From the P& J: Arbroath emphasise their title credentials as Clyde suffer
Doris and Swankie on target at Gayfield as Red Lichties take a step closer to title
Arbroath took a step closer to the Third Division title with a comfortable victory over bottom of the table Clyde at Gayfield last night. The Lichties, who had also beaten the visitors 3-0 at Broadwood four days earlier, now hold a seven-point lead.
Annan Athletic are their nearest challengers and there are just four games remaining.
Arbroath started well and they looked like a side in championship mood when they broke the deadlock in the 24th minute. The opening goal came when Steven Doris converted Gavin Swankie's cross from the right to put the Gayfield men in control.
The Red Lichties continued apply the pressure and Bryn Halliwell did well to tip a Doris header over the bar as the Bully Wee breathed a collective sigh of relief. The Clyde goalkeeper came to the rescue again when diving full length to save a Paul Sheerin drive from the edge of the box.
Craig Wedderburn then came close with a looping header which landed on the roof of the net.The Red Lichties onslaught produced a second goal in the 42nd minute when player-manager Sheerin took adantage of a collision between Clyde's Iain Gray and Stuart Mills to break free on the left.
He cut the ball into Swankie who lashed it beyond the helpless Halliwell for his 23rd goal of the season and it seemed as though there was no way back for Clyde.
Arbroath dominated the second period with Keith Gibson, Josh Falkingham and Swankie all coming close to extending the home side's lead. The best chance fell to substitute David Dimilta three minutes from the end but the little midfielder blazed the ball over the bar.
Daily Record: ARBROATH will edge closer to the first trophy win in their 133-year history if they beat Clyde.
But boss Paul Sheerin is wary of talking about the prospect of title glory.
He said: "People here are a wee bit scared to mention it. They probably think it will jinx us."
The Courier: Arbroath 2 Clyde 0: Lichties close in on title
Arbroath moved a step closer to lifting the third division trophy after coasting to victory against Clyde at Gayfield.
The Lichties never moved out of second gear as an assured display saw them put the tie to bed in the first half, with two well-finished goals.
Josh Falkingham had the first chance for the hosts on 10 minutes but ballooned his effort high over the bar. That was followed seconds later by an Adam Strachan shot for the home side that lacked the sting to trouble Bryn Halliwell. On 24 minutes Steven Doris opened the scoring, rolling home a neat cut-back from the lively Gavin Swankie.
Clyde looked short of ideas in the final third and consistently pumped high balls into no-man's land behind the Arbroath back four. Doris could have had his second just after the half hour when a mazey run from Adam Strachan sent Swankie free to deliver the perfect ball. However the striker's point-blank header was well stopped.
The resulting corner was badly cleared, allowing player manager Paul Sheerin to drill in a low effort that had Halliwell scrambling. A clash of heads between Clyde's Stuart Mills and Ian Gray let Swankie in for the second of the game, the hitman slotting coolly into the top corner. The hosts kept up the pressure after the break, Kieran McAnespie powering a header just over from a Swankie corner.
Legs began to tire midway into the second period, with both outfits struggling to control the middle of the park. On 75 minutes the same training ground corner almost paid off again, this time McAnespie just failing to connect.
Clyde sub Connor Stevenson had a chance to claw one back soon after, but his curler from 20 yards whistled wide. Falkingham then had a pop from a similar distance at the other end but Halliwell made a solid catch.
Arbroath strolled through the remainder of the match and got a standing ovation from their fans, who appear to fully expect a league triumph.
Sheerin said, "We were reasonably comfortable but two nil is a funny scoreline and if they go and sneak a goal then we could have become edgy. "It was always going to be important to win our game in hand because everyone around us is on the same games (played) and that now gives us a clearer picture.
"So to be seven clear at this stage makes it a massive win for us. Hopefully we can stumble over and there is still a lot of football to play. "We just have to take care of business and although it is cliche we really must take every game as it comes."
Arbroath host Queen's Park on Saturday and would clinch the title if they win and Annan lose at home