Arbroath 1 – 3 Aberdeen
Thursday 6th July 2017
Gayfield Park, Arbroath
Arbroath lost out to a full strength Aberdeen side in an entertaining friendly at a packed Gayfield this evening. With a large traveling away support and a healthy home support the attendance was 2081 which was absolutely fantastic for our first pre-season fixture of the new season.
It has been non stop behind the scenes at Gayfield this summer as Dick and Ian have been strengthening the team. With the season starting seemingly starting earlier every season we were without the services of Mark Whatley, Ryan McCord, Bryan Prunty, Gavin Malin, Omar Kader and manager Dick Campbell.
There were starts for new recruits – Thomas O’Brien, Danny Denholm, Blair Yule and Gavin Swankie and there were some familiar faces on the bench as trialists.
Former Lichtie and local goalkeeper Calum Brodie who is back in Scotland for two weeks before returning to William Carey University in America for his scholarship was joined alongside former Lichties Michael Wallace and Jamie Henry.
Michael was with the Lichties for a few months before moving to East Stirlingshire back in July 2014 – January 2015 and former Aberdeen U20 Captain Jamie Henry had a loan spell at Gayfield from February to May 2016. The final trialist was 20 year old Scott-Taylor Mackenzie who is a former St Johnstone youth player and recently has been with Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.
Aberdeen are in full preparation for their Europa League campaign and meant business with a full strength line up with the only noticeable absentee Captain Graeme Shinnie.
There was a 5 minute delay to let everyone into the ground and the Lichties in their new home kit attacked the Harbour End with the Dons in their Blue away kit attacking the pleasure land end.
Aberdeen showed their authority early on but the partnership of Little and O’Brien as a central pairing with Gold at right back and Hamilton at left back in front of Gomes in goal were proving difficult to break down.
The Lichties had Skelly in right midfield with Blair Yule and Denholm in the middle with Linn on the left and Swankie sitting in behind Doris up front.
Aberdeen were creating chances but just couldn’t find the final ball with a few crosses flashing across the Arbroath goal but nobody to convert.
Miles Storey was Aberdeen’s best player in the first half and he came up with two assists. His pace beat the Lichties offside trap and he played a simple pass across the box to Adam Rooney who opened the scoring in the 21st minute.
The Lichties were still in the game and Blair Yule in particular was showing lots of skill in the middle of the park with Skelly and Linn on the wings both getting forward.
There were small flashes of what the Arbroath fans could be in for this season with Doris and Swankie linking up and Denholm bursting forward. At the back O’Brien showed his quality and also wasn’t afraid to get the ball at his feet and run forward into the Aberdeen half.
Story was at it again and another cross from the left allowed Greg Stewart to score his first ever Aberdeen goal on the stroke of half time.
Half Time – Arbroath 0 – 2 Aberdeen
At half time Jamie Henry replaced Gavin Swankie and moved into the right back position with David Gold moving into midfield and Kane Hester replaced Bobby Linn partnering Steven Doris up front.
The introduction of Hester and Gold moving into the middle of the park sparked a good second half of football from the Lichties. Hester’s pace and determination to chase down the ball started to give Arbroath a few half chances and it was a lovely piece of skill with a bursting run towards the Aberdeen goal and then a pass to Doris which almost paid off.
Danny Denholm was also seeing a lot of the ball of the left wing and was looking to get forward at every chance. Man of the match Blair Yule made a big impression in his Arbroath debut and seemed to be involved in every move for the Lichties.
Kane Hester came close again when he tried his luck with a lob from outside of the box but it just landed on the roof of the net with Denholm also coming close with a powerful header.
Arbroath brought on Brodie for Gomes, Wallace for Skelly and Mackenzie for O’Brien with Aberdeen also making a series of changes and it was Jayden Stockley who scored Aberdeen’s 3rd goal but he seemed to foul Calum Brodie in the process but the goal was given.
The Lichties didn’t give up and Hester almost scored as he put pressure on Mark Reynolds before forcing a shot which Joe Lewis had to save from a corner.
From the resulting corner kick the ball was played out but Denholm chased the ball back and played the ball into the box where Hester slotted past Lewis from 12 yards. The Aberdeen players were protesting as one of their players was down in the box referee Mat Northcroft didn’t see any infringements and the goal stood!
Full Time – Arbroath 1 – 3 Aberdeen
A good entertaining match for our first official pre-season fixture. A bumper crowd and great opposition with several Arbroath players making their debut. Good performances from the players we know so well and know how skillful they are, but also the 4 new players showed what they can offer and bring to Arbroath FC.
Dundee are the visitors to Gayfield on Saturday with a 3pm kick off!
C’mon the Lichties!
1 – Ricky Gomes (Brodie 72)
2 – David Gold
3 – Colin Hamilton (c)
4 – Ricky Little
5 – Thomas O’Brien (Mackenzie 76)
6 – Danny Denholm
7 – Josh Skelly (Wallace 72)
8 – Blair Yule
9 – Steven Doris
10 – Gavin Swankie (Hester 46)
11 – Bobby Linn (Henry 46)
12 – Jamie Henry (T) – 11; 46th
14 – Michael Wallace (T) – 7; 72nd
16 – Kane Hester – 10; 46th
17 – Scott-Taylor Mackenzie (T) – 5; 76th
21 – Calum Brodie (T) – 1; 72nd
Goal – Hester 86
1 – Joe Lewis (c)
2 – Shay Logan
4 – Andy Considine
5 – Anthony O’Connor
6 – Mark Reynolds
7 – Kenny McLean (McLennan 79)
8 – Greg Stewart (Anderson 79)
9 – Adam Rooney (Stockley 62)
16 – Greg Tansey (Storie 84)
22 – Ryan Christie (Harvie 84)
39 – Miles Storey (Ross 62)
20 – Danny Rogers
19 – Scott McKenna
21 – Danny Harvie – 22; 84th
23 – Craig Storie – 16; 84th
25 – Frank Ross – 39; 62nd
17 – Jayden Stockley – 9; 62nd
24 – Connor McLennan – 7; 79th
15 – Bruce Anderson – 8; 79th
Goals – Rooney 21, Stewart 43, Stockley 78
Referee – Mat Northcroft
Assistant Referee 1 – Calum Spence
Assistant Referee 2 – Greg Soutar
Attendance – 2081