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3 Arbroath talking points: What next for the Lichties as 40 point target surpassed in win over Raith Rovers

We take a look at 3 talking points from Arbroath's 2-1 win over Raith Rovers.
We take a look at 3 talking points from Arbroath's 2-1 win over Raith Rovers.

Another week goes by and part-time Arbroath remain top of the Championship.

Not only are they still pride of place, but they’ve now got a four-point lead over rivals Inverness and Kilmarnock at the summit.

Three points in the gutsy comeback away to Raith Rovers also saw the side return to winning ways over last weekend’s hiccup to Ayr United.

Goals from Jack Hamilton and Nicky Low made sure it was another week in dreamland for the Lichties.

Courier Sport was at Starks Park and here are three talking points from the game.

No Nouble, no Dowds, no McKenna? No problem!

Arbroath went into the game against their fellow promotion contenders without three key players who have done the business for them this season.

Joel Nouble returned to Livingston earlier in the week. Anton Dowds, who scored important goals recently, also returned to his parent club Falkirk.

The side was also dealt a blow with the league’s top scorer Michael McKenna ruled out for Covid reasons.

NIcky Low converts the penalty to make it 2-1 Arbroath.
Nicky Low converts the penalty to make it 2-1 Arbroath.

But this is a team game and there are plenty of players willing to step up to the plate, especially in such a big game.

A star on the day was Nicky Low. The midfielder had not started a game since a horrific injury in September ruled him out for months.

Not only did he nearly complete the game, he bossed the midfield and stepped up to take the winning penalty.

Praise should also go to Liam Henderson, who slotted in at the left side of midfield and to Luke Donnelly who came back into the side after a couple of months on the sidelines.

Fans

The cruel reality of Arbroath’s recent success has been that their fans have not been allowed in to share some incredible moments with the players.

The last time fans saw their side, without restrictions, was the 2-1 win over Morton that saw them go top before Christmas.

That was a special. But they’ve been unable to witness first-hand the sweeping aside of Dunfermline at East End Park or the incredible win over Raith.

Dick Campbell continues to work miracles at Arbroath.
Dick Campbell continues to work miracles at Arbroath.

It was an odd atmosphere at Starks Park. Every time Arbroath pressed towards the opposition goal, it was met by deathly silence as the home fans feared what was to come.

In normal circumstances, the noise from hopeful supporters would rise before erupting into cheers as the net burst.

But when Arbroath scored, it was eerily quiet. The only noise came from the celebrating players and the visiting directors.

Let’s just hope they can continue to bring more joy to the fans when they can celebrate with them.

40 points target achieved – what next?

For months, Dick Campbell has said that 40 points was the target for Arbroath Football Club this season.

Those forty points would ensure their Championship status for another year.

He would refuse to speculate on anything else until that target was met.

On Saturday, his side surpassed that 40 points target.

Dick Campbell left the post-match media duties to his brother, so he wasn’t there to answer the question of what’s next.

But the answer surely has to be the play-offs or even the title.

Regardless, whatever happens from now until the end of the season, this campaign will go down as their most successful ever – and we’re only half way through.

‘First class’ attitude was key to Arbroath comeback against Raith Rovers says assistant boss Campbell

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