Arbroath 0-1 Forfar Athletic
J Peters (34)
Peters seals the deal in boring local derby!
Match report by Theo Kyriacou
Arbroath were deservedly beaten 1-0 at home by local rivals Forfar thanks to a first half goal from Josh Peters. Forfar completely dominated the game from start to finish and were tactically brilliant in managing the game. The result extends Forfar’s lead to eleven points at the top of the SPFL Ladbrokes league 2. Arbroath remain in second but have a lot of work to do if they want to catch their Angus counterparts.
Arbroath made one change to the side that won 2-1 away at Clyde last Saturday. Gomes started in goal. The back four was made up of Gold at right-back, Sukar at left-back and Little and Hamilton at centre-back. In midfield, Linn played on the left-wing and Skelly on the right and Whatley played along Hodge, who was making his home debut after an impressive performance against Clyde. Up front, Doris partnered Ferns, who replaced Scott.
Arbroath named seven substitutes: Omar Kader, Bryan Prunty, Matty Smyth, Gavin Malin, Donald McCallum, Josh Thomson and Cammy Gill.
Forfar were by far the better side in the first half. They started the game on the front foot and created the first real opportunity of the match. Cox did very well to hold the ball up and to play the ball out wide to Swankie. Swankie took a touch and hit a deep cross into the box towards Denholm at the back post. However, Denholm headed the ball well over the bar. However, he really should’ve done better with that chance.
Then, if it wasn’t for a brilliant piece of defending by Sukar, Forfar surely would’ve scored. Sukar managed to get in front of Cox and to head Peters cross out for a corner. It was a vital interception and one that, if he hadn’t of made, would’ve surely resulted in Forfar opening the scoring.
But Forfar, who had been virtually untroubled during the first half, had Travis to thank for another piece of brilliant defending. The ex-Arbroath player dived at Linn’s deep cross to get a vital touch on it to take it away for a corner. Much similar to Sukar’s defending, if Travis didn’t get a touch, Ferns had a free shot on goal from close range.
Football is a game which always seems to even itself out and, rather strangely, this happened in the space of a minute.
The referee decided to book Hodge instead of sending him off for a terrible two-footed lunge on James Bain. The Forfar players were quite rightly aggrieved with this decision as it looked like an obvious red card. However, from the resulting free kick Forfar deservedly took the lead. Bain sent a brilliant ball down the wing to Denholm, who crossed to the back post. The ball came to Swankie, who rolled the ball across the penalty area into the path of Peters who, from close range, slotted the ball home to give Forfar a 1-0 lead.
Peters was giving Gold huge problems during the first half and that is not something that many players have been able to do this season. Peters beat Gold inside and out and pulled the ball back on the edge of the box to Swankie, whose effort was tipped over the bar by Gomes.
Half Time – Arbroath 0-1 Forfar
Forfar started the half like they finished the first half: on the front foot. Gomes was forced to make a decent save from Malone’s speculative effort.
However, almost moments later, Arbroath carved out their best opening of the game. Ferns found himself played through on goal and rushed towards it. However, Adam made a great save to get down low and to block Ferns effort.
Forfar were taking full advantage of the wind being behind them in the second half, unlike Arbroath. Adam’s goal kick founds it way to Peters who was virtually through on goal. However, this time, Gold recovered extremely quickly in order to get back and to force Peters into shooting wide of the mark.
Arbroath then made a double substitution as Kader and McCallum came on in place of Ferns and Skelly.
The only Arbroath player who tried to create something throughout the game was Linn. Linn once again managed to beat Bain and advance towards the Forfar box and pull the ball back across the face of the goal. However, there were no Arbroath players there and the ball was cleared to safety.
Forfar then made a substitution as Lister came on in place of the goal scorer Peters.
Arbroath did manage to create one final chance in injury time but once again Adam made a good save to deny Linn from close range.
The outcome of the match was never in doubt and, if it wasn’t for a brilliant save by Gomes, Forfar really could’ve doubled their lead late on in stoppage time. A great counter attack from Forfar resulted in Milne playing Cox through on goal but the Arbroath keeper made a splendid save to stop Cox’s shot from rocketing into the top corner.
Full Time – Arbroath 0-1 Forfar Athletic
Arbroath were well beaten by Forfar in a game which the visitors had complete control of. Arbroath’s poor and simply clueless first half performance ultimately cost them the game. However, Dick Campbell knows that his team can bounce back quickly in the next game and will be hoping for them to do the same in a massive game away at in-form Montrose next Saturday.