Arbroath boss Dick Campbell has hailed his side as deserved winners in the table-topping clash with Kilmarnock – even if their winning goal was lucky.
The Lichties went four points clear at the summit of the Championship after a 1-0 victory over their nearest rivals in front of the BBC TV cameras.
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A solo goal from Jack Hamilton on 56 minutes was enough for Arbroath as they saw out the victory despite late pressure from Killie.
The goal may have been fortuitous with keeper Zach Hemming fumbling into his own net but that did not matter to the Lichties gaffer.
“It wasn’t a goal worthy of winning a game like that,” Campbell admitted. “Their goalie has had a good game.
“But it doesn’t matter in a game of football.
“There’s been a lot of things said about Arbroath. We’re four points clear now.”
Red card call
The home side were reduced to ten men when substitute James Craigen was shown a straight red card late on for a lunge on Rory McKenzie.
Campbell had no complaints though.
“That was a red card,” he said. “From where I was sitting, you can’t lunge in like that.
“James’ natural enthusiasm carried him through but it is what it is.
“Nobody would deny us the right to win this game tonight. Even with 10 men.
“We defended resolutely in the last 10 minutes when Kilmarnock came at us.”
Campbell was full of praise for his players who played out the gutsy performance infront of a noisy crowd of 2,803.
He was pleased he was able to send the majority of them home happy.
“I was delighted with the attitude of our players. Look where that takes us, it takes us four points clear.
“We deserved to win tonight. If you don’t lose any goals, you give yourself a chance.
“It’s fantastic for the fans. They’ve been on this party run for the last five or six years. It’s fantastic it really is.”
Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes felt his side were poor on the night but insisted they are still up for the title fight.
“Arbroath were Arbroath,” he said. “They were everything we expected of them. They are top of the league for a reason.
“Overall, it was a disappointing night. We’ve lost the game, but we’ve not lost the battle.
“There are still 13 games to go, the players need to realised they can’t pass by opportunities to go top of the league.”