Arbroath boss Allan Moore leads his side into another derby battle against Montrose tomorrow in great spirits after a hard-fought midweek win over Annan Athletic.
On-loan Dundee midfielder Dylan Carreiro was the difference between the sides as the Lichties made it eight victories from nine matches so far in SPFL League Two.
The youngster’s strike after 11 minutes sent Arbroath eight points clear at the summit - and manager Moore was full of praise for the livewire Lichtie.
Moore said: “Dylan provided a wee bit of brilliance for us.
“That’s three starts and three goals for us, so you can’t ask for much more.
“He’s a really creative player and he’s not the captain of Canada Under-20s for nothing.
“It was a great win because we had to dig in when Annan bombarded us in the second half.”
It took Arbroath just 11 minutes to break the deadlock and take a huge step to making it six games unbeaten when Simon Murray teed up Carriero.
The 19-year-old midfielder side-stepped his man and pinged in a powerful shot from just outside the box.
Murray then came close to doubling the lead, but Alex Mitchell kept out his 33rd-minute effort from the centre of the box.
The Galabank side came into their first home game in five boasting a six-game unbeaten run and could have levelled through Michael McAnespie only for David Crawford to smartly parry his left-footed effort.
Annan tried to find a leveller in the second half but the Lichties defence stood firm and Moore’s men saw out the remainder of the match to create a comfortable gap over second-placed Queen’s Park
And the result prompted Scottish bookmakers McBookie to cut Arbroath’s title odds from 4/5 to 4/6.
Arbroath: Crawford, Little, El-Zubaidi, Nicoll, McBride, Linn, Whatley, Stewart, Carreiro (Lowdon 76 ), McManus (Buchan 69), Murray. Subs not used: Buchan, Travis, Lowdon, Lindsay, Wallace, Birse, Morrison. Booked: Nicoll.
l Kieran McWalter has gone on loan to Lochee United to get some competitive games under his belt.
l Segregation will be in place at Links Park tomorrow for the match between Montrose and Arbroath. The Arbroath support will enter the ground through the Union Row turnstiles.
l Former Lichties boss Paul Sheerin is returning to Gayfield next week with his Aberdeen Under-20 squad.
They will face Dundee in the Development League, kick-off 6 p.m. Entry is £2 and Under-16s are free.