Lichtie outplayed by strong Stranraer

Last updated : 31 October 2004 By Simon

Arbroath lined up with the same side that beat Stirling 2-1 at Gayfield last week, apart from Duncan McLean in for Alan Brazil. Neil Inglis was in goal, a back 5 of Flyer, Rennie, McLeod, Bishop and Donaldson. Stuart MacDonald, Greg Henslee and John Cusick took the 3 central midfield positions with Gavin Swankie and Duncan McLean up front.

Arbroath kicked off towards the away fans side, we had half the crowd given up to our 17 fans, all of which went in the stand leaving beside the goal empty! The first 5-10 minutes were pretty even, with most of the play being in midfield. Arbroath had the first real shot of the game in the 22nd minute, and scored! Duncan McLean got the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box and volleyed it into the bottom right corner with his left foot! Could a 3rd win in a row be on?

Stranraer came back strong after the goal, but it was Arbroath who had the next opportunity to score. A corner into the box saw a goalmouth game of head tennis, and after 3 or 4 attempted headers away, Steven Rennie had a header from 5 yards out headed off the line.

Two minutes later Stranraer scored. Kevin Finlayson cut across the Arbroath defence with ease and slid the ball under the body of Neil Inglis. The defence really were at fault for this, and the ball should have been cleared long before Finlayson had the chance to score.

The rest off the game was mostly Stranraer. On around 35 minutes they had a shot cleared off the line. A good corner into the near post was headed towards goal, but Kevin McMullen was on the post to head the ball out for a throw in.

The Half Time whistle blew 10 minutes later, and the sides went in even.

The 2nd half was all Davie Graham’s. He ran the Arbroath defence ragged and, in my opinion, is far to good for the 2nd division. Arbroath were lucky to finish with 11 players on the pitch at the end of the game, after the amount of fouls on Graham.

The 2nd half didn’t really have many chances, but the possession was all Stranraer’s. On about 70 minutes Kevin Finlayson missed a fantastic chance to put Stranraer 2-1 up. The ball was crossed in from the right and Finlayson had the ball at his feet 4 yards out, but somehow managed to put the ball over the bar.

The game was won in the 84th minute with a fantastic strike from Davie Graham. Graham turned Bishop and struck the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out with his left foot, a stunning goal which deserved to win the game. Arbroath tried to get a goal back right at the end, but didn’t really trouble the Stranraer defence.

Overall, a disappointing performance after the 2 games before, but I am confident that we will get at least a point at home to Morton next week, who have been struggling of late!