Arbroath 1 – 4 St Johnstone – Match Report
22nd July 2021
Arbroath 1 – 4 St Johnstone – Match Report
It certainly wasn’t a scoreline that reflected how Wednesday’s match panned out as Arbroath lost out 4-1 to St Johnstone in front of 750 home and away supporters.
Arbroath welcomed the double cup winning side from Perth to Gayfield which also signalled the first away fans inside Gayfield since March 2020.
It was another beautiful hot evening on the east coast and Arbroath welcomed two trialists as Dick Campbell continues to seek out new players for his side.
The first was Hearts youngster Chris Hamilton who just turned 20 on the 13th of July. With loan experience at Stirling Albion, Dumbarton, Cowdenbeath and Berwick Rangers Chris started the match at right back in a defence alongside Ricky Little, Liam Henderson and Colin Hamilton who were in front of goalkeeper Calum Antell.
The second trialist was German born winger Glenn Gabriel who has was most recently with Lorca FC in Spain but has represented Brentford, Stoke City and St Pauli as a youth as well as playing for Finnish Club Rops.
Gabriel was on the left wing but was up against it before a ball was kicked when he started against defender of the moment Shaun Rooney, but Gabriel showed great pace and caused problems through out the match.
Gabriel was joined in midfield by David Gold, Michael McKenna, Gavin Swankie and Dylan Paterson on the right wing, with Swankie playing in front of the back four and McKenna playing as a number 10 behind Dale Hilson in attack.
St Johnstone named a strong line up full of well known names in Scottish Football including many of the Scottish Cup Final Team.
Arbroath attacked the Harbour end in the first half and despite St Johnstone having the bulk of the early possession it was Arbroath who really started to press and Michael McKenna was the first to test Elliot Parish in the 10th minute as a McKenna shot from 18 yards had to be pushed past the post at the expense of a corner.
As the corner kick was played in, the ball was pushed away from the St Johnstone goal but as Arbroath won back possession a beautiful ball over the top from Gavin Swankie found McKenna whose looping header was pushed over the bar by Parish’s fingertips as Arbroath came close.
McKenna was in the thick of everything and was soon booked as he tracked back to stop a St Johnstone counter as he fouled Michael O’Halloran just inside the St Johnstone half.
Arbroath were coping well with the St Johnstone possession with Chris Hamilton showing a lot of composure at right back with Gabriel showing pace and trickery on the left.
There weren’t many chances at all in the first half with a Gavin Swankie corner kick on the half hour mark the only real spot of danger but it was well headed clear by the Saints defence.
As the half time whistle approached Arbroath were dealt with a blow as St Johnstone took the lead with their first shot on target. A long throw from the right fell kindly to David Wotherspoon in front of Calum Antell and the Canadian striker bundled in from close range.
The players hadn’t even ran back to the half way line as the referee’s whistle blew for half time.
Half Time – Arbroath 0 – 1 St Johnstone
Neither side made any changes at the break but Dale Hilson did come out wearing a new kit with number 34 on it.
It was the first real chance the Arbroath fans had got to see Dylan Paterson in action and he was catching the eye on the right wing coming close in the 49th minute as Arbroath continued to dominate.
Chris Hamilton was offering support and found David Gold after a nice Arbroath move but Gold’s shot was deflected onto the post and out for another Arbroath corner.
The homes fans gasped in anticipation of the net bulging a few minutes later as Dale Hilson ran in on goal after outfoxing the St Johnstone offside and with just Parish to beat he watched on in disbelief as Parish’s pushed his shot out for another corner kick.
Arbroath kept coming and a curling ball in from the right by McKenna somehow managed to evade everyone before Colin Hamilton had a shot saved and put out for a corner.
As the game wore on both sides made 4 changes each, St Johnstone acting first in the 62nd minute before Stewart, Low, Donnelly and Craigen came on in the 66th minute for Swankie, Gold, McKenna and Hilson.
Gabriel combined with Colin Hamilton down on the Arbroath left and as Hamilton played the ball back to Gabriel he hit a curling shot which again Parish had to fly across his goal to put out for a corner.
As the corner kick came in Parish missed the ball and was saved as one of his defenders cleared the ball with an overhead kick.
St Johnstone hadn’t had a sniff at the Arbroath goal, but perhaps it was the fresh legs, or a mix up with the Arbroath substitutes positioning but they doubled their lead in the 69th minute.
Shaun Rooney advanced up the pitch and his shot was pushed behind for a corner by Antell. From the corner kick Jamie McCart no mistake as he was first to the ball and headed the ball down and then up – a real blow for all the possession and chances Arbroath had missed.
The changes kept coming for both sides with Bobby Linn and Harrison Clark coming on for Chris Hamilton and Glenn Gabriel.
As Arbroath tried to replace Hamilton at right back St Johnstone struck again as Wotherspoon grabbed his second as he was tee’d up by substitute Chris Kane.
A mistake in the Arbroath defence allowed Cammy Ballantyne to net after Chris Kane’s shot was only parried just seconds after their 3rd goal to make it 0-4.
Paterson who was impressive for Arbroath came close with a shot from the right before substitute Harrison Clark scored the goal of the evening as he curled one in from the top corner from 20 yards out. A fantastic goal from the 18 year old who has only made the step up to professional football.
With minutes remaining there was a panic amongst Arbroath supporters as Bobby Linn went down clutching his ankle, but thankfully Bobby revealed after the game it was a small cut and he will be okay.
Full Time – Arbroath 1 – 4 St Johnstone
A harsh result in the end, with a scoreline which didn’t match the performance put in by the Arbroath players. Lessons will be learned in the goals that were lost, but positivity has to come from the amount of chances that were created and on another evening it could have been 4-4
Another hard fixture awaits on Saturday when we welcome Kelty Hearts to Gayfield.
Please get behind the team and cheer them on!
C’mon the Lichties
21 – Calum Antell
32 – Chris Hamilton (T) (Clark 75)
3 – Colin Hamilton
4 – Ricky Little ©
22 – Liam Henderson
14 – Dylan Paterson
7 – David Gold (Craigen 66)
8 – Michael McKenna (Low 66)
9 – Dale Hilson (Donnelly 66)
10 – Gavin Swankie (Stewart 66)
33 – Glenn Gabriel (T) (Linn 75)
6 – Nicky Low – 8; 66th
11 – Bobby Linn – 33; 75th
12 – Scott Stewart – 10; 66th
15 – Luke Donnelly – 9; 66th
16 – Harrison Clark – 32; 75th
17 – Joel Nouble
28 – James Craigen – 7; 66th
1 – Derek Gaston (GK)
Goal – Clark 87
Yellow Card – McKenna
12 – Elliot Parish
19 – Shaun Rooney (Denham 84)
16 – Hayden Muller (Kerr 62)
24 – Callum Booth
11 – Michael O’Halloran (Northcott 84)
3 – Reece Devine (McCart 62)
26 – Liam Craig © (Brown 62)
13 – Craig Bryson (Ballantyne 72)
8 – Murray Davidson (McCann 62)
22 – Callum Hendry (Kane 72)
10 – David Wotherspoon (Moreland 84)
5 – Jason Kerr – 16; 62nd
2 – James Brown – 26; 62nd
18 – Alistair McCann – 8; 62nd
23 – Cameron Ballantyne – 13; 72nd
4 – Jame McCart – 3; 62nd
25 – Jordan Northcroft – 11; 84th
7 – Stevie May
9 – Chris Kane – 22; 72nd
14 – Samuel Denham – 19; 84th
17 – John Moreland – 10; 84th
1 – Zander Clark (GK)
Goals – Wotherspoon 45+1, 77, McCart 69, Ballantyne 78
Referee – Scott Lambie
Attendance – 750