Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Goalkeeper can inspire Arbroath’s survival, says Lichtie Little
RICKY Little has heaped the praise on hero keeper Derek Gaston for his “heroic” penalty save that could spark Arbroath’s survival fight.
Gaston made a double block to deny Morton’s on-loan St Johnston star Ali Crawford in last Friday’s 1-1 draw at Gayfield.
The save thrust Gaston into the spotlight, with BBC Match of the Day even tweeting a unique-angle view of the save.
And with Lichties captain Tam O’Brien throwing his body on the line to block the follow-up, Little hopes that frantic 18-second incident could be a turning point for Arbroath.
“I never realised how good the saves from Gats were at the time,” said Little.
“The first penalty save is good enough as he gets a really strong hand on it.
“But to be able to get back down in time to save the rebound is incredible.
“The goal-line clearance from Tam is brilliant, too.
“I’m not surprised that it made it on to Match of the Day’s tweets. You can say ‘That’s what he is paid to do’ but it was a great moment.
“The great thing for us is that it’s not a ‘once in a blue moon’ save from Derek.
“He made other saves in the game that were excellent and does it week in, week out for us. He’s incredibly consistent.
“We didn’t play well at all. It’s probably the worst we’ve played for several months but that moment could be massive for us.
“You lose a penalty and think ‘Oh no, here we go again.’
“Then Gats makes his saves, Tam clears and there’s a big roar from the Arbroath fans.
“The feeling of togetherness from that moment is something that can inspire us.”
Arbroath’s draw lifted them off the bottom, albeit on goal difference, and to within a point of eighthplaced Cove Rangers.
They travel to Championship leaders Queen’s Park this evening seeking to preserve an unbeaten away record that stretches back to November 19.
But Little, who joined Arbroath from Queen’s Park in 2012, believes the turnaround in fortunes at the Glasgow side is remarkable.
He added: “When I joined Queen’s Park they were still amateurs. We didn’t get paid, only expenses.
“In some ways that was better. There wasn’t anyone in it for the money, they did it to play football.
“The club has also, always, been professionally run.
“We never wanted for anything when I was there. We had Lesser Hampden as a training ground and Hampden to play in.
“Now they are investing and I think, privately, their players must have believed they had a real chance after the first round of games.
“We didn’t start believing until after Christmas last year but Queen’s Park had the money to invest in January.
“They will be very tough opponents but we have to go there believing we can get a result.”