Arbroath plan on bouncing back against Shire

Jamie Henry topples over East Fife's Kyle Wilkie.
Jamie Henry topples over East Fife's Kyle Wilkie.

Craig Watson insists Saturday’s defeat at East Fife won’t derail the club’s play-off ambitions.

The Red Lichties went into the weekend’s encounter in good form, having eased away from the foot of the division and into promotion contention.

But they went down 2-1 to the Methil side, another club which has been performing well of late, and Watson says it’s crucial the side dusts itself down and responds in the correct manner tonight when East Stirlingshire visit Gayfield.

He said: “We’ve got to bounce back and make sure we get a good result against East Stirling.

“We have one or two games in hand and will be looking to take as many points from them as we can.

“Hopefully if we do the best we can then the rest will take care of itself.”

A win over Shire tonight would see Arbroath hit 34 points and sit ready to pounce on those just a point or so above them in the play-off zone.

Reaching the end of season promotion play-offs is still very much at the forefront of Arbroath’s ambitions, said the on-loan Hamilton defender.

“The league is so tight and if you look at it, a couple of good results can change everything,” added Watson.

“We’ll be concentrating on getting maximum points and being up there.”

Goals either side of the break from Nathan Austin and Jamie Insall wrapped up the win for the Methil men on Saturday.

Keiran Stewart rattled home a late consolation for the visitors.

Boss Todd Lumsden reckoned his side hadn’t really done enough to take anything from the game, but, like Watson, is looking for a reaction tonight.

He said: “Overall I don’t think we would have deserved it, but if we had got a point (against East Fife) we would have taken it.

“We didn’t created enough going forward and they worked our ‘keeper more than we’d have liked.

“We have a massive game now against East Stirling and have to move on.

“In the last seven or eight games we’ve lost two and drawn one so we can’t get too despondent.

“We have to keep looking at the positives because we’re going in the right direction.”