Arbroath 2-0 Forfar
D.Cox (51 OG) J.Bain (40 Sent off)
Match Report by Theo Kyriacou
Rampant Arbroath put abysmal Forfar to the sword!
A terrific display by Arbroath enabled them to beat top of the table, and local rivals, Forfar by two goals to-nil thanks to an own goal by Cox and a header by Scott. Arbroath could even afford to miss two penalties as well; such was the dominance that they had on the game. The result moves Arbroath up to 4th in the table and helps close the gap to seven points with league leaders Forfar.
Arbroath made four changes to the side that drew three-all away at Edinburgh City last Saturday. Gomes replaced Mutch in goal after Mutch was carried off in a stretcher last week. Gold, who came in for the suspended Sukar, was at right back in a reshuffled Arbroath defence and Phillips was at left back. Hamilton partnered Little in central defence. McCord played alongside Whatley in central midfield and Linn and Kader were on the left and right wings respectively. Up front, Martin Scott partnered Doris, who came in for Prunty.
Arbroath named seven substitutes: Josh Skelly, Bryan Prunty, Liam Callaghan, Michael Dunlop, Gavin Malin, Josh Thomson and Robbie Mutch.
The first few openings of the match were very scrappy but the first shot of the match fell to the visitors. Swankie did well out-wide and managed to beat his man and clip a ball into the box. His cross was cleared by Little but out to only as far as O’Brien, who from about 25-yards out fired a volley over the bar.
Arbroath then sprung to life. Gomes picked out Scott with his goal-kick, and Scott managed to flick the ball on towards Linn who was on the left flank. Linn managed to beat his man and fire a cross into the box but the ball bounced off the on-rushing Scott and was easily gathered by Adam. Scott then took a quick throw-in to McCord who found Kader out-wide with a great pass. Kader then drove into the box, but from a tight angle, fired a shot high and wide of the goal.
However, the first real save of the match came in the 16th minute. Peters did well to hold the ball up down the far side and he fed the ball to Kennedy whose cross-shot was tipped over the bar by Gomes. It was a brilliant save by Gomes as the ball looked destined to go into the back of the net.
After an even opening 20 minutes, Arbroath then began to dominate the match. Linn found Doris with an inch-perfect pass and Arbroath’s number nine turned and laid the ball off to Scott whose low drive was saved by Adam and cleared. Arbroath then in the 25th minute, after a moment of brilliance from Kader, were awarded a penalty. Kader cut inside, nutmegged his man and was hauled to the ground by Kennedy. Linn was the man to take the kick, but he tried to be too clever and saw his paneka attempt hit the bar and he fired his rebound over the bar. It was a poor choice of penalty by Linn as with the influence of the wind, if he had of kept it low and hard he surely would’ve scored.
Forfar then made a substitution as O’Brien came off due to injury and was replaced by Denholm.
But in the last chance of note in the first half, Arbroath were awarded another chance to open the scoring when they were awarded another penalty. Scott played Doris through on goal and as he neared on the goal, he was adjudged to have been fouled by Bain. To make matters worse for Forfar, after a moment’s hesitation, referee Craig Napier, sent Bain off for being that last man. The decision looked very harsh on Bain. The penalty duty fell upon McCord. However, once again Arbroath were denied, this time through a very good save by Adam. Adam got down well to his left to save McCord’s penalty and to leave Arbroath wondering how they hadn’t scored.
Half – Time – Arbroath 0 – 0 Forfar
The second half was a half which Arbroath controlled through start to finish and they deservedly took the lead in the 51st minute. After a succession of corners, the ball came to Whatley on the edge of the box. Whatley hooked it back into the penalty box where Doris managed to flick the ball on and the ball cannoned off Forfar’s Cox and went into the back of the net to make it one-nil Arbroath.
However, even though Arbroath dominated the second half, Forfar did have a few good chances of their own. Denholm, who was Forfar’s most lively player by far, beat Phillips in and out and then had his shot tipped round the post for a corner. The corner was met by Munro who saw his downwards header cleared off the line.
Forfar then made a substitution as Scott came on for Peters. Arbroath brought Malin and Skelly on for McCord and Doris.
Skelly then almost scored with his first touch. The ball fell to him after a penalty box scramble, but his shot from close range was easily saved by Adam. Malin then played a terrific ball to Linn, who cut inside and had a shot deflected over the bar for a corner. Unfortunately though, the corner came to nothing.
However, on the counter attack, Forfar then had their best chance of the match. A low cross came all the way to Scott at the back post who hit the post with a low volley. It was extremely unfortunate for Scott and Forfar as Gomes was beaten there.
Forfar were left to pay for their missed opportunities when Martin Scott headed a Skelly free kick home. It was a terrific glancing header by Scott, who left Adams with no chance. Scott’s goal made it 2-0 Arbroath.
Arbroath had further chances to make it three-nil but Adams made good saves from Skelly both times.
Linn was replaced by Prunty for Arbroath. Smith replaced Milne for Forfar.
Full-Time – Arbroath 2-0 Forfar
Arbroath deservedly beat Forfar today. The whole team put in a fantastic performance and one that manager Dick Campbell can be extremely pleased with. Martin Scott and Ricky Little in particular were outstanding. Arbroath go into next week’s cup tie with Stirling University sitting in a play-off position.
Man of the Match: Martin Scott. It was a close one between Scott and Little, but the former Hibernian man just edged it. Scott was a constant threat to the Forfar defence and his passing and hold-up play was brilliant today. Scott also took his goal very well to take his league tally for the season up to four.
- Ricky Gomes – 7
- David Gold – 7
- Gary Phillips – 7
- Ricky Little – 8
- Colin Hamilton – 7
- Mark Whatley – (C) – 7
- Omar Kader – 7
- Ryan McCord – 7 (Malin 65)
- Steven Doris – 7 ( Skelly 65)
- Martin Scott – 8
- Bobby Linn – 6 (Prunty 84)
- Josh Skelly – 7
- Bryan Prunty – 6
- Liam Callaghan
- Michael Dunlop
- Gavin Malin – 7
- Josh Thomson
- Robbie Mutch
- Grant Adam – 7
- Jamie Bain – 6 ( Sent off 40)
- Michael Kennedy – 6
- Andy Munro – 7
- Stuart Malcolm – (C) – 6
- Thomas O’Brien – 6 (Denholm 34)
- David Cox – 6
- Lewis Milne – 5 (Smith 85)
- Jim Lister – 5
- Gavin Swankie – 6
- Josh Peters – 6 (Scott 61)
- Danny Denholm – 7
- Martyn Fotheringham
- Marc Scott – 6
- Allan Smith – 6
- Murray Mackintosh
- Matthew Aitken
- Joe McGovern