Missing width could be the answer

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Arbroath were looking to recover their winning form following last week’s defeat but their hopes were dashed by Albion Rover’s defences.

Arbroath travelled to Coatbridge to take on Darren Young’s Albion Rovers, hoping to get back to winning ways after the defeat by Queen’s Park last Saturday. There was a huge support from both sets filling the vintage main stand.

Arbroath lined up with McCallum making his debut in goal with Little, Nicoll, El-Zubaidi and McBride in defence with Linn, Whatley, Hunter and Stewart in midfield with Kevin Buchan starting up front with McManus. Marc McCallum made his goalkeeping debut due to injury for Scott Morrison.

Albion Rovers kicked off the game and it was Arbroath who won the first corner in the second minute. An early goal came as Mark McGuigan was allowed to break down the wing with a cross, neatly finished by Marc McKenzie, who shot across goal beating McCallum.

Arbroath started to get into the game and showing the old signs of menacing ruthlessness. Adam Hunter soon found his range as he shot just wide from 25 yards out and Arbroath had the ball in the net, saved by Parry but eventually after a scramble, was deemed offside.

Hunter had another long range effort before he was fouled by Reid just outside the box.

Both Hunter and McBride stood over the ball but it was McBride who stepped up and curled a beautiful left footed shot into the top corner!

Arbroath were dominating the game and as the celebrations ended McBride could be seen gesturing to his team mates to keep it up. Kevin Buchan and Paul McManus both had efforts on goal but the first 45 minutes came to an end without any more goals.

Half time score Albion Rovers 1 - 1 Arbroath

The second half kicked off with Buchan and McManus over the ball. Ricky Little won an early corner kick for Arbroath but that was as close as they came before the 50th minute when Bobby Linn broke into the box only to be deterred by a speedy Parry.

Arbroath again had another long range effort from Hunter as they were forced to play through the middle with no real width and no penetrating crosses to bring out the best of Buchan.

Arbroath almost took the lead with an Aldin El-Zubaidi header which forced Parry to tip over from the Arbroath corner.

However it was longtime Arbroath nemesis John Gemmell who put Albion Rovers into the lead as another flashing ball across the Arbroath box was headed in by Gemmell.

With only ten minutes left Arbroath tried to push forward but Albion Rovers proved why they have the best defence in the league as they managed to break up Arbroath’s attack and then the counter attack. Goal scorer Marc McKenzie ended also being shown the yellow card but it mattered little as referee Gavin Ross blew for full time.