Lichties put up good fight against SPL Dons

Last updated : 08 January 2005 By Simon

Arbroath lined up with Neil Inglis in goal, a defensive 5 of Flyer, McLeod, Rennie, Bishop and Donaldson, a midfield 3 of Henner, MacDonald and M. Millar and played Gavin Swankie and Alan Brazil upfront.

The start of the match was delayed for 10 mins to let the capacity crowd into Gayfield, and even when everyone was in, the ground looked like it could hold another 750-1000 at least. Arbroath came out fired up for the game, and had most of the play in the first 5-10 minutes. Playing towards the wind, the Lichties won 3 corners early on, and caused the Dons defence some problems. From one of these corners Millar fired over the bar. Ryan Esson then made a good save 9 minutes in when Gavin Swankie got free on the left hand side, but was at to narrow an angle to get a good shot in on target.

However, after this early pressure, Aberdeen came more into it, and won their 1st corner 11 minutes in. From this corner Kevin McMullen had to clear the ball off the line, and from a 2nd corner straight after this Aberdeen took the lead. Markus Heikkinen towered above the Arbroath defence and headed in at the near post to make it 1-0.

After around 15 minutes there was a mini brawl on the right hand side touchline. Kevin McMullen went in hard for a 50/50 ball, with the Aberdeen player not liking this he lifted his hands to Flyer, and with 2 or 3 other players getting involved things could have turned nasty. After everything settled down Flyer was the only man booked.

Aberdeen had a chance to double their lead in the 19th minute when a shot from 18 yards out was blocked well by the legs of Neil Inglis. The next chance came 20 minutes later, and yet again it was for Aberdeen. John Stewart had another shot from just outside the box saved well by Neil Inglis. Derek Adams then had a shot blocked well by Chris McLeod, and Arbroath immediately broke up the park and a good shot by MacDonald was blocked and went out for a corner, which was easily cleared. Arbroath got into the break only losing by the 1 goal, and still in the game.

Two minutes into the 2nd half Aberdeen should have doubled their lead. Darren Mackie controlled the ball well, but from 6 yards out he hit a weak shot which Inglis saved well. Aberdeen continued to attack, and missed 2 other half chances in the next 10-15 minutes. Arbroath were also coming more into it in midfield, and were working the offside trap well.

Aberdeen finally got a deserved 2nd goal 23 minutes from time. A good passing move found Darren Mackie who finished into the top corner well from 10 yards out. On the 75th minute Arbroath brought on John Cusick for Marc Millar, then brought on Duncan McLean and Farqy about 10 minutes later. The game finished soon after with no further action for either side.

Overall, a good performance from Arbroath against the supposed 3rd best team in Scotland. The defence played very well and got the offside trap spot on, while the midfield did well in the 1st half, but seemed to lose it abit towards the end. Aberdeen had obviously done there homework, and whenever Gavin Swankie got the ball he was immediately closed down by 2 or 3 Aberdeen defenders. Alan Brazil chased everything as usual, but was to slow against full time SPL players.