Arbroath FC boss hopes Stewart Petrie escapes touchline ban

Last updated : 24 March 2011 By Fargone

redyellowFrom The Courier    Arbroath FC boss hopes Stewart Petrie escapes touchline ban

Arbroath player-manager Paul Sheerin is keeping his fingers crossed that his assistant Stewart Petrie will not be forced to serve a touchline ban.

Petrie was sent to the stands by referee Thomas Robertson during Tuesday night's drawn game at Clyde for voicing his displeasure at a red card issued to the Lichties' Darran Thomson

However, Sheerin is hopeful that his right-hand man will be able to continue directing operations from the touchline as table-topping Arbroath gear up for their final title push.

"Tuesday's match was a tough game but a good one to play in," he said. "Clyde are a decent side who are difficult to beat and I would not expect anything else from a team who have Jim Duffy and Chic Charnley in charge.

"However, I am still not happy about the red card shown to Darran Thomson.

"Admittedly, it was a rash tackle that he probably did not have to make on the halfway line but it was his first of the game.

"Unfortunately, he made it in front of the home dug-out and their fans, so I think their reaction possibly influenced the referee and he was a bit quick to brandish a red.

"Stewart was sent to the stand for protesting but he spoke to the ref after the game and the official said that his report will say he was issued with the equivalent of a yellow card.

"If that is the case, then it is difficult to understand why he sent Stewart from the touchline but hopefully he will escape a ban."

Performance a 'bonus'

Sheerin admitted that the way this season — his first in management-has gone has been a "bonus" but he cautioned that while Arbroath currently top the table, all they have achieved so far is to give themselves an opportunity at securing promotion.

"If someone had said to me at the start of the campaign that we would be six points clear at the top of the table with just eight games to go, I would definitely have bitten their hand off," he said.

"We are in a great position considering that we did not start well in the first quarter of the season as we took time to gel. There is still a long way to go but it is better to be leading rather than chasing and it is great for the club.

"There is a real buzz around town and our hospitality is sold out until the end of the season. Hopefully, we will see an increase in gates as well.

"I had hoped at the start of the season to be in with a shout of the play-offs so it is a bit of a bonus to be in with a chance to win the title.

"It has not been a bad season so far, especially considering this is my first in management. So, we have given ourselves an opportunity but that is all it is at the moment.

"We have a massive game with Stranraer this weekend, but they are all huge between now and the end of the season.

"Stranraer will want to show their own title credentials by winning at our place but we have to handle that as all the teams will be out to beat us now."