Arbroath’s most successful season just keeps getting better after a 3-0 victory over Darvel in the Scottish Cup.
They are now in the fifth round with an intriguing tie against Hibs set up and sit three points clear at the top of the Championship.
Two massive weeks lie ahead with Partick and Kilmarnock due to visit Gayfield in consecutive games, the outcome of those fixtures could go some way in deciding the fate of the league.
But for now, life couldn’t get much better for the Lichties.
We take a look at three talking points after the comfortable win over Darvel.
The departures of Anton Dowds and Joel Nouble may have seemed like a big loss to Arbroath at the beginning of the month. But Jack Hamilton is showing that he is more than capable of filling their shoes.
Four games in and he’s scored more goals than he had this time last season (three) – and he’s already half-way to matching his previous goal tally (eight).
What a day❤️⚽️ https://t.co/PtkyF3kWoU
— Jack Hamilton (@Jackthamilton30) January 22, 2022
He is pacey, strong, can header and looks comfortable striking the ball. And, most importantly, he’s gelled into the team immediately.
Hamilton was more than deserving of his treble on Saturday – and will maybe be a bit disappointed he didn’t have more.
His partnership with fellow loanee Craig Wighton also looks to be developing. Once the two of them fully click, the Lichties could see goals galore.
On paper Darvel looked a tricky tie having caused two upsets, against Stranraer and Brechin City, earning the right to face Arbroath.
Dick Campbell showed them the utmost respect and fielded a full-strength side against the Ayrshire team four leagues beneath them.
And in the opening 15 minutes it looked like it could have been a long afternoon for the home side as the junior outfit asked questions of the defence and didn’t make life easy for the Lichties.
It was a pleasure to meet everyone involved with @darvelfc today in our 4th round Scottish Cup match. We hope all the supporters who made the long trip have made it home safely and wishing everyone at Darvel all the very best for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/qug5e2GbbB
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) January 22, 2022
But Arbroath are not top of the Championship by luck and their quality soon began to show.
They could have had four or five goals but in the end they’re into the next round and that’s all that really matters.
Without meaning to discredit Darvel, the game was really a glorified training exercise for Arbroath.
It gave Craig Wighton a chance of more minutes and was a nice win to keep the confidence up as they go into a potentially season-defining fortnight.
Arbroath have, arguably, found themselves in the tie of the fifth round as they welcome Hibs to the Angus coast next month.
Shaun Maloney’s side looked far from convincing as they narrowly beat League One Cove Rangers after extra time at Easter Road on Friday night.
At Gayfield, Arbroath are near-impenetrable. They’ve still only tasted defeat once in the league, against Inverness on the first say of the season, and have only conceded seven goals.
With the Lichties riding high in the league and brimming with confidence, if they are on top of their game, they’ll know this is a winnable cup tie.