Dick Campbell exclusive: Arbroath gaffer "very angry" to lose another penalty shootout

Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has outlined the anger and shock he felt at losing a second cup penalty shootout already this season.
Dick Campbell was not happy to see his team lose another penalty shootout (Pic by Graham Black)Dick Campbell was not happy to see his team lose another penalty shootout (Pic by Graham Black)
Dick Campbell was not happy to see his team lose another penalty shootout (Pic by Graham Black)

The Red Lichties drew 1-1 at Aberdeen B in Saturday’s SPFL Trophy second round clash at Pittodrie before losing 4-1 on penalties. That disappointment came just three weeks after Arbroath lost to St Johnstone on spot kicks after a 2-2 draw at Gayfield in the Premier Sports Cup second round.

“On Saturday we hit the woodwork six times, missed three penalties, had all the play and didn’t score,” Campbell told Angus County Press.

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"So all credit to Aberdeen, I’ve not get any problems with that at all.

"Bear in mind that last Saturday there was only one player who had played the week before.

"I don’t accept that it’s a lottery taking penalty kicks. I think it’s a skill and our penalties have been shocking so I’m very angry at that.

"But listen there’s nothing I can do about it.

"In terms of general play we went about our job right. We had practised penalty kicks but we didn’t do it on the night.

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"Before any game that can go to extra time and penalty kicks, we always practice penalties.

"It wasn't the penalty kicks that lost us the game. We had so much of the game that we should have won it comfortably.

"So I’m not going to hang them out to dry for missing penalty kicks.”

After a goalless first 74 minutes at Pittodrie in which Arbroath had 57 per cent possession and a whopping 19 goal attempts, it was the young Dons who took the lead when Kieran Ngwenya’s cross was tapped in from close range by Michael Ruth.

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Arbroath notched a dramatic injury time leveller when – following a corner which was cleared – Liam Henderson showed great composure to sail the ball into the back of the net from 18 yards to take the game straight to penalties.

Unfortunately for the visitors – for whom Colin Hamilton scored from 12 yards – Liam Henderson and James Craigen both had their efforts saved by keeper Tom Ritchie and Aberdeen B progressed thanks to goals by Tyler Mykata, Michael Ruth, Ryan Duncan and Kevin Hanratty.

Ironically, the Dons goalscorer on Saturday, 19-year-old Ruth – played 11 Scottish Championship matches on loan at Arbroath last season and failed to score.

On Monday, the player joined Falkirk in a loan deal until the end of the season.

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"We know what Michael Ruth can do,” Campbell said. “Michael Ruth is a good player.

"He couldn’t get a regular game with us so he’s gone down a league.

"You’d need to ask the Falkirk manager Paul Sheerin if he thinks he will do a bit of damage in League 1.”

Campbell revealed that he would be keen to bring in one more loan signing between now and the closure of that market on September 30.

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"I’ve only got room for one more loan signing,” the Red Lichties gaffer added.

"There’s nobody imminent anyway.”

Fourth placed Arbroath resume their Championship campaign at home to Hamilton Accies this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.