Nicky Low epitomises what Arbroath are all about as midfielder discusses injury woes

Considering he was making his first start for Arbroath since September, Nicky Low was doing well to still be on the pitch in the 81st minute, never mind taking the winning penalty to put his team four points clear at the top of the cinch Championship.

Nicky Low converts from the penalty spot to give Arbroath victory over Raith.
Nicky Low converts from the penalty spot to give Arbroath victory over Raith.

On a cold afternoon in Kirkcaldy, but a very important one in the title race, surprise leaders Arbroath fell behind to Raith before showing the character that has the part-timers at the summit of Scotland’s second tier by battling back to win 2-1 via a Jack Hamilton goal and Low’s spot-kick.

No player epitomises Arbroath more than Low, a hard-working, positive sort with no shortage of talent who is enjoying his football. He was sidelined by an ankle injury picked up against Kilmarnock last year and while he made an appearance from the bench against Ayr last week, manager Dick Campbell felt the 30-year-old was ready to start at Stark’s Park.

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Low was the best midfielder on the pitch, adding a touch of guile to a fairly unsightly match. With experience of playing in the Premiership with Aberdeen and Dundee, plus a spell with Dundalk in Ireland, the 30-year-old is clearly going to be a key player in the second half of the season.

Arbroath manager Dick Campbell, assistant manager Ian Campbell and coach Rab Douglas are doing a fine job at Gayfield.

“First and foremost I’m delighted to be back,” purred Low when speaking to the press after the match. “I missed a large chunk of the season and the boys have been flying. It’s very frustrating watching on because I love my football and I want to play every minute of every game and it's a massive result coming here.

“The gaffer pulled me aside on Wednesday night and said you’re looking well in training, I think it’s about time we got you back involved. We said I would last 60 minutes but I must have played all right as he would have hooked me.

“I was cramping up in the last couple of minutes but that is normal having been out for so long.”

Arbroath are now being talked about as genuine title contenders, a tag not normally associated with an outfit just happy to stave off relegation.

Arbroath celebrate their victory in Kirkcaldy.

“People keep asking, what are the ambitions?” continued Low. “We’re top of the league by four points, albeit teams may have a game or two in hand. Listen, I think we’ve played everyone in the league once or twice and we’re as good as anybody in this league in my opinion.”

The way they recovered from a substandard performance the week before at Ayr has the hallmarks of champions. “Most teams who challenge for leagues they don’t normally lose two in a row and we’ve not,” Low pointed out. “Some loan players went back but the boys have shown that character that even though they’re away, we’re still going to challenge and be up there.”

Low is just glad to be playing, given the severity of his ankle knock a few moths ago. “When it happened all my mates sent me videos of the injury against Kilmarnock on the TV and I was really worried because I couldn’t walk,” he added. “People thought I was okay because I limped off but I probably should have got stretchered off because I think I made it worse by putting pressure on it.”

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Arbroath's captivating story continues - 40-point marker reached after fine win ...
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