League leaders Arbroath tie up magnificent seven

Arbroath went in to last night’s home fixture against Hamilton Accies aiming to cap off a magnificent 2021.

Scott Inglis
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 11:08am
League leaders Arbroath tie up magnificent seven
Michael McKenna is amongst those committing their futures to Arbroath. Pic by Graham Black

Dick Campbell’s Lichties went three points clear at the top of the Championship over the weekend thanks to an absolutely stunning 3-0 win away from home at Dunfermline Athletic.

The Pars have been picking up in recent weeks under the guidance of new manager John Hughes, but were simply swatted aside by ruthless Arbroath.

A Rhys Breen own-goal with six minutes played gave Arbroath a platform and they would build on it at East End Park, Michael McKenna and Anton Dowds adding to the scoring.

Confidence is clearly high at Gayfield and they would have aimed to use that to their advantage against sixth place Hamilton when they arrived in Angus on Wednesday.

Assistant manager Ian Campbell said: “It (being top of the league), is something that Dick and I never talk much about.

"We’re challenging guys because we have a good team.

"We’re hard to beat, well organised and we have good players.

"Bring on the next game, and we’ll take it from there.

"Anyone who is going to take points off us is going to have to work hard.”

Boss Dick Campbell, who was again absent from the dug out for the Dunfermline game, is understandably impressed with his squad and this week rewarded seven of his players with new deals.

The club said: “Continuity has benefited our club on and off the pitch in recent years.

"We have been working hard to make sure that continues.

"We are delighted to announce seven players who have extended their contracts.

"With discussions continuing with the team we hope to have more very soon.”

The players committing their futures to the club are Michael McKenna, who has agreed a deal until June 2024.

McKenna has scored 11 times and chipped in with six assists so far this Championship season.

Scott Stewart, one of Arbroath’s stand-out players this season, has also agreed a deal until June 2024.

Now in his seventh season with the club, Colin Hamilton has extended his contract until the same month, as has David Gold who joined the club in 2015, and is the third longest continuous serving player at Gayfield.

Jason Thomson, who joined the club in the summer of 2018 and won League One in his debut season, will stay with Arbroath until June 2023.

Luke Donnelly has agreed a deal until June 2023 as has Dylan Paterson who is currently on loan at Bo’ness Athletic.

Following on from the recent Scottish Government changes in relation to crowd numbers in football grounds, Arbroath were swift to put plans in place to ensure supporters could continue to watch the side.

A ballot was created for the club’s season and half-season ticket holders for the home games against Hamilton and Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday, January 2.

That ballot has now closed and supporters were scheduled to hear if they had been successful for tickets on Tuesday.

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