With three key players sold, Weir continues to reshape the sidein short time. Former SPL David Winter starts (as a trialist) alongside the 10 that started last week
Promising start for the Lichties as they looked up for the game, passing the ball around briskly and getting in support up front. However, our defensive frailties are exposed all too soon. Peterhead in their first corner on the left and its headed on for ross to head in on 12 minutes. Back we came and within 90 seconds, a good Maclean corner on the left was met by Rattray and their keepr could only parry for Winter to tap in smartly. All square and back in the game.
Things fell apart in the 23rd minute. From where I was standing, no-one had a clear view of what happened - note the BBC report has no idea what happened and even missed the sending off farce. One fan thought Moyes had handled in the box, another thought he had made a foul challenge as the last man. The players disputed the penalty and the sending-off of Moyes. A lengthy break occurred while the ref went off for a chat to the distant linesman. There was a suggestion that a foul on Hislop in the centre of the park should have been penalised. The outcome was we were a player down and Wilson knocked in the penalty. 1-2 Peterheid
10 minutes later the game descended into farce. A Peterhead player was slightly impeded 15 yards outside the Arbroath box and the ball ran on to McCulloch. a whistle blew and the linesman flagged so he picked it up. It looked like he would now be penalised for handling. Peterhead tried to play the freekick from that position but weer called back to a third spot (closer to the goal). After this extended exercise the ball was floated over to the far post for Bavidge to head home unchallenged. Arbroath's reduced defence were at fault for not being organised but the refereeing was confusing in the extreme and the crowd made their opinion clear.
Two incidents close to haltime confirmed the officials were not leaning in our favour. The mailicious farside linesman waved Hislop offisde when clearly 1-2 yards on. Then a nasty tackle on Flyer out the right 10 yards from the pox was somehow pushed back 10 yards. The grass clearly showed the tramlines where Flyer was fouled but the ref didnt and booked Flyer for protesting too much. the officials left to chorus of boos.
Second half was controlled by Peterhead. We never seem able to operate like other teams down to 10 men - we were on the back foot most of the period. A McCuclloch shot flew just over the bar but the next goal was crucial and it fell to the Blue Toon. A cross from the left was met by the diving Clark on 56 minutes to put them on easy street. We feared even heavier at that stage
Arbroath spent the rest of the game defending with a few breaks forward. We did come close on several occasions. Hislop managed to loopp a header over from a corner on the right. A great 3 man move by Hislop to Ross who slotted into Brian Scott was great but he hit it just past the near post.
The rain, persistent throughout the afternoon, became torrential second half. Arbroath stuck to the task but seemed a bit demoralized. Too many poor or careless passes eventally took their toll. Peterhead looked better than they were.
Another little officiating gem in the last minute. Peterhead making good use of he space, pushed the ball out to the winger. The farside linesman raised the flag - for offside. Just then the ball struck McCulloch and went across the byline whereupon the linesman signalled a corner. Abject but summed up their performance
Criminal officiating should not disguise the many failings of the Lichties. One win out of 9 home league games, 10 gosals for and 23 against. Its now officially a disease .
Wednesday at home to a resurgent East Fife wand wit few defenders to call on may be difficult