5 - 3
5 - 3
Scottish League (League Two)
Josh Skelly (31)
Bobby Linn (58)
Bobby Linn (pen.) (67)
Bobby Linn (72)
Omar Kader (78)
Jaseem Sukar (o.g.) (34)
Blair Henderson (54)
Eddie Ferns (70)
Jason Brown for Gary Phillips (63)
Bryan Prunty for Steven Doris (76)
Kane Hester for Josh Skelly (76)
Moses Olanrewaju for Issac Layne (68)
Callum Morrison for Eddie Ferns (82)
Josh Skelly (74)
|Ross McMillan (66)
Graham Beaton (Referee)
Arbroath returned to action on the back of securing a great away win at Elgin. However any momentum built up would cruelly placed on hold due the pending international break.
Stirling Albion suffered an opening day defeat away to Annan but had started to gather pace with a draw against Clyde then securing a victory over Montrose with the Binos bolstering their squad with the fire power of Issac Layne who arrived on Friday on loan from Alloa Athletic.
Arbroath manager Dick Campbell made 2 small changes to his starting line up with Kane Hester and Liam Callaghan dropping to the bench and Omar Kader and Steven Doris returning.
This meant the Lichties with the with same back four that started against Elgin with Little, Hamilton, Sukar and Phillips starting in front of keeper Mutch. Kader started on the right wing with Linn on the left and Gold and Whatley in the middle with Skelly and Doris up front.
Jason Brown who joined on Friday from Inverness Caledonian Thistle was named a substitute alongside Callaghan, McCord, Hester, Prunty, Malin and Gomes.
Martin Scott, who has been suffering from a tight hamstring wasn’t risked and sat out with Thomson and Dunlop.
Gayfield was baked in sunshine on a sweltering afternoon as Arbroath kicked off shooting towards the Harbour end for the first half.
Stirling Albion made the better start and had Arbroath pinned in their own half in the opening minutes and won a corner in the 2nd minute but the Lichties soon found their feet and could have been ahead in the 8th minute.
Former Bino Doris chased after a long ball down the wing and as he ran into the box unselfishly crossed to the back post where the ball fell to Linn but he couldn’t find the net.
Steven Doris then made a chance for himself in the 9th minute when he beat Stirling keeper Smith to the ball with a delicate dink past the outrushing keeper before winning the race to the ball but despite getting in the shot couldn’t find the net from a very tight angle.
Arbroath survived a scare just 60 seconds later when a curling cross from Ferns found the back of the net, but the stand side linesman had raised his flag for offside after Henderson had the grabbed the final touch from an offside position.
The game was going from end to end and Layne should have scored after showing great skill to ditch Sukar and Whatley but dragged his shot to the right of Mutch’s goal in the 14th minute.
David Gold continued his rich form and attacked a cross from the right wing but Smith made a fine save from Gold’s flicked header. Again play raced from end to end and Henderson tried an overhead kick before Mutch made a fine double save at his near post from Layne as he fired in from the rebound.
The Binos were putting the pressure on the Arbroath goal and Mutch again had to be ready as Hodge shot from distance as the young keeper flew himself into the air but Hodge’s shot was just over.
It was time for Arbroath to enjoy a swing in possession and Linn won a corner as he ran in towards goal from a tight angle with keeper Smith forced to parry the ball out in the 30th minute.
Arbroath got their opening goal just a minute later when Ferns conceded possession and Skelly was the quickest to the ball beating Verlaque and Ross Smith to the ball to loft the ball over goal keeper Chris Smith to give the Lichties the lead in the 31st minute.
The action continued and only 3 minutes later the Binos were level, Darren Smith took a shot from outside of the Arbroath box but the ball took a wicked deflection leaving Mutch helpless with Sukar being given the unfortunate agony of being noted as scoring an own goal by the match officials.
Robbie Mutch pulled off another great instinct save with a Layne shot flashed across goal with Mutch punching away the shot as Stirling Albion looked to strike again.
Josh Skelly came within inches of adding to his strike when he raced on to a long ball and won the race as keeper Smith again came running out, but this time was left stranded as Skelly shot from a tight angle only to watch in agony as his shot was on the wrong side of the post.
Half Time - Arbroath 1 – 1 Stirling Albion
There were no changes for the second half as the second half started at a slower pace but it didn’t take long for the end to end action to restart.
Bobby Linn picked up the ball and on another trademark run aimed straight for the Stirling Albion goal before twisting and turn shaking off the challenges of Verlaque and Dickson but Smith saved his left foot shot in the 53rd minute.
As play continued Stirling Albion scored their 2nd goal almost directly after Linn’s shot as Henderson latched onto a long ball before firing past Mutch to give the Binos the lead in the 54th minute.
Although both sets of supporters didn’t have to wait long for another goal as Skelly rushed down the right wing sending a teasing ball into the box which found Bobby Linn as he slid in at the back post to score his first goal of the season in the 58th minute. The goal seemed to inspire Linn as just minutes later he had another shot saved.
Dick Campbell made a tactical change as he brought on Jason Brown for his debut, with the young Caley Thistle player linking up with Jassem Sukar in central defence with Colin Hamilton reverting back to left back as Phillips left the field.
Arbroath were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute when referee Graham Beaton thought Skelly had been upended by Ross McMillan but the tall Bino’s defender had made a well timed tackle and was furious with the decision and to rub salt into his woulds was also awarded a yellow card for protesting the decision.
Bobby Linn had recovered the ball and placed it on the spot and made no mistake as he chipped the ball over Smith to give Arbroath the lead again in the 67th minute.
Stirling Albion made their first change with Moses Olanrewaju replacing striker Issac Layne in the 68th minute. The drama continued just 2 minutes later when Eddie Ferns pulled Stirling Albion level from close range with everyone in the ground unsure how he wasn’t flagged for being offside.
With only 20 minutes remaining the supporters within the ground were certainly being entertained but both managers must have been concerned at the level of defending.
Stirling Albion almost scored a 4th when Henderson headed the ball off the post in the 70th minute from a left sided cross, but again their was more drama when Arbroath broke as Skelly showed great skill to control the ball before running in at goal, as his shot was saved, the ball was picked up by Kader who looked to shoot, but instead laid the ball to Linn who scored to grab his hat trick with all 3 goals coming in a 14 minute spell!
Arbroath made a double change in the 76th minute with Bryan Prunty and Kane Hester coming on for Steven Doris and Josh Skelly and Hester made an immediate impact as he picked up the ball on the left wing before running across the pitch towards goal before passing to Kader who smashed a stunning left foot strike from outside the box into the top corner.
As if the game wasn’t filled with enough drama, Arbroath manager Dick Campbell was sent to the stands after he was furious with the actions of one of of the visiting players, but the Lichties held on for the remaining 5 minutes to go into the international break unbeaten and sitting 2nd in the league.
Full Time - Arbroath 5 – 3 Stirling Albion
A fantastic win, which propels Arbroath into second place in the league and continues their unbeaten run. The game was packed with goals, but in truth either side could have had another 3 each if it wasn’t for accuracy in finishing. Bobby Linn was awarded Man of the Match, but just pipped Josh Skelly who played a huge part in the Lichties win.
Jason Brown made a solid debut from the bench, and was very vocal from the rear and adds a physical presence to the side. Arbroath have to wait until the 10th of September for their next fixture against Clyde, which is sure to be a classic.
C’mon the Lichties!
Possession – Arbroath 48% - 52% Stirling Albion
Total Shots – Arbroath 12 - 13 Stirling Albion
On Target – Arbroath 8 - 9 Stirling Albion
Corners – Arbroath 3 - 3 Stirling Albion
Fouls Committed – Arbroath 13 - 6 Stirling Albion
Match report written by Arbroath FC Official Website
|Robbie Mutch (GK)
|Jason Brown (sub)
|Kane Hester (sub)
|Bryan Prunty (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.