Scottish Daily Mail



STRIKER Joel Nouble has backed Championsh­ip leaders Arbroath to shake off Saturday’s rare setback and go on and win promotion without him. Nouble, who returns to Livingston today following his productive loan spell at Gayfield, reckons defeat at Somerset Park was just a blip for the part-timers. ‘I hope next season they can join us in the Premiershi­p,’ said the 25-year-old. ‘It’ll be tough because there are so many good teams in this division and they’ll all probably strengthen their squads this month. ‘But I’ve told the boys I want to come back at the end of the season to collect my medal when they win the title. They’ve been in the race for a while now and they’re still in front.’ Much of that can be attributed to boss Dick Campbell, with Nouble crediting the 68-year-old for improving his game. ‘At my very first training session he told me: “I’m not going to tell you how to play football: all I require from my forwards is that you can hold the ball up and get us up the pitch — as for the rest, just do what you want”. ‘How often do you hear a manager say that? He’s a legend in the game, so I thought he might be stricter but he’s given me the freedom to express myself.’ Yet this was something of a turnaround. Ayr, the division’s most porous defence at kick-off, recorded a second successive clean sheet, while top scorers Arbroath drew a blank in consecutiv­e games for the first time in ten months. Arbroath No 1 Derek Gaston failed twice in quick succession to come and collect a punt upfield, expecting his defenders to clear the ball. Following the second fiasco, Rangers loanee James Maxwell’s shot towards the unguarded net should have been cleared by Ricky Little but he contrived to strike the ball against his standing leg and over the line. ‘I’m claiming it, absolutely,’ said Maxwell. ‘It was on target. It got a wee double kick off him (Little) but, if they give me it, I’ll take it.’

 ?? ?? Sore one: Ayr’s Muirhead feels the pain as Arbroath’s Low takes a tumble
Sore one: Ayr’s Muirhead feels the pain as Arbroath’s Low takes a tumble

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