Press & Journal: Praise from Weir for a squad on its knees as point gained in bid to avoid play-offs Bruised and bloodied Arbroath struggling on
Arbroath manager Jim Weir was full of praise for his bruised and bloodied players after watching them grind out another vital point in their energy-sapping struggle to avoid involvement in the end-of-season relegation play-offs.
The Red Lichties squad has been badly hit by injuries and this encounter with title-chasing Cowdenbeath did little to ease the problem.
Steven Doris, Jamie Redmond and Marc McCulloch all had to be patched up during the game after receiving cuts to the head and Weir said: “It’s typical of these guys. They put their heads in where it hurts and they gave it everything.
“I have a group of players who are on their knees. We’ve had injuries and we’re short on energy, but we’re still trying to avoid being in the relegation play-offs.
“It doesn’t look like we’ll get many of our injured players back for the final two games. Steve Hislop has been ruled out for the rest of the season, Bryan Scott’s the same and Gerry McLaughlin was on the bench but he needs a knee operation.
“We had to bring young Michael McIlravey back from the juniors because we didn’t have any attacking options on the bench. I cannot praise my players enough for the effort they put in.
“It would have been nice to get three points and I’m disappointed we didn’t. But what we have shown is that we will be fighting to the very end.”
Midfielder Keith Gibson gave Arbroath the lead four minutes before the interval when he sidestepped Joe Mbu to fire a powerful low drive beyond David Hay to claim his first goal of the season.
Arbroath looked on course to pocket a valuable victory until Gareth Wardlaw touched home the equaliser with 15 minutes remaining.
Darren Hill brilliantly tipped an Mbu shot over the bar but Darren McGregor headed the resultant corner into the path of Wardlaw, who edged the ball over the line.
Wardlaw had missed a great chance in the early stages of the game and again came close near the end, but a Blue Brazil victory would have been hard on Arbroath.
Cowdenbeath manager Danny Lennon wasn’t entirely happy. He said: “We had a lot of the ball but didn’t do too much with it
ARBROATH MANAGER Jim Weir praised his exhausted players for their battling qualities at the end of the hard fought 1-1 draw with title-chasing Cowdenbeath at Gayfield on Saturday.
The Red Lichties still face an uphill struggle to avoid involvement in the end-of-season relegation play-offs and will need results elsewhere to help their cause.
Injuries have restricted Weir’s selection options for a number of weeks now and yet more of his threadbare squad were in the wars at the weekend.
Steven Doris, Jamie Redman and Marc McCulloch all had to be patched up during the game after receiving cuts to the head, but each one battled through the pain barrier.
Weir said, “It’s typical of these guys—they put their heads in where it hurts and they gave it everything. “I have a group of players who are on their knees. We’ve had injuries, we’re short on energy, but we’re still trying to avoid being in the relegation play-offs.
“It doesn’t look like we’ll get many of our injured players back for the final two games. “Steve Hislop has been ruled out for the rest of the season, Bryan Scott is the same, and Gerry McLaughlin was on the bench but needs a knee operation.
“We had to bring young Michael McIlravey back from the juniors because we didn’t have any striking options on the bench. “I cannot praise my players enough for the effort they put in. t would have been nice to get three points, but what we have shown people is that we will be fighting to the very end.”
The Lichties made a bright start and Redman came close to scoring in the eighth minute when he latched onto a Doris cross but his shot hit David Hay’s left hand post and went behind.
GARETH WARDLAW'S late strike boosted Cowden's play-off hopes and left Arbroath's safety hopes on a knife-edge.
The home side were on course to gain a vital win to lift them out of the relegation play-off spot via Keith Gibson's first-half strike.
But Wardlaw's leveller 15 minutes from time ensured the threat of the drop still remains.
A closely fought opening half looked like drawing a blank before with five minutes left Robbie Ross' cross was blocked before falling in the path of Gibson who fired in a low drive past Cowden keeper David Hay for his first of the season.
Arbroath set out their stall to cling on to their lead and it appeared to be working as the visitors were frustrated in their efforts to draw level.
They finally broke the home rearguard in 75 minutes when Arbroath keeper Darren Hill made a superb save from Joe Mbu's effort.
From the resulting corner Darren McGregor towered above the home defence to head down to Wardlaw who poked in from close range.
It could have been worse for Arbroath as Wardlaw found himself with space again in injury time only for Hill to pull off a brilliant stop.