Brave, professional and determined showing takes us into the playoff final

Last updated : 03 May 2008 By Fargone
After failing at the first (semi-final) hurdle for the past two years it was sweet to see us finally convert superiority over Cowden into a result. Arbroath had been the better team throughout (16 goal attempts to their 6) but we left it late before Roddy Black equalised with 7 minutes of regular time left, then Robbie Raeside nodded the winner just inot the second half of extra time

A good turnout of away fans at grim Central Park and they made more noise than usual. We had a few enforced changes from Wednesday with Flyer, Raeside and Bryan Scott (a surprise inclusion) starting and Rennie and Reilly on the bench. Tactics seemed to work - Sellars played quite far forward, ran tirelessly and held up the ball well though his finishing was not to match

Some photos from Central Park today

We had the bulk of play first half coming closest with a Scott header off a Sellars cross well saved, and another pass to Scott going astray. The game up as halftime approached and Cowden came close with a shot

Second half Arbroath continued to have the bulk of the play and created half chances around the box. As the game wore on, it looked like we had a cmmanding height advantages from crners and set pieces. Then Cowden broke down the right taking advantage of a slip from an Arbroath defender and the ball was scrambled in at the far post.

Lichtie fans probably had that same old sinking feeling but the team rallied and put pressure on which paid off when Black, increasingly on the offensive ran through to glance a header from a high through ball from Bishop on 83 minutes

Into extra time, both sides had spells of attack as players found it harder to get back and cover. Just after the break, a Rennie throw-in on the right caused problems in their area and Robbie Raeside's looping header beat keeper and defender for a key goal. Cowden, deflated by our late equaliser were flattened but made a token effort

Players and fans celebrated a great comeback victory at the end. Who'd have thought it? Difficult task to dispose of an n-form Stranraer over two legs but at least we have a chance. The players will need to recover qucickly

Once again, the referee booked more Lichties (3) than Cowden (2) despite the fact they committed many more fouls.