Kevin McKinlay and Sean Lynch unable to continue. This meant that the defence that was already missing Ross McMillan and Eddie Malone having to be shuffled even more. Alan Lawson who had started in place of McMillan moved to the left back berth with David Rowson coming into central defence. In midfield Sean Dickson was a straight replacement for Lynch.
They were still getting to grips with the chances when Arbroath scored in controversial fashion. Chris Smith had brought off a great save from McManus but the ball fell to Ross Chisholm who played the ball back to McManus, the assistant referee flagged as soon as the pass was made and although McManus shot into the net whilst Stenhousemuir stopped. The referee overruled his assistant though and awarded a goal much to the ire and astonishment of everyone connected with Stenhousemuir.
The Warriors struggled to come to terms with the decision for a while but eventually got going again but it was still a surprise when they equalised in the 38th minute when Ben Greenhalgh showed good feet to create an opening before tucking the ball past Morrison from 20 yards.
The best play in the remainder of the half came in the 42nd minute when Greenhalgh played the ball out to Lawson and his cross was met by Dickson who steered a shot towards goal that was saved by Morrison.
The second half was slower to get going but came to life in the 58th minute when Bryan Hodge struck the post with a shot from 30 yards. Arbroath responded positively and Paul Sheerin clipped the crossbar a minute later with a clever chip shot.
There then followed a Dickson effort that was tipped over and a good chance for Darren Smith after a loose ball fell into his path but he failed to hit the target with only the keeper to beat. The Warriors decided to go for broke and went three at the back and in the 68th minute were exposed at the back and Bobby Linn missed a sitter from only 7 yards out. The Arbroath player didn’t have too much time to dwell on that miss though as he put the visitors ahead in the 70th minute when Hodge was caught out by the pace of Cook and the stretched defence could not get back to cover.
Stenhousemuir had been trying out short corner routines for most of the game without even a hint of danger but they at last got it right in the 85th minute when Josh Watt crossed for Sean Higgins to head home.
Arbroath looked the more likely to get the winner though in the latter stages of the game with David Banjo relishing his attacking role and causing havoc in the Stenhousemuir defence. In the 89th minute the visitors were denied a penalty when Greacen handled in the box but no award was forthcoming though at the time it looked a clear cut penalty.
The home side were denied a penalty themselves in the 91st minute when Ross McNeil and Scott Morrison both went for a ball on the edge of the box and collided. The referee deemed that McNeil had dived and booked him, there was contact though and whilst maybe not a penalty it was a harsh decision.
A minute later McNeil managed to get a shot on target that the keeper managed to gather at the second attempt. There was to be no further chances before the end and the game ended in a draw which was probably not enough for either side.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith. Devlin [b51] [McNeil 68][b90], Greacen [b82], Lawson, McKinlay [Rowson 22], Hodge, D.Smith, Lynch [Dickson 22], Greenhalgh, Higgins and Watt. Subs not used – Duncan, Faulds, Shaw and Douglas.
Arbroath – Morrison, Travis, Lindsay [Keddie 86], Nicoll [B51][Deuchar 65], McGeever [b76], Hamilton, Linn, Chisholm, McManus, Cook [Banjo 81] and Sheerin. Subs not used – Robertson, Yao, Scott and Butter.
Referee John Beaton Assistants – Alan Mulvanny and David Doig
|April 5, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|