Arbroath 3 Stenhousemuir 2

Last updated : 14 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer

Arbroath got the better of league leaders Stenhousemuir in a five-goal thriller which was a great advertisement for the third division.

"You have to dig deep to win any game of football," said Arbroath manager John McGlashan. "And we did that today. I was delighted with the win and the commitment of the players."

Stenhousemuir boss Des McKeown was less happy:" Too many of my players had an off day," he said. "But credit to Arbroath, they did well. "

The home side swept into the lead after eight minutes when Alan Brazil gathered the ball from a throw-in, turned inside the box and shot firmly past William McCulloch from 10 yards.

Brazil put the home side further ahead from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after Gavin Swankie had been floored by Stenhousemuir's Joe McAlpine.

Swankie, who has returned to Arbroath on loan from Dundee until the end of the season, was looking sharp and was constantly causing problems for the visitors' centre backs.

Stenhousemuir gradually clawed their way back into the game, and in the 25th minute new signing Andy Gibson pulled a goal back with a 20-yard drive which eluded Mark Peat's outstretched arm.

It was all level five minutes from the interval, John McKeown seizing on a poor clearance to shoot pass Peat from 15 yards.

Stenhousemuir could have taken the lead three minutes later, but Ian Dobbins cleared Paul McGrillen shot off the line.

Arbroath regained the upper hand four minutes into the second half when Swankie latched on to a long clearance and slotted the ball past the advancing McCulloch.

Both sides had chances to add to the goal tally in an exciting game which was played with great passion and no little skill.