East Stirlingshire’s manager Craig Tully was no more surprised by the shock win on Wednesday night than Allan Moore was at the Lichties failure to bring home a win.
The crucial midweek fixture could have taken Arbroath back to where they wanted to be, at the top of the league but strike after strike from the Maroons could not find the net.
Speaking to the Arbroath Herald after Saturday’s Elgin City match Moore was full of hope that a dressing room dress down would kick the team back into winnings ways.
He said: “We need to pull our finger out.
“I did think we fought back well and it was a good comeback. I even thought we might have gotten out of jail free with the fourth (disallowed) goal.
“But that kind of result, going down three goals, is not good enough.
“Players are not doing their job properly.
“The reality of football is, if you’re not doing your job, somebody else will come and take your spot.”
True to his word Moore replaced the defence with the return of tried and tested players, hoping the combination of Scott McBride and Kevin Nicoll would make the difference on Wednesday evening.
Confidence in the defence certainly made an impact on the rest of the team’s performance, as the forwards concentrated on a sustained assault on the Shire’s goal mouth, launching ball after ball towards it.
Even with renewed strength at the rear, the Lichties seemed to see-saw their weakness to the front, maintaining a recent pattern of unfinished strikes on target.
Tully said: “I agree they had a lot of chances but I don’t think ‘keeper Richie Barnard has actually had a save.
“They had a lot of flashes across the goal and a few you’d expect him to stop but that’s it.”
Unsurprisingly Moore’s mood had little chance to improve from Saturday, as his team’s failure to convert a single chance in their campaign against East Stirlingshire, cost them dearly.
Tully’s words did little to pacify the Arbroath manager.
Exasperated, Moore said: “I’m not interested in ‘it was a steal’ or ‘we were robbed’.”
Three points would have taken the past league leaders back to the top spot and broken their current streak of misfortune.
Arbroath now face an away derby match tomorrow against Montrose at Links Park.
A win could provide the much needed confidence boost to get the Lichties back on form. Paul McManus said ahead of the fixture: “We have to go there with our tails up, ready.”