REPORT: Lichties finish season with defeat to Elgin City

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As the full time whistle blew on Saturday, there was a sense of relief that the season was finally over.

It had been a turbulent 10 months which started so full of optimism after an impressive pre-season and in particular a warm July night in the capital where the plucky Lichties gave Hearts a real scare, but those memories seemed a lifetime ago.

A crowd of almost 2000 filled Borough Briggs to cheer on City and they were soon celebrating when Elgin took the early initiative.

A sweeping attack was broken up when McKenzie’s effort was blocked but the loose ball was curled into the box by Cameron where Macleod dived low to head the ball past Fleming in the 5th minute.

Arbroath weren’t there just to lay down and perhaps should have been level after a Johnstone throw in found Linn, who beat his man to fire a low ball across the face of the Elgin goal.

The ball found Skelly at the rear post but the young striker had to lean back to connect which meant his effort was just on the wrong side of the bar.

Elgin should have doubled their lead as the ball fell to McKenzie at the back post but his shot was wild and high.

A run into the Arbroath box just a few minutes later by Cameron led to Elgin’s second goal as Referee Steven decided that Munro’s tackle was a foul and pointed to the spot.

Cameron himself took responsibility and stepped up before he struck the ball low into the left corner of the net.

Dick Campbell used one of only his two outfield substitutions at half time with Lowdon coming on for Williams.

The shape of the Arbroath team changed with Whatley slotting to right back, with Reid coming into central midfield and Lowdon taking his place on the left wing.

Elgin scored a wonderful third goal in the 64th minute as Cooper’s sweeping cross found the head of Cameron whose header flashed across goal and into the back of the net leaving Fleming no chance.

Hester replaced Rutherford and should have been awarded a penalty when a rash challenge by the industrious Cameron left the striker clutching his ankle in the box.

Arbroath were to get on the scoresheet and again Hester was involved.

A free kick by Linn was curled into the box where Munro headed it across goal.

Hester showed determination to win the ball before unleashing a shot after great control.

His shot was blocked but Skelly instinctively reacted and fired the ball into the net to give the 50 diehard traveling supports something to cheer.

As the 90th minute arrived the game looked to be over but Gunn hit a ludacris effort from the left wing which dipped just under the Arbroath crossbar to the delights of the home fans.

As the final whistle did eventually blow, there was a sense of relief in the air.

As the Arbroath players took time to shake the hands of the travelling support there will no doubt be big changes to the Arbroath squad over the coming weeks.