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Arbroath 0-0 Inverness AET (3-5 on pens): Lichties Premiership dream ends on penalties against nine-man Caley

The heroic Arbroath players at full-time.
The heroic Arbroath players at full-time.

Arbroath’s dream season has come to an end after a heartbreaking 5-3 penalties defeat to nine-man Inverness.

The Angus club defied the odds all season, pushing the league title to the penultimate day of the season.

And the Lichties’ campaign came to an end 286 days after it started again Billy Dodds’ men.

A massive crowd of 5,154 packed in to Gayfield for the occasion. Despite the result, they could be proud of their side’s display.

However, the top two scoring sides in the Championship could not find the net in 210 minutes of football.

In the end, a missed Bobby Linn penalty proved costly in the shootout, with Dick Campbell’s Premiership dream coming to an end.

A crowd of 5,154 packed into Gayfield for the clash.
A crowd of 5,154 packed into Gayfield for the clash.

The Arbroath boss stuck with the same side that drew 0-0 with Caley in the first leg on Tuesday.

Billy Dodds, meanwhile, made one change with Aaron Dorans coming in for Billy McKay.

Wind dictates play

Arbroath attacked towards the harbour end in the first half and the visitors seemed to struggle with the blustery conditions.

Caley saw their clearances come straight back at them with the wind catching high balls.

Billy Dodds was out from his dugout early on, instructing his players to keep the ball on the deck.

Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has words with the linesman in the first half
Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has words with the linesman in the first half

And it was the visitors who looked to have the first chance on goal. Austin Samuels burst through the middle of the park, taking advantage of a Tam O’Brien slip.

He played the ball into the over-lapping Logan Chalmers but the Dundee United loanee couldn’t get his shot away before Ricky Little snuffed out the danger.

From that, a long clearance turned into a chance for Arbroath with James Craigen playing in Jack Hamilton but the striker’s effort was blocked wide.

Inverness offered very little going forward, with Derek Gaston getting his first touch of the ball 30 minutes, collecting a stray ball.

Colin Hamilton rides a challenge from Shane Sutherland
Colin Hamilton rides a challenge from Shane Sutherland

The Lichties enjoyed much of the possession but couldn’t find the killer touch.

Red card

Despite now playing into the wind, Arbroath had the first chance of the half.

Jack Hamilton did well on the right wing, cutting into the box. His cross was flashed across the face of the goal, agonisingly out of reach of James Craigen and Michael McKenna.

Moments later, it was Caley who squandered a glorious chance to take the lead on 51 minutes.

Shane Sutherland fires an effort into the side netting.
Shane Sutherland fires an effort into the side netting.

Shane Sutherland knicked a bouncing ball from the foot of Ricky Little, before wron-footing Colin Hamilton. The midfielder only had Gaston to beat, but his shot from the edge of the box hit the side-netting.

It was the home side who spurned the next chance. McKenna won the ball back on the by-line from the Caley defence, before playing back to Craigen.

The Englishman’s cross bounced across the box to Scott Stewart but he totally scuffed his shot wide.

The first flash point in the game came on 65 minutes, with the visitors reduced to 10 men.

Danny Devine protests his innocence after seeing red.
Danny Devine protests his innocence after seeing red.

Jack Hamilton headed a bouncing ball past Danny Devine, only to be hauled down.

The Livi loanee was judged to be the last man and referee flashed his red card. It may have been a harsh decision, with the defender’s eyes fixed on the ball.

To add insult to injury, Inverness assistant Scott Kellacher was sent to the stands for his protests.

The away side was reduced to NINE men on 81 minutes after SUtherland was forced off through injury.

The midfielder went down off the ball holding his knee and had to be stretchered off the field.

Shane Sutherland is stretchered from the field.
Shane Sutherland is stretchered from the field.

Billy Dodd’s had used all of his substitutes and was forced to continue with two men down.

Looking to take the most of their numerical advantage, Arbroath introduced attackers Bobby Linn and Luke Donnelly to the action.

The away side survived waves of attack and had a glorious chance to steal it at the end.

Joseph Hardy burst forward, beating Little and O’Brien but could not keep his effort below the stand.

Still the Lichties continued to attack but the visitors had Billy Mckay to thank for stopping Donnelly’s header deep in added time.

Arbroath couldn’t make the breakthrough with the game going to extra time.

Extra time

Caley were granted an additional substitution in extra time with Scott Allardyce replacing the injured Sutherland.

With Inverness looked to hold on to the ball and play for penalties, but were almost left to pay for a slack play.

Jack Hamilton sees his shot saved.
Jack Hamilton sees his shot saved.

Nicky Low won the ball in the middle of the park, then dinked a ball over the top to Jack Hamilton as he beared down on goal.

It was the best chance of the game for the Lichties but Mark Ridgers got down well to stop the shot.
The home side went close again with Colin Hamilton heading Low’s cross just the wrong side of the Caley post.

The home side went close again with Colin Hamilton heading Low’s cross just the wrong side of the Caley post.

Into the second half, Low saw a couple of shots from distance go wide as the Lichties continued to press.

And on 113 minutes the visitors were reduced to nine men AGAIN with substitute Wallace Duffy given a second yellow for a foul on Bobby Linn.

In the final moments of extra time, Colin Hamilton watched on as his looping header crashed off the bar.

But Arbroath still couldn’t find a way through, with the game to be decided on penalties.

Penalties

Mackay scored the opening penalty.

McKenna slotted the ball down the middle to make it 1-1.

Hardy made it 2-1.

Low placed the ball to the left, levelling it at 2-2.

Welsh put his into the bottom left corner to make it 3-2.

Colin Hamilton made no mistake for 3-3.

Cammy Harper saw Gaston get a hand to his penally to make it 4-3.

But Linn’s effort was then saved, keeping the score at 4-3.

Broadfoot then stepped up to win it 5-3 to Inverness.

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