Arbroath ReviewedThursday, 5th Sep 2019
04/09/19: SC: “Unfortunately, we have come away from a game having dropped three points against a good experienced Arbroath side that knows how to win games of football at that level in these conditions.”
Saturday’s match at Arbroath turned out to be a cruel lesson on how to deal with trying to play football in windy conditions. Home advantage turned out to be crucial as Dick Campbell’s League One champions ran out winners courtesy of an opportune goal early in the second half by the freshly introduced Arbroath sub, Luke Donnelly. Pars gaffer Stevie Crawford looked back on the game:-
“This isn’t excuses but when you look at the first half, we were playing Lewis McCann as a wide man last Saturday and young Josh Coley and their keeper was kicking the ball out in the first half and it was ending up with Jason Thomson at right back. With all the experience that we have got as coaches you are actually saying to the kid that they should have been standing right on top of Jason Thomson.
“Yes we knew that it was possibly going to be windy, we have played up at Arbroath but to that extent to have the goalkeeper kicking it out and only going 25 yards at times. The tactic would be to go and just physically stand against him as if you are pinning him.
“That brings that experience to Lewis McCann and he can learn for the future. Would a Ryan Dow, would a Greg Kiltie have known that was what was expected of you at Arbroath? Yes and it is our responsibility to let the players learn from that. Unfortunately, we have come away from a game having dropped three points against a good experienced Arbroath side that knows how to win games of football at that level in these conditions.”
Gayfield Park won’t be an easy place for any Championship side to go this season but Stevie quickly moved on stressing that is really not his concern.
“The disappointment was, albeit in blustery conditions, especially when you are playing with the wind, we did not get enough shots, we did not get enough crosses over and we didn’t play the ball enough on the deck. We had worked on that through the week so why were we playing longer passes that were just going directly out of the park?
“The second half became a different game because the ball got held up in the wind so at times you can lift it to drop it into people’s chests. That is what we have been able to feed back to players. We are looking for them to play more, looking for balls played into feet instead of going direct one.”
There has to be a positive response this weekend claimed Stevie:-
“The last two games haven’t been great. People in football know how difficult it is to go to a place like Arbroath and pick up a result. Dundee United came down here and did one on us in the first half. They were very physical, they were really aggressive and you saw them turn Dundee over in the Dundee derby.
“Dundee United are going to be a force over the season. We have just got to make sure that we now become competitive. We know we have to start winning games of football. We are sitting with two points in the league. We could say that we deserve more out of the first two games but we have not won those two games. Saturday was a totally different challenge and we have got to rise to these occasions.”