Dick Campbell admitted he almost dropped goal hero Ryan McCord before he inspired Arbroath’s stunning fightback against Berwick Rangers.
McCord grabbed a second half brace for the Lichties as they scored four times in the last 25 minutes to win 4-1 against John Coughlin’s Wee Gers.
The victory took Arbroath closer to League Two leaders Forfar Athletic, whose draw with Stirling Albion reduced the gap at the top of the table to five points.
Campbell revealed McCord had almost been taken out of the side before Saturday’s clash.
He said: “I said at the start of the second quarter that Berwick were the best team we’d played in the first quarter. And when they opened up like that I thought I was right.
“I took the paint off the walls at half-time because we didn’t earn the right to play. You saw a big difference in the second half. We got crosses into the box and we got on the end of those crosses.
“Ryan McCord, I was close to dropping him for this. I pulled him in before the game and told him he wasn’t getting in the box enough and there you are, he’s scored two goals. Ryan’s a good lad and a good player, only Ryan could score that first goal.
“I’m absolutely delighted. The 4-1 flattered us a bit but scoring four goals at home. It’s three points. Malin went on and scored, and I’ve felt for the young goalie. John’s been hit with a blow in the warm-up so I sympathise with them.
“There was nothing wrong with the conditions of the pitch, but Berwick outplayed us and deserved to go in a goal up. You can see that we’ve got a lot of pace in the team, we’re the only team in the league that plays two out-and-out wingers but that’s fine when you’re on top of a game.
“When you’re defending, you need to defend as a unit and that’s what I was angry about most of all.”