AFTER two seasons of success at Gayfield under manager Paul Sheerin, the Maroon faithful were reminded just how cruel football can be after Saturday’s clash with Dumbarton.
Now the Lichties will just have to watch as the Sons take on Airdrie in the play-off final on Sunday, despite the fact both sides finished below them.
But that’s the nature of the play-offs, and many people you talk to say it is an amazing achievement for Arbroath to be able to be contesting them so soon after promotion from the Third Division.
And there is no doubt this campaign will go down as one of the more exciting in recent history.
But the fact that the Lichties came so close, to what many fans would argue is their rightful place in the First Division, means it is still hard to take.
When the league season kicked off way back last August, I don’t think anybody was entirely sure what it would bring.
But amazingly the Gayfield men just seemed to pick up from where they left off with a defeat away to Stenhousemuir their only loss before the turn of the year.
Mr Sheerin always said that avoiding relegation was the main priority for the season but after that magnificent run, you couldn’t help thinking his sights were beginning to be set a lot higher.
In fact it looked as though history could be made yet again - the club’s second league title in successive seasons.
But the one thing standing in their way was Cowdenbeath, who also had a flying opening run.
And after Christmas, it was like nothing could separate the Blue Brazil and the Lichties.
There were many frustrated weeks at quarter to five, when the Lichties having recorded an important win, would check the Cowdenbeath score to see they had at least equalled them.
And then after a couple of disappointing 2-2 draws against Airdrie and East Fife, it allowed Cowdenbeath to take the driving seat and go all the way to the league title.
The Lichties then knew the play-offs were inevitable and they didn’t have the best of warm ups when their league campaign petered out with some disappointing results at the end.
We now have to look to the future and hopefully next season the Lichties will be challenging once again.
But regardless of what happens, they know they can always count on the support of the fans.