Arbroath 2-0 Dumbarton

SFL Div 2, Gayfield Park, 10/3/12.

I shouldn’t have gone to this game. I have never seen us win at Gayfield. The hoodoo continues.

First off, Arbroath are the best team I have seen this season. They were neat, tidy, passed the ball well and played some very good stuff. (I have yet to see Cowdenbeath, that joy is due in a fortnight.)

But the very early stages were even, an Arbroath move after Scott Agnew misplaced a pass needed a good save from Stephen Grindlay to prevent a goal then we came into it for a bit. In fact we scored. You won’t see it reflected in the score-line but Mark Gilhaney cut in and smashed the ball over the keeper, off the bar and down. I was probably among the six best placed people in the ground to see that it had crossed the line. The ref and lino were way behind things though and could not be sure so didn’t give it. That might have made a difference but I doubt it.

Shortly after that Brian Prunty was taken ill, tried to play on but eventually had to go off, which maybe unsettled us as Arbroath proceeded to dominate.

Their first came from a cross when three of their players were left free in the box. Another sweeping move a few minutes later saw a headed goal. I’ll need to see Lichties TV to decide whether Grindlay could have come for it. (At half time I heard an Arbroath fan say the wind had held the ball up for their forward. At Arbroath the elements are always against us.)

The second half was not much of anything. We huffed and puffed but made only one half-chance. Late on we went 3-4-3 and became ridiculously open at the back. Arbroath carved out one great opportunity and I had resigned myself to 3-0 but Stephen Grindlay pulled off an unbelievable save.

Scott Agnew had a poor game in midfield, debutant Craig Dargo had some nice touches but put the half-chance over, Prunty’s replacement Ally Graham might as well not have been on the pitch, sub David Gray turned his man a few times and got his crosses in but didn’t seem able to head the ball.

Any chance of us winning the championship disappeared on Tuesday night. With this game so did any chance of second. I hope two defeats in a row hasn’t put the heads down.

On this evidence, though, we will not win in the play-offs (if we are in them.)

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