The Lichties got back to winning ways at Hampden Park this afternoon with a solid 2-0 win over Queen’s Park.
The national stadium has been a tough hunting crowd for the Lichties in recent seasons but today’s performance warranted all 3 points.
Arbroath manager Dick Campbell made several changes today with goalkeeper Robert Douglas making his Arbroath debut at an amazing 45 years, 6 months and 18 days. (Does any Lichtie fan / Historian know who our oldest ever player was / is? )
Scott Martin also made his full Arbroath debut and Omar Kader came into the team with Ryan McCord and David Gold both dropping to the bench after both players sat out a training session during the week due to niggling injuries.
This mean the Lichties started with 3 at the back – Little, O’Brien and Hamilton then a midfield of Martin, Yule, Swankie, Whatley, Kader with Yule and Whatley dropping deep when required and Swankie supporting Denholm and Linn up front.
Queen’s Park also had a keeper making his debut with Michael White stepping in and he made an instant impact as he made an impressive double save in the 9th minute. He first saved a Bobby Linn shot but with the ball coming back into play Mark Whatley latched on to it and unleashed a powerful drive from 14 yards out but somehow White managed to fore the ball out for a corner kick.
Scott Martin was enjoying lots of space down the right win and it was his ball forward that created the first goal. A Queen’s park defender intercepted but Danny Denholm was quick to latch on and he played a pass to Gavin Swankie in the box and Swankie hit a sweet hit past White to give Arbroath the lead in the 19th minute (pictured)
Neither side created a plethora of chances but Colin Hamilton did well to clear a cross off the line with Douglas also doing well when called up on.
The Lichties doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half via Hamilton. A Linn corner was met by O’Brien whose volley was saved by White but Hamilton showed great instinct to get on to the rebound and made no mistake from 4 yards out to double Arbroath’s lead in the 55th minute.
Neither side really created any clear cut chances in the remainder of the game with lots of surging runs forward from both sides with Jamie Henry and David Gold replacing Bobby Linn and Omar Kader in the 67th minute then Bryan Prunty replacing Blair Yule in the 74th minute after he had picked up a yellow card 2 minutes earlier.
The Lichties moved up to 4th place with 20 points, only 1 point behind 3rd placed Alloa Athletic and 6 points behind Ayr United and Raith Rovers.
With 2 home games in the league in a row at Gayfield we are looking to build on this win and keep in contention for the play-off’s
But first we welcome Berwick Rangers next Saturday in the Scottish Cup 3rd round in a huge game for the club.
C’mon the Lichties
21 – Rab Douglas
2 – Ricky Little
3 – Colin Hamilton
4 – Thomas O’Brien
5 – Blair Yule (Prunty 74)
6 – Mark Whatley (c)
7 – Omar Kader (Henry 67)
8 – Scott Martin
9 – Danny Denholm
10 – Bobby Linn (Gold 67)
11 – Gavin Swankie
12 – Bryan Prunty – 5; 74th
14 – Kane Hester
15 – Ryan McCord
16 – Jamie Henry – 7: 67th
17 – David Gold – 10: 67th
1 – David Hutton (GK)
Goal – Swankie 19, Hamilton 55
Yellow Card – Yule 72
Attendance – 764
Referee – Craig Charleston
Assistant Referee 1 – Graham Chambers
Assistant Referee 2 – Barry Reid