REPORT: Arbroath see off Shire as Josh Skelly grabs first goal

Photo - Graham Black.
Photo - Graham Black.

Arbroath recorded their fifth win in six games on Saturday with another professional performance, beating East Stirling 3-0.

It was a game which was in doubt of going ahead after Storm Gertrude had left heavy snow overnight.

Thankfully the teamwork of Stenhousemuir’s ground staff and an army of volunteers made sure that the game passed an 11am pitch inspection.

Having kept faith with the same team that dealt with Annan Athletic, Todd Lumsden’s team selection was soon justified as Arbroath scored their first goal in the 11th minute.

Striker Rutherford broke down the right wing under pressure from Cairnie, but quick feet gained Rutherford a yard of space to find Skelly hovering outside of the six yard box where he calmly slotted home.

The home side were trying to combat Arbroath’s passing with a more physical approach, and Gold soon had to be replaced by Alvarez.

Arbroath pushed for a second goal but despite good efforts from Ramsay and Linn it was East Stirlingshire who almost nabbed the equaliser just as the weather deteriorated, but Fleming was there to parry away a Russell shot as a hail storm lashed Ochilview.

In the opening minutes of the second half East Stirlingshire struggled to get a touch of the ball as the Lichties came running out of the traps.

A sweet strike by Ramsay seemed destined to hit the back of the net, but Barnard did brilliantly to throw himself across goal and grab the curling shot.

Hester was introduced for Rutherford with 30 minutes remaining just as the Shire had their best chance of the entire game when Cairnie met a corner, smashing a header off the bar before McCabe’s follow up was blocked on the line.

East Stirlingshire were left to count the cost of that miss as Arbroath countered and a cross into the box wasn’t cleared allowing Alvarez to power into the box an smash in Arbroath’s 2nd goal from 12 yards out.

The goal forced East Stirlingshire to try and find some way back in, but this only offered more space for Arbroath to attack and on the very next counter attack a beautiful through ball by Hester sent Linn in on Barnard and this time he did score, securing his 12th goal of the season.

Linn was denied again as Barnard slid out saving a certain goal, before Reid sent a pass through for Hester but again Arbroath failed to make it count.

Two more great opportunities fell to the Lichties as Hester went for a spectacular back heeled strike from a Linn cross and in the dying seconds Linn drew a top save.