AWF were on league duty Sunday past (7th August)
A few teams had called off due to being unable to field teams, notably Raith Rovers, who are serial title challengers.
The RPC was uncomfortably warm in the baking sun, and the ventilation proved inefficient.
Arbroath changed their approach to the first game due to being notoriously slow starters; a Wee Kick-about seemed to settle the team.
First up were Crieff Juniors; the starting team was Pete Bell in goals, Phil Skelly and Gogs Smith in defence, Al Durno and Kev Craib in midfield, with Steve Cargill up top. Ally Gordon, Wullie Craib, and Allan Harrison were the substitutes.
Skelly and Smith were resolute in defence, with Craib and Durno always looking to get the ball to striker Cargill. Cargill had a couple of range finders, and Arbroath looked most likely to score. After a fine through ball from Kev Craib, Cargill set himself up and completed the move by expertly dispatching the ball into the net to put Arbroath up 1-0. It was a very even contest, and Bell made a great save from a free kick as Arbroath deservedly won the game.
Next up was Arbroath coastal friends Carnoustie, and as both teams share a walking football session each Sunday, they started warily. Smith had a long-range effort that looked like a certain goal but crashed off the Carnoustie crossbar. Arbroath carved open a few chances, and Smith was very unfortunate again when he had a fine shot from the edge of the box, which beat the Carnoustie custodian, hit the inside of the far post but didn’t go in.
Gordon and Harrison came on for Cargill and Skelly, but neither team could find a winner in an entertaining game.
Next up was Dundee United, and they opened the scoring with a fine strike from their first attack to put them 1-0 up. Arbroath immediately responded when a fine team move saw Cargill square to Craib, who finished into the top corner to make it 1-1.
Within a minute, an identical move and combination saw Craib put Arbroath 2-1 up, Cargill unselfishly teeing up his teammate. Arbroath had the upper hand, and Smith quickly added a third to make it 3-1.
It was one-way traffic, and Smith thumped home a shot to make it 4-1, with Cargill providing again. Some fine build-up play saw Cargill square to Craib, who dispatched a blistering shot to make it 5-1 and complete his hat trick.
K. Craib was then subbed for Gordon, with Skelly and Durno making way for Wullie Craib and Hatchet Harrison. Arbroath continued to attack, and Harrison found Gordon, who slammed home to make it 6-1.
Arbroath was still playing attacking football, Cargill setting up Gordon to make it 7-1.
Arbroath showed ruthlessness, and the scorers were – K.Craib (3), A.Gordon (2) and G.Smith(2). It should be noted that Steve Cargill was the provider of 6 of the 7 goals to illustrate a different side to his game. Pete Bell only conceded 1 goal in 3 games and benefited from Smith and Skelly being solid in defence.
A fine day for the club, collecting 7 points from 9 and ensuring they are in contention at the top of the league.
Match report by A. Harrison