From the East Stirlingshire website
Shire 0 Arbroath 3: In baltic conditions, a Bobby Linn inspired Arbroath overcame a poor Shire performance to win 3-0. The match had been in doubt due to snow, but brilliant efforts from volunteers made sure the pitch passed a pitch inspection at 11am.
The Red Lichties took the lead in the 10th minute when Josh Skelly was given the space to place the ball into the bottom left corner.
They doubled their lead in the second half when Shire failed to clear a cross, allowing Sergio Alvarez to pounce. Soon after that, it was 3-0, when Linn broke past the Shire back defence to finish past Richie Barnard.
Shire saw the ball cleared off the Arbroath goal-line and hit the crossbar, but in truth, they rarely failed to trouble the visitors.
The only Shire fan that possibly left happy was Stuart Blackwood who named as the latest 100 Club winner at half-time.
Craig Tully reverted to a 4-4-2 formation, making four changes: giving debuts to new signings Andy Russell and Scott Ferries, whilst Neil McCabe and Lloyd Kinnaird were both restored to the starting lineup - replacing Reece Donaldson, Andy Kay, Aron Lynas and Tommy Orr.
Shire had a bright start and within the opening minutes had won a corner, but after that, Arbroath grew into the game with Josh Skelly testing Richie Barnard from distance. Jordan Cairnie’s casualness on the ball nearly cost him, although he managed to recover the situation.
And then the Red Lichties took the lead. A long ball sent Greg Rutherford past Cairnie and into the box, and he simply passed to the unmarked Skelly who calmly finished into the bottom corner.
Minutes later, Rutherford powered through the middle, passing to Skelly whose shot was blocked by Chris Townsley - then the ball was worked to Darren Ramsey who saw his swerving effort tipped wide by Barnard.
Shire’s two debutants linked up nearly to find an equaliser with Scott Ferries passed to Andy Russell, but his shot went agonisingly wide.
But Arbroath kept on coming. Bobby Linn broke into the Shire box, played the ball towards the far post where the sliding Townsley tried to clear, but the ball looped up into Barnard’s grateful arms.
Towards the end of the first half, the snow came down heavily, and it seemed to bring the best out of Shire. A free-kick was eventually worked into the Arbroath’s box where Russell’s shot was brilliantly parried away by keeper Allan Fleming. And then Kris Faulds crossed the ball towards the far post where Arbroath’s Ricky Little headed the ball off the line.
Arbroath started the second half at speed, and within seconds, Ramsay’s curling shot was superbly saved by Barnard.
And once the Red Lichties found their stride, they dominated the second half.
An Arbroath counter-attack saw Linn pick out Ramsay at the left-side of the box, but he shot straight at Barnard. Then Linn broke through the centre of the pitch, picked out Ramsay whose shot towards the far post but the ball deflected off Michael McMullin, and into Barnard’s arms.
But then, against the run of play, Shire nearly equalised. Ferries’ corner picked out Townsley at the far post, and his header smashed off the crossbar, and then Neil McCabe’s shto was blocked.
However, then Arbroath doubled their lead. Linn broke down the right-wing, his cross wasn’t cleared fully by Shire and Sergio Alvarez pounced, blasting the ball past Barnard.
Four minutes later, they made it 3-0. Countering from a Shire corner, Kane Hester picked out Linn who had timed his run to perfection, and he placed it beyond Barnard’s reach.
And Arbroath kept on coming. Ramsay’s long-range shot was superbly parried by Barnard. Linn twisted and turned through the Shire defence and smashed the crossbar with his shot. Ramsay shot wide of the left post before later being picked out by Linn’s cross but shooting into the side netting.
Shire had a couple of half-chances. Ferries’ cross found Russell, but his shot was saved by the rushing Fleming. And then Faulds’ long-range effort caused a little trouble to Fleming.
The game’s last chance came when Little played Linn through on goal, but Barnard stood his ground to deny him.
Shire: Barnard, Kinnaird, Townsley, Cairnie (Orr 70), McMullin, Faulds, Trialist, McCabe, Ferries, Russell, McKenna.
Subs not Used: McMillan, Kay, Lynas, Carruthers, Greene, Dolan (GK)
Arbroath: Fleming, Wilson, Little, Watson, Lowdon, Gold (Alvarez 15), Whatley, Linn, Skelly (Reid 74), Ramsay, Rutherford (Hester 59).
Subs not Used: Munro, Stewart, McWalter, Brodie (GK)
Goals: Skelly 11, Alvarez 64, Linn 68.
Referee: John McKendrick