The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
Raith jibes fired up riled Lichties RAITH:
RAITH ROVERS 2 Armstrong (29, 70) ARBROATH 2 J. Hamilton (71), Little (84)
A glorious late fightback at Stark’s Park gave Arbroath a vital point in their quest for survival, goals from Jack Hamilton and Ricky Little in the closing stages cancelling out a two-goal lead held by Raith Rovers, who have clung on to second place in the Championship on goal difference.
Delighted Red Lichties manager Dick Campbell revealed afterwards that it had been on-field comments by the Raith players which had largely inspired his teams recovery .
“I heard one or two of their players asking each other why they were wasting time against a part-time team,”said Campbell, “and that was a silly thing to say. I don’t know how many times we’ve come back like that this season.
“I’m delighted we have scored two goals late on and taken a point against a full-time team.”
Arbroath, fighting for their lives in the division’s basement area, knew a positive result was of paramount importance in their quest to negotiate the gaping chasm of relegation which was slowly widening below them and they began the game with the hunger which is required to achieve such an objective. But all that came from their early attacking forays was a shot from Ben Williamson which drifted harmlessly wide of Jamie MacDonald’s goal.
That effort proved to be the solitary goal threat from the Angus side during a first half dominated by Raith, who deservedly took the lead on 19 minutes when Dan Armstrong pounced to slot the loose ball home after Arbroath keeper Derek Gaston had parried Regan Hendry’s shot.
A relentless wave of attacks from the home side followed as they sought the comfort of a two-goal interval lead but a competent save by Gaston from Lewis Vaughan’s viciously struck free kick prevented any further damage being inflicted on the visitors prior to the break.
There was a greater sense of purpose from the visitors when hostilities resumed but they looked down and out in the 70th minute when Armstrong made it 2-0 to Raith, cutting in from the right before dispatching his shot beyond Gaston for his second goal of the game.
A casual stroll to victory looked to be on the cards for Rovers at that stage but such aspirations were swiftly nullified when Campbell’s men clawed one back just 60 seconds after Armstrong’s strike, Hamilton volleying past MacDonald to swiftly reduce the deficit.
The unpredictable nature of football was illustrated perfectly when Little struck six minutes from the end to give Arbroath what could be a valuable point.
“We dominated the first half,” said gutted Raith boss John McGlynn. “But we didn’t play well during the second half and lost control of the game.”