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  1. Bottoms Up After the Morton madness, it's bottom club Arbroath's turn to benefit from our problems. As if injuries were not bad enough, we appear to have a conflict at the club known as Ridgers Rift and the possibility that could add another name to the missing list. It is however mildly reassuring to note that the Smokies have injury problems of their own plus the manager player conflict known in this case as the Nick Low Law. This game is on Saturday afternoon with a scheduled kick-off time of 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium where we will find out if the power of management trumps fan power. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MATCH/TICKET INFO NEW DIRECTOR STATEMENT QUEENS PARK LATER KICK OFF Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 22 16 3 3 56 18 +38 Away 21 9 6 6 26 22 +4 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 43 25 9 9 82 40 +42 Only three defeats at home from twenty two matches, although the tide seems to be levelling out over recent fixtures. The legendary Alan Hercher will be resting uneasy at our recent run given how he led the way with a twenty minute hat-trick in August 1994. CTO report by Ian Broadfoot: 5-2. Caledonian Thistle's Scottish League debut resulted in a tremendous performance and a fine victory. Alan Hercher was the hat-trick hero as Caley Thistle got their League campaign off to a flying start. Three first half goals by Hercher set the scene for a dramatic opening League 3 encounter. In the opening minutes Caley Thistle 'keeper Mark McRitchie had to look sharp to save a 15 yard drive from John Reilly. In 13 minutes Mark McAllister won a corner and Alan Hercher headed in Graeme Bennett's kick to score Caley Thistle's first ever Scottish League goal. It was not long before he also scored the second and third! Before that Arbroath came close on two occasions -the first when a John Brock header went inches past the post and the second when a 25 yard free kick almost found the net. John Scott and Mike Andrew had chances for the home side before Alan Hercher again wrote his name into the record books. In 31 minutes he shot home his second goal through a ruck of players then headed home another corner in 33 minutes. Half Time: 3-0 In the second half Arbroath came back into it and scored through Brock and Reilly - Caley Thistle bounced back and scored twice more. In 71 minutes Paul McKenzie latched onto a long McRitchie clearance and lobbed over the keeper then Wilson Robertson completed the scoring six minutes later with a high ball from 22 yards. Full Time: 5-2 This rounded off an exciting match and an historic occasion for both the club and Inverness. Last 10 Competitive Meetings 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 0 (H) 3 - 0 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 1 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 3 - 1 (H) Honours are even over the last six meetings with four draws and a win apiece. The last three fixtures failed to produce a goal over ninety minutes. Given our problems, it's a fair bet that goals will be hard to come by again this weekend. Gone are the days of 7-0 thrashings over the Smokies with Dick Campbell proving to be an astute leader in the face of adversity. Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Ayr United 13 7 3 3 28 17 24 2. Morton 13 6 3 4 19 13 21 3. Queens Park 13 6 3 4 21 21 21 4. Inverness CT 13 6 3 4 15 15 21 5. Partick Thistle 13 6 2 5 25 24 20 6. Dundee 13 5 4 4 21 18 19 7. Raith Rovers 13 6 1 6 16 13 19 8. Cove Rangers 13 3 4 6 20 24 13 9. Hamilton Ac. 13 2 5 6 13 24 11 10. Arbroath 13 2 4 7 8 17 10 FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER (7:45) Cove Rangers v Queen's Park SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER (3:00) Ayr Utd v Morton Inverness v Arbroath Partick v Dundee Rovers v Accies Last Time Out Our problems were there for all to see on telly last Friday as our makeshift XI shot themselves in the foot by gifting Morton a three goal start at Cappielow. To compound that the Ridgers Rift came into play as Billy hooked Mark at the interval in a sort of public hanging that appears to have been brewing over the last few weeks. Certainly there looks to be a difference of opinions on display at the very least. Mark has been our saviour on numerous occasions, but a couple of errors early on saw Morton go two ahead before David Carson headed into his own net before half time. It was a bizarre game as we dominated possession but looked fragile at the back with numerous big players missing. Up front we were as believable as Boris Johnston and Liz Truss rolled into one. The fourth goal just reinforced this. However, how necessary was the Ridgers Rift? Arbroath find themselves at the foot of the table after a poor start to the season with only two wins in their opening thirteen games. Last week they went down 2-0 to Ayr United who now top the table. They played with last years player of the championship Michael McKenna chasing shadows as a lone striker with Bobby Linn supporting when he could. The Nick Low Law saw him not on the team sheet. The previous week they beat Accies 1-0. It's been a crazy league so far with any team capable of taking the points off anyone else. They have perked up recently with draws against Queens Park and Dundee, but this was always going to be a difficult season for them after the high of the last one. Unfortunately, we like to bend over backwards to accommodate struggling teams and in fact are one ourselves just now. Latest Team News Despite our embarrassing performance last Friday, it was good to have Sean Welsh and Wallace Duffy back on the park. Max Ram is also getting up to speed and maybe Austin Samuels will be next to come off the list athough he is still a doubt for this game. Choice of goalkeeper will come down to the Ridgers Rift which is not ideal for Dodds, Ridgers, Cammy Mackay, the team, the sponsors or the supporters. Let's see what Billy makes of it now. Eric's Smokies surprises Arbroath have their own injury list to contend with. Missing recently have been defender Tam o'Brien, wide player Scott Stewart and striker Dale Hilson who was kept on the bench last week. Scott Bitsindou on loan from Livingston looked to have done his hamstring as he pulled up after an hour against Ayr United and will likely miss this game. Bin man Linn is the one constant for Arbroath, still performing well even at 76 years of age. Scot Allan will make them tick over in midfield and will need close attention. At Gayfield Park in the back line its out with the old and in with the new with defender Jason Thomson at 35 years leaving for Kelty Hearts, and Marcel Oakley coming in on loan from Birmingham U21 aged 19 years. In the middle of the park James Craigen has left for FC Edinburgh and Nicky Low out on loan to Kelty Hearts. Incomers are Scott Bitsindou defensive midfielder on loan from Livingston who went through Belgian club Anderlecht's Youth system. Central midfield player Dylan Tait is on loan from Hibernian. Scott Allan who had a successful loan spell at the Caledonian Stadium is now an ex-Hibernian player who has signed on at Arbroath on a contract until May 2024. Centre forward Luke Donnelly has vacated Gayfield to further his career at Alloa FC. Kareem Isiaka whose agent describes him as an "attacking" centre forward (is there any other kind?), it transpires he was once with Charlton Athletic FC U21 has signed a short-term contract until January. At 21 years old since being at Charlton his career has been sporadic, last at Vikingur in Iceland.
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