from the P&J Jekyll and Hyde Arbroath win ugly
Sheerin’s relief after ‘not too pretty’ turn
ARBROATH returned to the top of the Third Division with a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance which was good enough to see off the challenge of Annan.
The Lichties dominated the opening 45 minutes, playing some enterprising, free-flowing football, but had only one goal to show for their efforts.
After the interval Annan took a tighter grip of the game as the home side lost its earlier momentum and nerves crept into its play.
Arbroath manager Paul Sheerin was relieved to take all three points and said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half, but after the break Annan changed their shape and caused us a few problems.
“The second half wasn’t too pretty, but I’m delighted we are back at the top.
“Now the hard work begins for us to try to stay there, starting against Albion Rovers on Tuesday evening.”
Steven Doris and Gavin Swankie were the goalscorers for the Lichties, but Adam Strachan also made a major contribution by setting up both goals.
It was Annan, however, who came closest to opening the scoring in the eighth minute when home defender Craig Wedderburn headed a Sean O’Connor cross against his own crossbar while trying to clear.
Arbroath responded with Swankie and Sheerin both being denied by Craig Summersgill in the visitors’ goal.
Doris put them ahead after 24 mins by getting on the end of a Strachan cross to grab his 11th goal of the season.
The Lichties seemed to have matters sewn up three minutes after the break when Swankie rifled home his 17th goal of the campaign.
Strachan was again the provider, turning his marker on the edge of the box before setting the ball up nicely for the Swankie to expertly rifle home from 12 yards.
The celebrations had barely died down, however, when Bryan Gilfillan sent a powerful header beyond Hill to reduce the leeway.