Lichties unlucky not to take maximum points

Disallowed goal. not right.
Disallowed goal. not right.

ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin is hoping his team’s unbeaten league run will continue at Clyde tomorrow (Saturday).

The Lichties returned to league action after a four-week lay-off on Wednesday night when they held league leaders Stranraer to a goalless draw at Gayfield.

And their recent good form has been recognised with Mr Sheerin netting the Irn Bru Third Division manager of the month award for November.

However he told HeraldSport that despite being delighted with the award he feels his assistant Stewart Petrie also deserves recognition.

He said: “We have put in an excellent run lately and it is a nice accolade but it is a bit different for me as I am on the pitch most of the time.

“Stewart Petrie puts in a lot of hard work on the touchline and in training so the good run is a testament to him too.

“We have a strong side here and we have been working hard, so even though I am delighted with the award, it is really for everybody.”

Tomorrow (Saturday) the Lichties are due to travel to face the Bully Wee at Broadwood, although the game could be in doubt as forecasters predict a return of the cold snap.

However, the boss says they are desperate for the games to go ahead after already being out of action for four weeks.

He added: “Hopefully Clyde will go ahead tomorrow and we can get run of games because that is what we are needing.

“What we need to do is keep up the performance levels and I am sure we will get the right result.”

Arbroath 0, Stranraer 0

AFTER their enforced lay-off due to the wintry weather, Arbroath were finally able to get their fixtures back on track with a home meeting against table topping Stranraer on Wednesday night.

Paul Sheerin’s men came into the game on the back of four straight league victories and desperately tried to make it five in a row on Wednesday.

But despite having the upper hand and the majority of the chances, they shared a goalless draw with the visitors.

At full-time Mr Sheerin was happy to have extended their unbeaten run, but said he saw the game as points lost rather than a point gained.

He explained: “I think we definitely deserved the win as the amount of chances we had were worthy of the three points.

“But I think it was just a case of it being not meant to be tonight as on another day Steven Doris, Gavin Swankie and Josh Falkingham would have easily converted the chances we had.

“We were definitely going all out for a win and Stranraer made it difficult for us.

“A lot of teams are coming here and playing in that way, so I think it says a lot that other sides think Gayfield is a difficult place to come.”

The only change the boss made to the side that faced Montrose in their last game on November 13, was Alan Rattray coming into defence replacing Mark Durnan, who has returned to St Johnstone following his loan move.

Early chances fell to Arbroath, who looked the more dominant side and they tested Stranraer ‘keeper David Mitchell from the beginning.

Firstly, he had to deal with shot by Gavin Swankie and then did well to keep out a Kieran McAnespie free kick.

In the 20th minute, the Lichties thought they had broken the deadlock when a corner in from the left by Swankie was headed home by Rattray.

But the referee awarded a free kick to Stranraer after he adjudged the ‘keeper to have been fouled.

Falkingham and McAnespie also had excellent opportunities to convert but it was Swankie come came closest before the interval.

After a winding run by McAnespie he played the ball into the path of Swankie, who only had the ‘keeper to beat but his shot from close range rolled wide of the post.

Half time: Arbroath 0, Stranraer 0.

The Gayfield men really started to pile the pressure on in the second half and Falkingham had excellent chance saved by Mitchell.

He followed up the rebound but hit it too wide.

But it was on 72 minutes when the Lichties really should have scored but squandered an easy chance.

Doris crossed in the ball from the right and it fell to feet of Swankie who almost had an open goal.

But he hit his close range effort too hard and it went high over the crossbar.

It wasn’t until the 84th minute that Darren Hill was tested for the first time when Craig Malcolm unleashed a long range effort but it was easily saved by the Arbroath ‘keeper.

In the dying stages, Stranraer managed to race up the field to test the home side’s defence for the first time in the game but were unable to find a way through them.

The result means that Stranraer retain their position at the top of Division Three, with the Lichties in third place just five points adrift of them.

And Stranraer manager Keith Knox admitted that Gayfield was a difficult place to come to for his players.

He said: “Our ‘keeper made some great saves to keep us in the game.

“Arbroath is a hard place to come and they definitely tested us tonight.”

Teams:

Arbroath: Hill 6, McMullen 7, McAnespie 7, Chisholm 7, Malcolm 6, Rattray 6, Falkingham 6 (Dimilta 5 59), Gibson 7, Doris 6 (McGowan 4 75), Swankie 7 (Deane 3 86) and Sheerin 7. Unused: Griffin and Burns.

Booked: McAnespie and Gibson.

Stranraer: David Mitchell, G. Gallagher, Sharp, Bouadji, D. Gallagher, McColm, One (Moore 70), Danny Mitchell, Malcolm, Agnew and Noble. Unused: McAuliffe, Murphy, Aitken and Marshall.

Booked: Bouadji and One.

Referee: Neil Watters.

Attendance: 302.