WHEN Bobby Linn isolated and drove beyond full-back Euan Murray before expertly finishing into the far bottom corner, it seemed like Raith’s terrific home record was about to end.

However, in the dying minutes at a scramble in the Arbroath box eventually led to the league’s top scorer Kevin Nesbit forcing the ball over the line to take his side’s unbeaten home record in the league to 27 matches.

Following the late drama, there was still time for Arbroath manager Dick Campbell to be sent to the stand by referee Craig Napier.

For a second it looked as if he might charge on to the pitch to confront the referee – much in the way he did at Somerset Park last season – but he thought better of it and eventually made his way to the stand. That was only after Napier again ran to the dallying Campbell to again ask him to leave.

The Arbroath manager made clear that he was irked by some of Napier’s decisions, not least when full-back Jason Thomson was booked for simulation. Campbell was also aggrieved with Raith’s equaliser, claiming the ball had gone out of play in the build-up. The highlights show he may have been wrong with the first, for the second it’s impossible to tell from the footage whether or not the whole ball crossed the line.

Campbell was sent to the stand not for these protests but for challenging where a throw-in should be taken. He accepted he will get another ban but said he prefers to sit in the stand anyway.

Regardless, much like when they drew away to Dumbarton earlier in the season, Arbroath, with all their attacking play and chances created, should have been more than a solitary goal ahead by the time Nesbit equalised.

Ryan Wallace was a constant menace, dropping deep and wide to create chances for others and for himself, and Robbie Thomson in the Raith goal had to have his wits about him to deny Arbroath on a few occasions. Linn, in some of the best form of his career, caused havoc on the left wing all day, especially in the second half.

Raith had their chances too, though failed to work the goalkeeper as much as they’d have liked.

Arbroath didn’t come to sit in and defend, they took the game to their opponents, but were excellent at getting back into shape when they conceded possession. There have been concerns that their attacking 4-4-2 leaves the midfield vulnerable, especially without a true holder in the team, but their ability to get back and form two banks of four whenever Raith had the ball was a big part of their limiting the home side’s chances – even if the game did get stretched toward the end.

Raith deserve plaudits for getting back into the game though you couldn’t have begrudged Arbroath the victory on chances created.

The home side look a different proposition under McGlynn and if they keep the home form up while improving away from home then we’re in for some title race.

The draw means it’s as you were at the top of League One though the result was a good one for East Fife, who continue their incredible recent run under Darren Young with a 4-0 win over Forfar.

Their determination to make it a three-horse race has taken them to within a point of their rivals and to within five points of leaders Arbroath.

Europe’s top marksman bags yet another hattrick

TWENTY-FOUR goals in 15 appearances so far this season. That’s the goal-scoring record of Queen of the South’s Stephen Dobbie ... and he is showing no signs of letting up. 

The 35-year-old’s goal-scoring exploits have recently seen him recognised as Europe’s top marksman. And that was before he netted yet another hattrick at the weekend, this time sealing an astonishing comeback against Alloa. 

Perhaps even more astonishingly, Dobbie left with the match ball but disappointed with his performance. With his side 3-0 down after just 25 minutes at Palmerston, Dobbie struck twice in the 10 minutes before half-time, setting up a nervy second half for Jim Goodwin’s men – a side which is yet to record a league victory this season.

Dobbie, pictured, took until the 70th minute to equalise and to complete another personal treble. Incredibly, it is the fourth time he has scored three or more in a match this season and the sixth time he has done so in the last 10 months.

The Championship Player of the Month for September, who said he honed his skills on the streets of Barlanark, has averaged 1.6 goals per game this season.

Dobbie said at the start of the season he wanted promotion with Queens. That may have seemed ambitious at the time, but if he can keep up anywhere near this level of scoring Queens will be in with a decent shout of reaching the play-offs.

Annan stay on the heels of the top three

SATURDAY’S 3-1 victory over Albion Rovers continued what has been an impressive season so far for Annan Athletic.

The National:

Not grouped among the favourites for this year’s League Two title, the south-west Scotland side have lost to all of the top three in recent weeks yet have still managed to keep within touching distance of third-placed Clyde and are just six points behind Peterhead, who sit second.

Goals have not been an issue for Annan – their three versus Albion Rovers took their tally to 17 for the season, more than Clyde, two fewer than Peterhead and just one fewer than league leaders Edinburgh City.

The problem has been at the other end, with Peter Murphy’s men conceding a total of 12 goals compared with the other more stingy defences in the top four –Edinburgh City (3), Peterhead (5), Clyde (8).

One clean sheet so far, against a struggling Berwick, explains why Annan are no higher than they currently sit.

However, with second taking on third this weekend, a long trip to Elgin gives Murphy, pictured, the chance to potentially leapfrog Clyde or to reduce the gap between them and Peterhead.