Arbroath 3, Stenhousemuir 4
It was the proverbial game of two halves at Gayfield as Stenhousemuir won a ding-dong battle.
The teams were locked togather at half-time and Arbroath looked the more likely to go on and win.
But the Warriors came out all guns blazing in the second period and three goals in 13 minutes sealed victory.
But they still had to survive a late onslaught by Arbroath who netted twice more to make it 4-3.
Arbroath gaffer Paul Sheerin made one change to the side that had performed well against Rangers seven days ago.
Alan Cook, goalscorer against the Light Blues, dropped out to be replaced by Stevie Milne.
Stenhousemuir, who had made a good start to the season, had the ever dangerous John Gemmell up front. The striker has a great record against the Lichties.
Good hassling by Erwin won a corner in the opening minute. Linn’s kick was cleared to Smith, whose goalbound effort was deflected wide.
Stenny won their first corner in 13 minutes. Ferguson whipped the ball in, Gemmell headed at goal, the ball was cleared and McKinlay smashed it over the bar.
Brilliant save from C. Smith moment later when he leaped to his right to palm away a close range header from Milne, who connected with a fine cross from Sheerin from the right.
The Warriors took the lead in 21 minutes. A poor clearance was seized upon by Bryan Hodge, who took a couple of strides and let fly with a 20-yard shot which flew past Morrison into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Sean Higgins was the first player to be booked in 26 minuets for a late challenge on Hamilton.
Seven minutes later, a good exchange of passes involing Chisholm and Lin opened up space for Sheerin, but his left-foot shot was off target.
A magnificent crossfield pass by Sheerin in 33 minutes sent Banjo scampering away on the right. He played the ball inside to Linn, who made space for a shot which flashed off target.
Arbroath levelled with a goal of beauty in 34 minutes. A defence-splitting pass from Linn sent Lee Erwin away on the left. He sold Devlin a dummy and then smashed a shot into the roof of the net.
A superb save by C. Smith denied Sheerin in 38 minutes when the player/boss let fly with a rasping drive from 25 yards which he brilliantly tipped over.
Seconds before the interval the Lichties won a free kick 22 yards out. Erwin’s effort rebounded to Sheerin, whose strike was well off target.
Half-time: Arbroath 1, Stenhousemuir 1.
Stenhousemuir made the perfect start to the second half, regaining the lead two minutes after the restart. A Hodge corner found Higgins in space and easily slotted home from six yards.
In 52 minutes they were 3-1 up when Gemmell found space in the box to connect with a cross from the right. He turned well and fired a low shot past Morrison.
Only a great save by Morrison denied Gemmell his second in 55 minutes.
It was 4-1 in 60 minutes when a Dickson shot was going wide and Hamilton, racing in, sent it into the net.
Hamilton atoned for this nine minutes later when he shot from close range to reduce the deficit to 4-2.
Ross Smith almost made it five when he powered in a header, but Cook cleared off the line.
Half chance for Cook in 80 minutes when a Linn cross was cleared to the edge of the box and his shot went over.
But Cook did make it 4-3 in 82 minutes when he turned well in the box after battling work by Erwin to turn the ball home from eight yards.
Milne had a chance in the final minute, but the ball just wouldn’t fall kindly for him.
Arbroath: Morrison, Banjo, Hamilton, Smith, Travis, Donaldson, Linn, Chisholm, Erwin, Milne, Sheerin. Substitutes: Sibanda, Cook, Bayne, Yao, Lindsay, McWalter, Bullock.
Stenhousemuir: C. Smith, Devlin, McKinlay, R. Smith, McMillan, Hodge, Dickson, Ferguson, Gemmell, Higgins, D. Smith. Substitutes: Douglas, McNeil, Anderson, Malone, Lynch, Brash, Shaw.
Referee: Des Roache.