Report: Ryan McCord masterclass keeps Arbroath right on Forfar Athletic’s heels

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Arbroath remain firmly snapping at Forfar Athletic’s heels in the chase for the Ladbrokes League Teo title as a win over Cowdenbeath stretched their impressive away record to 14 games undefeated.

The Lichties’ victory was in part due to Ryan McCord, who provided a key assist for Steven Doris in the 20th minute before McCord himself scored his 10th league goal of the season just after the break.

But a Scott Rumsby header was to ensure a nervy final 30 minutes.

Arbroath made a strong start to the match and took the lead after a foul by David Syme allowed McCord to stand over the ball 30 yards out.

As the players gathered waiting for a cross to attack, an unmarked Doris ran into space where he picked up McCord’s perfect short free kick before turning and slotting past Jamie Sneddon in the Cowdenbeath goal to open the scoring.

On the stroke of half time Martin Scott controlled a long goal kick from Ricky Gomes before hitting a right foot volley which Sneddon had to be alert to.

The Lichties doubled their lead minutes after the restart.

Cowdenbeath failed to clear the ball from their own box and as the ball ricochet back and forth it was McCord who capitalised as his right foot strike took a slight deflection to beat Sneddon.

At that point Cowdenbeath looked all but dead and buried, but they were given a huge lift by captain Rumsby who managed to get in front of his marker and head home a Shaun Rutherford corner kick in the 62nd minute.

Arbroath went looking for another goal and Sneddon denied Bobby Linn from an angled drive before Syme somehow blocked a Doris flying header from close range.

Cowdenbeath’s confidence was growing and the Lichties were given a huge scare when substitute Craig Johnston netted but the linesman’s flag was raised and Johnston was deemed to be offside.

Defender Syme was almost Cowdenbeath’s saviour but he couldn’t get a full boot to his volley and Gomes made a routine save.

In the last attack substitutes Gavin Malin and Eddie Ferns combined but Ferns blasted over from 12 yards.

A nervy finish for the large travelling Arbroath support, but three more points ensure the title has legs in in it yet.