Report: Arbroath see off Clyde thanks to Mark Whatley goal

Gayfield. Pic by Wallace Ferrier.
Gayfield. Pic by Wallace Ferrier.

Arbroath are now just three points behind Forfar Athletic in the League Two title race following their 1-0 win over Clyde on Saturday.

Mark Whatley's 41st minute goal was the deciding factor in a fast and furious clash at Gayfield.

And the Lichties edge ever closer to League Two leaders Forfar after the Loons were beaten at home by Edinburgh City.

Meanwhile the Bully Wee have dropped to ninth, five points ahead of bottom club Cowdenbeath who have a game in hand.

Phil Johnston looked to give Clyde a spectacular lead right from the kick-off, chesting the ball and smashing a half volley goalwards from 40 yards out but the effort was wide of Ricky Gomes' goal.

Bobby Linn then missed a near-open goal on four minutes, capitalising on terrible defending before descending on John Gibson's goal - but the winger's curled shot went past the post.

It was end to end stuff at Gayfield and only a wonderful challenge from David Gold stopped Johnston bursting down the left flank on an incisive counter-attack.

Matty Flynn got the better of Lichties skipper Whatley in midfield and hammered a looping volley towards goal, but it was agonisingly wide of the mark.

Scott Ferguson found himself in acres of space on the right wing on 19 minutes, he drilled a low cross into the box but Colin Hamilton got his foot to the ball before Johnston could finish.

Ryan McCord then fired a great cross into the Clyde penalty area and the ball deflected off of Steven Doris before gliding inches wide of the goal.

Jassem Sukar found Doris with a lovely ball over the top but Euan McNeil stopped the striker whipping in a cross for the waiting Linn.

Linn was involved seconds later, combining with Ryan McCord before sending the ball in to Jimmy Scott - Scott backheeled it towards Doris but the striker was just not close enough to finish.

Ferguson was causing the hosts plenty of bother down the right and he should've scored on 38 minutes - a cross from the left side fell at his feet 10 yards from goal but the winger fired over the crossbar.

Sukar released Doris down the left with another lobbed ball but the Bully Wee keeper made a fine save, only to be beaten mere seconds later.

Whatley gave the Lichties a deserved lead on 41 minutes, bursting into the box and sliding the ball home beyond an onrushing Gibson.

It was almost 2-0 on 45 minutes, Doris receiving the ball seven yards out before turning and aiming a shot at the near post but the Clyde stopper was right there.

Clyde were enjoying more of the ball after the restart but couldn't quite fashion any opportunities, with McNeil's fierce cross from the right the closest they got to troubling Gomes.

A long ball from Gomes found its way to Jimmy Scott, he bore down on goal but the ball was too high for him as Gibson rushed out of his box and his poor connection flew wide of the goal.

The Lichties were pushing hard to kill the game off but the Bully Wee backline stood strong.

Bryan Hodge had a pop at goal from 25 yards but his blazing effort was always rising.

Peter McDonald missed an absolute sitter on 73 minutes when Ferguson's cross split the Arbroath defence, with McDonald somehow smashing the ball over the bar from six yards out.

Scott fired the ball across to Linn who couldn't quite control it, but possession still fell to Doris whose shot was saved very well by Gibson.

Clyde continued to put pressure on the hosts though and Scott McLaughlin fired a neat shot wide after McNiff's good work on the left on 79 minutes.

Ferguson cut in from the left before blasting a shot of his own over the bar with four minutes left to play.