Arbroath 0 Stenhousemuir 2: Warriors reach out from League One relegation zone

They celebrated with the tunes of the Four Tops, but Stenhousemuir certainly reached out from the relegation battle in an unlikely, but richly deserved victory over League One leaders Arbroath.

The players are embroiled towards the end of the game. Picture: Graham Black
The players are embroiled towards the end of the game. Picture: Graham Black

Stenhousmeuir’s soul blasted out of the visiting dressing room after goals from Mark McGuigan and David Marsh hoisted Stenhousemuir closer to safety and inflicted the runaway champions-elect’s second defeat in a week.

They even survived a penalty scare as Bobby Linn fired the spot-kick into the north sea with the scores level.

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Despite the Warriors precarious league position Colin McMenamin’s side had only suffered one league defeat since their last encounter against Arbroath at the beginning of January.

Before the music blasted, Gayfield was blasted by the customary gales from the North Sea as Arbroath attacked the Harbour end for the first half with the wind at their backs.

Arbroath used the conditions to their full advantage and Stenhousemuir were forced into an early change as Conor McBreaty suffered a cut to the face after being caught by Steven Doris.

Arbroath were given the prime chance to take the lead in the 37th minute after Danny Denholm was floored by Alan Reid with referee Mike Roncone pointing to the spot. However with Denholm and Reid both receiving treatment there was a lengthy delay before play could resume. Bobby Linn proved that despite his stunning season he is actually human as he fired the ball over the wrong side of the crossbar.

Stenhousemuir hit Arbroath with a sucker punch deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half with their first real attack on goal.

A corner by Alan Cook was punched clear by Darren Jamieson but the ball bounced off defender David Marsh and ricocheted back across the line to give the visitors the lead.

The second half didn’t start well for Arbroath when Mark McGuigan doubled Stenhousemuir’s lead in the 56th minute.

A harmless ball down the wing by Cook found McGuigan in yards of space but as the Arbroath defence appealed for offside McGuigan raced on and calmly hit a low right foot shot past the outrushing Jamieson.

Arbroath faced an uphill battle against the wind and the towering Stenhousemuir defence, who were happy to launch the ball down field at

every chance.

With just seconds remaining there was late controversy as Gavin Swankie clashed with keeper Graeme Smith sending both teams swarming towards the two players.

As Swankie was shown a yellow card by Referee Roncone, Stenhousemuir defender Morgyn Neill gestured to the home support. This was brought to the attention of the referee by his stand side assistant which resulted in Neill being sent off.

It is very rare for Arbroath to suffer two league defeats in a row and performances must be drastically improved as play-off promotion chasing East Fife are next up for the Lichties.