Solitary point against nine-man Forfar

editorial image

ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin said his side should have done better and took maximum points against a nine man Forfar side at Gayfield on Saturday.

The Station Park men took an early lead in the Angus derby through Michael Bolochowecky but soon after the goalscorer saw red for violent conduct.

In the second half, Steven Doris levelled the score when he made no mistake from the penalty spot after the referee spotted a foul on Derek Holmes.

The visitors were then reduced again when Steven Tulloch received his marching orders.

And even though the Lichties had 30 minutes with a numerical advantage, they were unable to find a winning goal and had to settle for a draw.

At full-time Mr Sheerin was disappointed that his side weren’t able to capitalise on the red card incidents.

He said: “It is frustrating, we found it difficult to keep possession which is just not good enough so it is hard to take.

“We should have kept the ball better but Forfar dug in and they did excellent with nine men when they were up against it.

“We should have done better.”

The Lichties had a few half chances in the dying stages to grab a winner but they didn’t take them.

And the boss was also disappointed with the lack of creativity up front.

He added: “We huffed and puffed and didn’t create too much.

“We struggled and it should have been like that against nine men.”

Mr Sheerin went with the same side that easily beat East Fife the previous week with replacement goalkeeper Scott Morrison earning his third start.

The Forfar side also featured several familiar faces. Ex-Lichtie Gavin Swankie started, while Barry Sellars was on the bench.

And it was the visitors who took the lead on just four minutes when Ross Campbell played a ball into the box.

Arbroath failed to clear it away and BOLOCHOWECKY blasted the ball past Morrison from close range.

Soon after the Lichties almost drew level when a cross by Doris found Scott Robertson, but his header was wide over the bar.

On 24 minutes, a Bolochowecky foul on Sheerin saw the Station Park man stamp on the Arbroath manager.

The referee Des Roache then showed the goalscorer a straight red card, the first of the day.

The aftermath of the incident also saw Robertson and Ross Campbell booked after they tussled.

Forfar boss Dick Campbell was also spoken to by the referee and his assistant.

With the visitors reduced to 10 men, the Lichties surprisingly struggled to keep possession as they desperately tried to find an equaliser.

Before the break, Doris was the only player that came close but he was pulled down by Campbell, but the resultant free-kick amounted to nothing.

Half-time: Arbroath 0, Forfar Athletic 1.

Arbroath were desperate to get back into the game and on 52 minutes Holmes was hauled back in the penalty area by Odmar Faeroe.

The referee immediately pointed to the spot and DORIS easily dispatched the penalty kick to equalise.

The Lichties then started to look for a winner and a great run by Doris saw him through on goal.

However, he was pulled back by Steven Tulloch and the referee had no option but to produce his second red card of the day to the Loons’ player.

And even though the visitors were down to nine men, they still continued to dominate possession and it proved difficult for the Gayfield men.

And Forfar almost took the lead when Swankie was inches away with a powerful shot which was pushed away by Morrison.

In the dying stages there were a few half chances which fell to Paul Currie and Doris but nothing that the opponents’ defence couldn’t easily deal with.

In the end both sides had to settle for a draw.

And with the two red cards pivotal moments in the game, Mr Sheerin believed they were both warranted.

He explained: “The first red card was deserved. Their boy had a clear kick at me and you can’t get away with that in the modern game.

“If Forfar are frustrated at that red card then that’s ridiculous but if they are upset that our player didn’t walk for pushing then I can understand.”

While Forfar boss Dick Campbell was delighted with the spirit his players showed with nine but was also disappointed not to take the three points.

He said: “What amazing spirit we showed with nine men.

“I’m only disappointed that we didn’t win the game because of our poor discipline.

“It was a good game and I’m sure both teams will be up there challenging this year.”