Arbroath 0 – 2 Dundee – Friendly
Tuesday 10th January 2017, Gayfield Park, 7.45pm kick off
A stubborn Arbroath performance finally succumb to a strong Dundee side tonight at a bitterly cold Gayfield. Second half goals by Marcus Haber and Craig Wighton secured the win for the Scottish Premiership side.
With the Scottish Premiership currently on a winter break, Paul Hartley had given his side a week off before returning to action with tonight’s friendly at Gayfield. Dundee named a strong starting line up with another 10 well know names on their bench.
Arbroath manager used the game to give some of his squad much needed game time with Josh Thomson, Gavin Malin, Bryan Prunty and Liam Callaghan all making the starting line up with Eddie Ferns making his home debut. It was a traditional 4-4-2 for the Lichties but one surprise was Arbroath Captain Mark Whatley starting alongside Colin Hamilton in Central defence.
Thomson (RB) Whatley (CB) Hamilton (CB) Sukar (RB)
Skelly (RM) McCord (CM) Malin (CM) Callaghan (RM)
Prunty (ST) Ferns (ST)
Arbroath kicked off attacking the Harbour end and made a bright start with on loan striker Josh Skelly winning an early corner kick but the Lichties failed to captialise as the ball flew through the box and out for a goal kick.
Dutchman Yordi Teijsse was a physical presence up front for Dundee and he was allowed to shoot across goal in the 7th minute but it went wide of Ricky Gomes’s far post.
Lichties skipper Mark Whatley was playing well in his new position but full time Dundee were quick on the attack and Danny Williams but pressure on Gomes with a shot on the turn but the Arbroath keeper did well to recover after struggling with the initial shot.
Arbroath were doing well to defend in numbers and frustrating the visitors who were reduced to passing the ball from left to right to find an opening, but the Arbroath midfield were doing well to harass the Dens Park side when they had possession and often won back the ball on the edge of their own box.
Bryan Prunty had a half chance as he nearly latched on a wicked cross from Liam Callaghan but the ball just evaded him and flew past for a goal kick. In a similar move but from the opposite wing Prunty almost connected with a curling ball to the back post from Josh Skelly.
Former Inverness Caledonian Thistle winger Danny Williams showed great skill to control and smash a volley from a high ball at the Arbroath goal but Ryan McCord was there to block the fierce shot.
Ryan McCord had an effort at the other end after breaking free in midfield before hitting a 20 yard shot at the Dundee goal.
Arbroath defender Josh Thompson had an excellent opening 30 minutes but he was unfortunately sandwiched between Ricky Gomes and two Dundee players as the Arbroath keeper showed great hands to pull a dangerous cross out of the air under pressure.
As the players all clattered into one another Thompson took a blow to the head and was substituted for David Gold. However after the match he said he was fine and just had “a bit of a sore head.”
The Lichties continued to defend well, frustrating Dundee but on the counter attack failed to trouble the Dee defence as their last ball was either too long, or they were caught offside but went into half time all square.
Half Time – Arbroath 0 – 0 Dundee
Arbroath introduced RIcky Little at half time for Ryan McCord with Little stepping into partner Colin Hamilton with Mark Whatley moving up alongside Gavin Malin in central midfield.
Dundee showed off the size and depth of their squad as they made 9 changes to their team with only Cammy Kerr and Danny Williams keeping their place in the second half line up.
The second half Dundee side seem to have a more direct style and soon scored the opening goal after a nice move by Faissal El Bakhtaoui who beat the Arbroath defence and crossed towards the back post where towering Canadian striker Marcus Haber headed past fellow Canadian Ricky Gomes in the 53rd minute.
Craig Wighton showed great skill as he danced into the Arbroath box and had an initial shot blocked before he tried to hit the rebound but was eventually crowded out as Arbroath closed him down in numbers.
Dundee made their final change when Jesse Curan replaced winger Danny Williams in the 59th minute before Omar Kader replaced Eddie Ferns. This meant Skelly moved up front alongside Bryan Prunty with Omar Kader taking up his normal position on the right wing.
Arbroath continued to defend well with David Gold again showing his skills and Gavin Malin catching the eye in midfield following on from his fantastic second half performance against Edinburgh City.
Bobby Linn replaced Mark Whatley in the 63rd minute as Callaghan moved into central midfield with Bobby taking up his position in the left wing.
Craig Wighton showed off another piece of skill as he struck a 20 yard shot from the outside of his boot which beat Gomes before smashing off his far post. Colin Hamilton was able to clear the ball just as El Bakhtaoui came running in looking to net the rebound.
Arbroath definitely created more half chances in the 2nd half but couldn’t really trouble David Mitchell in goal. Arbroath made their final changes when Martin Scott and Kane Hester came on for Josh Skelly and Bryan Prunty.
As the game opened up a little Jassem Sukar enjoyed a run from his own half into the Dundee box but his his pass through to Hester was halted as the offside flag was raised, at the other end a rocket from El Bakhtaoui was handled well by Gomes.
Sukar again showed his pace and won the Lichties a free kick on the wing deep in the Dundee half but the Lichties couldn’t take advantage as former East Fife player Julen Etxabeguren headed clear.
Kane Hester and Martin Scott were doing their best to frustrate the Dundee defence as they harassed and chased the ball but Dundee finally scored a second goal on a quick counter attack as Haber ran down the wing in front of the main stand before crossing into the box where Wighton was left unmarked and tapped in at the far post, although Gomes was unfortunate not to make the save.
In the closing minutes Jesse Curan found space and took the opportunity to shoot from 20 yards forcing Gomes to dive down and push the ball round his post at the cost of a corner.
FT – Arbroath 0 – 2 Dundee
Despite the defeat, Arbroath manager Dick Campbell won’t be disappointed with his team’s performance. He was able to use the game to give valuable game time to all of his squad which will be a boost to their fitness as well as Eddie Ferns playing more match time as he gets to know his new team mates. All in all a good game on a cold night with a fantastic support turning out to support both sides.
C’mon the Lichties
1 – Ricky Gomes
2 – Josh Thomson (Gold 34)
3 – Jassem Sukar
4 – Mark Whatley (c) (Linn 63)
5 – Colin Hamilton
6 – Ryan McCord (Little 46)
7 – Josh Skelly (Hester 75)
8 – Gavin Malin
9 – Bryan Prunty (Scott 75)
10 – Eddie Ferns (Kader 59)
11 – Liam Callaghan
12 – Omar Kader – 10; 59th
14 – Martin Scott – 9; 75th
15 – David Gold – 2; 34th
16 – Kane Hester – 7; 75th
17 – Bobby Linn – 4; 63rd
18 – RIcky Little – 6; 46th
21 – Ryan Stewart (GK)
1 – Scott Bain (Mitchell 46)
3 – Kevin Holt (Low 46)
4 – James Vincent (Vincent 46)
6 – Darren O’Dea (c) (Gadhalov 46)
10 – Michael Duffy (Wighton 46)
11 – Danny Williams (Curran 59)
17 – Nick Ross (O’Hara 46)
18 – Paul McGowan (El Baktaoui 46)
19 – Yordi Teijsse (Haber 46)
30 – Cammy Kerr
55 – Kevin Gomes (Etxabeguren 46)
7 – Tom Hateley – 4; 46th
8 – Nicky Low – 3; 46th
14 – Mark O’Hara – 17; 46th
16 – Julen Etxabeguren – 55; 46th
17 – Faissal El Bakhtaoui – 18; 46th
21 – Marcus Haber – 19; 46th
26 – Kostadin Gadhalov – 6; 46th
27 – Jesse Curran – 11; 56th
33 – Craig Wighton – 10; 46th
12 – David Mitchell (GK) – 1; 46th
Goals – Haber 53, Wighton 84
Attendance – 749
Referee – Mike Roncone
Assistant Referee 1 – Gavin Harris
Assistant Referee 2 – Greig Soutar