Arbroath 3-1 University of Stirling
C.Hamilton (21) C.Geddes (17)
B.Linn (24) K.Faulds (41 Sent off)
Arbroath beat brave University of Stirling
Match Report by Theo Kyriacou
Arbroath booked their place into the Scottish Cup Round Three thanks to a 3-1 victory over a brave University of Stirling side. University of Stirling made Arbroath work for the victory but the team from the Lowland League were in the end outclassed by Arbroath. Arbroath put in a decent display and can now focus on the league and a trip to Berwick Rangers next Saturday.
Arbroath named the same side that beat Forfar 2-0 last time around. Gomes was in goal. In defence, Gold was at right-back and Phillips was at left-back, in central defence Hamilton partnered Little. Linn and Kader were on the left and right sides of midfield respectively and McCord was alongside captain Whatley in central midfield. Up front, Doris partnered Scott.
Arbroath named seven substitutes: Josh Skelly, Bryan Prunty, Liam Callaghan, Michael Dunlop, Gavin Malin, Josh Thomson and Robert Douglas.
Arbroath started the game off as the livelier of the two sides and in the first few minutes of the game they created the games first chance. Scott received the ball from Kader, made himself space but fired a shot wide of the target.
However, University of Stirling’s number nine Chris Geddes was getting into a lot of promising positions. After a defensive mix-up between Hamilton and Phillips, the ball fell to Geddes who tried to chip the ball over Gomes but his chip was too soft and it was easily saved by Gomes. This was a warning sign that Arbroath failed to take notice of and it was no real surprise that they went a goal down to the University of Stirling. Geddes scored it and what a goal it was. Geddes received the ball on the edge of the area, out-muscled Hamilton and curled a beautiful shot into the top right corner of the goal.
The goal though was the wakeup call Arbroath needed and they responded almost immediately. After Doris had come agonizingly close with an overhead kick, a few moments later Arbroath won a corner on the right hand side. McCord played a short corner to Linn, who played it back to McCord. McCord crossed the ball into the middle of the penalty area and the on-rushing Hamilton, who was left completely unmarked, powered the ball into the back of the net with a header to make the score 1-1.
Arbroath then three minutes later scored once again. Gold played a beautiful defence-splitting pass to McCord who passed it to Linn. Linn’s shot was deflected into the back of the net to complete the comeback and to put Arbroath into a 2-1 lead.
Arbroath had dominated the game in the first half and almost scored a third in the 38th minute. Linn did brilliantly to beat two defenders and to win a freekick in a central area close to goal. McCord took the freekick and his brilliant effort was thwarted by an equally brilliant save by Marshall. The ball looked destined to nestle into the top right corner of the net but Marshall had other ideas, producing a tremendous one-handed save.
Things then went from bad to worse for the University of Stirling as they were reduced to ten men after a moment of madness by captain Faulds. Faulds went into Phillips with a two-footed lunge and was correctly sent off. But to make matters worse for the Lowland League side, they conceded once again on the stroke of half time. Kader took a quick throw-in to Gold who crossed the ball towards Scott who chested it down into the path of the on-rushing Doris who volleyed it into the back of the net from close range to give Arbroath a 3-1 lead going into half time.
Half Time – Arbroath 3-1 University of Stirling
It was perhaps no surprise that after Arbroath had added a third and that the University of Stirling were down to ten men, that the second half was a dull affair with limited chances for both sides.
Scott missed the biggest chance of the half when he headed wide from close range after a good bit of play and a cross by Kader. Linn then had a speculative shot saved by Marshall.
In fairness to the University of Stirling, they kept on pushing for a goal but they lacked that little bit of quality in the final third.
Callaghan and Skelly came on for Kader and Doris for Arbroath. Hunter came on for the lively McAfferty for the University of Stirling.
After a good bit of play by the University of Stirling, Gomes made an easy save from Gillen’s low drive.
Skelly really should’ve finished the game with an assist or two but on both occasions, McCord first and Scott second managed to head the ball right at Marshall after two great crosses from Skelly.
Malin replaced McCord for Arbroath.
Full Time- Arbroath 3-1 University of Stirling
Even though the University of Stirling put in a brave effort, the outcome of this tie was never in doubt. Arbroath, thanks to goals from Hamilton, Linn and Doris ran out comfortable 3-1 winners. Dick Campbell will be pleased with how his side bounced back from conceding first but will know that tougher opposition lie ahead in the form of Berwick Rangers next Saturday.