Brechin Vics 0
Arbroath Vics 2
Arbroath Vics made the short journey north to meet Brechin Vics in a league fixture on Saturday.
With Steve Florence back to full fitness, he slotted back into his defensive role, which resulted in Scott Donald dropping down to the bench from the team, which won at home to Lochore Welfare the previous week.
Brechin Vics, enjoying one of their best seasons for many years, included former Arbroath Vics player David Sturrock in midfield.
Arbroath almost got off to the perfect start with just over a minute played when Grant Mowatt sent the ball up the right for Kane Hester to cross over to the opposite side where Garry Warren fired in a volley, but his effort was blocked away by Martin Strachan just inside the box.
Brechin responded with Blair Stephen hoisting a free-kick from just over the half-way line into the Arbroath box where Sean Whitworth got above the defence to get on the end of it, but his header was deflected away for a corner.
Arbroath managed to partially clear the resultant flag-kick, but when David Steel sent it back into the box, Ryan Young stole in behind the defence to guide a header wide at the near post, but had it gone in it wouldn’t have counted as the referee decided he had strayed into an offside position.
At the other end, an Alex Cargill clearance picked out Garry Warren wide on the left, but after getting the better of Martin Strachan, he wasted the chance by sending his cross behind goal for a goal-kick.
Kane Hester was causing problems for the Brechin defence and after battling to win possession, he managed to work his way to the edge of the box, but his shot carried too much elevation and sailed over the bar.
Colin Lawson then won possession in midfield before playing the ball up to Kane Hester who again advanced towards the penalty area, but his parting shot suffered the same fate as his earlier effort.
Alex Cargill was the first keeper called on to make a save when Ryan Lewis got on the end of a Martin Strachan cross, but he had little difficulty holding on to the Brechin player’s 10 yard header.
In the 32nd minute, Paul Ross nudged a Chris Eaton free-kick across the box into the path of Ryan Young who drilled in an angled shot, which Alex Cargill got down to save.
Arbroath were then given a sight of goal when Kane Hester was bundled over a few yards outside the box, but Garry Warren’s shot from the resultant free-kick was blocked away by the Brechin wall.
The nearest to a goal came Arbroath’s way when Garry Warren fired a corner across the face of goal in the 40th minute and Dale Riddell, up with the attack, got a touch, but could only scoop the ball up into the air allowing Jamie Robbie to get up and pluck it from under the bar at the back post.
The deadlock was broken in the 43rd minute and it was Arbroath who made the breakthrough. Kane Hester and Matthew Swan worked the ball across the 18-yard line into the path of GRANT MOWATT who looked to be closed down by several Brechin defenders, but he made space to curl a glorious shot into the far corner, which beat Jamie Robbie all ends ups, leaving the keeper rooted to his line.
Kane Hester almost doubled Arbroath’s lead in the final seconds of the half, breaking away from the Brechin defence to fire in a blistering drive, which Jamie Robbie did well to get hands to and beat away.
Half-time: Brechin Vics 0 Arbroath Vics 1.
Brechin came out determined after the break and almost got back on level terms within a minute. Ryan Lewis sent over a cross, which picked out Ryan Young and his shot looked netbound until Alex Cargill threw himself at it to block it away with his knees.
Kieran MacGregor put Arbroath back on the attack breaking over the half-way line before slipping in Kane Hester, who was pulled back by Blair Stephen, which earned the Brechin player a yellow card. Grant Mowatt cheekily chipped the free-kick over the wall, but the ball dropped just the wrong side of the post.
The home side were soon back on the attack with Ryan Young firing in a snap shot from distance, but the ball cleared the bar without troubling Alex Cargill.
Ryan Young then found his name in the referee’s book for dissent after conceding a free-kick and when Craig Sturrock clipped the ball into the box, Kane Hester got in a header, which drifted into Jamie Robbie’s arms.
Midway through the half, Brechin made a change when Sean Whitworth was replaced by Adam Renilson.
In the 73rd minute , David Sturrock sent the ball out wide to Ryan Lewis on the left, and his cross from the by-line picked out Ryan Young at the back post, but he could only steer his header wide of the target.
Brechin made a second change in the 78th minute when Connor Mitchell came on for Blair Stephen.
Arbroath too made changes when Garry Warren and Matthew Swan were replaced by Josh Chalmers and Scott Donald as the clock moved towards the last five minutes.
Grant Mowatt picked up a yellow card for taking the feet from Adam Renilson before Brechin found themselves down to 10 men in the 89th minute. Kane Hester again burst through the Brechin defence only to be halted in his tracks by Ryan Young, who was shown a second yellow card and ordered off. The striker was unable to continue and was replaced by trialist Dale Miller.
As the match moved onto 90 minutes Arbroath sent the free-kick long into the corner, winning a couple of corner kicks before the Brechin defence managed to get it out for a throw-in close to the flag. With most expecting it to be held into the corner to see out time, Craig Sturrock threw the ball long into the box, where Scott Donald nodded it on and Josh Chalmers turned it back inside the six-yard box for DALE MILLER to turn it beyond Jamie Robbie with his first, and only, touch of the ball.
There was no time for Brechin to retrieve the situation as shortly after the re-start, the referee blew for time.
Over the 90 minutes, Arbroath were deserved winners, restricting Brechin to few opportunities and creating chances of their own, which had they taken them, would have seen the points wrapped up long before the last seconds. Nevertheless they continued their fine form of late, to move into the top half of the league and to within four points of their Brechin namesakes.
Brechin Vics: Jamie Robbie, Martin Strachan, Chris Eaton, Blair Stephen (sub Connor Mitchell 78 mins), Paul Ross, David Sturrock, David Steel, Arran McKay, Ryan Lewis, Sean Whitworth (sub Adam Renilson 70 mins), Ryan Young. Unused subs: Steve Eaton, David Cargill and Ross Wilson.
Arbroath Vics: Alex Cargill, Kieran MacGregor, Craig Sturrock, Dale Riddell, Kevin Durno, Steve Florence, Grant Mowatt, Matthew Swan (sub Scott Donald 84 mins), Colin Lawson, Kane Hester (sub Dale Miller 89 mins), Garry Warren (sub Josh Chalmers 84 mins). Unused sub: Matty Johnston
Referee: Mr. D. Folganan.
Yellow cards: Brechin Vics: Blair Stephen, Ryan Young. Arbroath Vics: Grant Mowatt.
Red cards: Brechin Vics: Ryan Young. Arbroath Vics: None.
Arbroath Vics are back at home this Saturday when they play host to Newburgh in a league fixture. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.
Winners this week were:
£20 – No. 16 Dale Riddell
£10 – No. 11 Jake Ferrier
£5 – No. 68 Brian Ramsay