Erwin returns to the Steelmen

Lee Erwin will not be in the team when Arbroath face Stranraer.

Lee Erwin will not be in the team when Arbroath face Stranraer.

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Goalgetter Lee Erwin will not be in the Lichties’ ranks when they line up against Stranraer in eight days time.

The on-loan Motherwell front man has been recalled by his parent club, with gaffer Stuart McCall hoping the 19-year-old can break into their first team.

Lichties’ boss Paul Sheerin revealed the disappointing news on Wednesday. He told HeraldSport: “We won’t be getting Lee Erwin back which is disappointing. Motherwell are hopeful of getting him involved with the first team down there.

“Obviously it’s testament to what Lee has done while he has been with us and if he does make the breakthrough that will be great for him.

“If he doesn’t quite manage it, then hopefully we will get first refusal on him when January comes around.”

Erwin has netted seven times in 11 appearances for the Gayfield men and has made himself a firm favourite with the Maroon faithful.

With him gone and Steven Milne having retired, Arbroath are a little short of striking options.

But gaffer Sheerin says that there isn’t a great deal of business to be done at the present time.

“We are only permitted five loans and we have used two,” he said. “We would like to bring a couple of guys in in January and then most likely keep one loan in reserve in case of an emergency.

“It is a bit of a catch 22, but that’s just the way things are.”

The Lichties lost 3-0 to runaway league leaders Rangers on Monday night and they are now building towards the visit of Stranraer a week tomorrow.

The players have been given the weekend off, but Sheerin says they will most likely have a game on Monday evening to get them back into things.

“We are looking to get something sorted for Monday and everything is geared to the visit of Stranraer,” he said.

“We knew it was always going to be tough against Rangers and we now have to dig deep and get ourselves in the right frame of mind for the Stranraer game.”

Reflecting on the visit of Ally McCoist’s men, the Gayfield boss added: “When you lose an early goal it knocks you for six and really means that you have to tear up any game plan you had.

“Going in at 3-0 down at half-time, we knew it was an uphill struggle, but the performance in the second half was an improvement.

“Hammy [Colin Hamilton] looked more like himself and Bobby Linn was lively and caused them some problems, so individually there were certainly positives.”

There are no injury worries after the match against the Light Blues with everyone completing the clash unscathed.