Arbroath remain top of Ladbrokes League One with a 4 point lead and undefeated after today’s game at Stark’s Park.
We are left feeling deflated after another tremendous display by the Lichties in which they put the Raith defence under intense pressure, especially for the second half.
Arbroath should have had been awarded a penalty kick when former Raith Rovers defender Jason Thomson was taken out by Callum Crane as he skipped into the Rovers box, but unbelievably Craig Napier instead booked Thomson for simulation.
In the 20th minute Ryan Wallace latched onto a long ball and was only denied by an outstanding save by Robbie Thomson as the Lichties proved to be a threat going forward against the full time defence.
Every player was working for one another and put in another tireless shift but despite good Raith pressure keeper Darren Jamieson only really had to clear a cross which he punched away.
Bobby Linn again was looking a real threat and came close twice but the first half came to an end goalless.
Arbroath started to real put pressure on the Raith goal in the second half with Gavin Swankie denied by another terrific save by Robbie Thomson.
A Bobby Linn cross also hit the Raith bar as Arbroath were asking all the questions whilst Raith Rovers were struggling to make an impact in the final third.
A fantastic sliding tackle by Ricky Little saved a certain goal as the Arbroath team were putting everything on the line.
Substitute Callum Smith found Bobby Linn in space in the 79th minute and Bobby took on his defender before hitting a low shot which beat Thomson at his far post. It was a well deserved goal for the Lichties against their full time opposition.
Arbroath continued to press but Manager Dick Campbell was sent to the stand after a throw in by Raith was taken 30 yards further up the field.
As the game raced on Raith did pull a goal back through Nesbit with only 3 minutes to go but again the farside linesman’s decision was contested as the Arbroath players argued that the ball had went over the line before being cut back.
The Lichties pressed and substitute Callum Smith was a real threat as his pace caused the Raith defence problems. In the dying seconds both Ryan McCord and Colin Hamilton came inches away from a second goal.
It was a terrific performance that deserved 3 points but with a 4 point lead at the top of the table it has been a fantastic opening quarter of the season.
Special thanks to the huge Arbroath support who cheered on the team and out sung the huge home support for most of the match.
1 – Darren Jamieson
2 – Jason Thomson
3 – Colin Hamilton
4 – Ricky Little
5 – Thomas O’Brien
6 – Mark Whatley (c)
7 – Danny Denholm (Kader 75)
8 – Michael McKenna (Smith 75)
9 – Ryan Wallace (McCord 84)
10 – Gavin Swankie
11 – Bobby Linn
12 – Callum Smith – 8; 75th
14 – David Gold
15 – Ryan McCord – 9; 84th
16 – Steven Doris
17 – Finn Graham
18 – Omar Kader – 7; 75th
21 – Darren Hill (GK)
Goal – Linn 79
Yellow Cards – Thomson 12, Hamilton 79
Full Time Stats
Possession – Raith Rovers 56% – 44% Arbroath
Total Shots – Raith Rovers 5 – 8 Arbroath
On Target – Raith Rovers 2 – 2 Arbroath
Off Target – Raith Rovers 2 – 6 Arbroath
Blocked – Raith Rovers 1 – 0 Arbroath
Corners – Raith Rovers 4 – 8 Arbroath
Fouls Committed – Raith Rovers 8 – 7 Arbroath
Referee – Craig Napier
Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Stevenson
Assistant Referee 2 – Euan Birch
C’mon the Lichties!