East Craigie 2, Arbroath Vics 0
ARBROATH Vics were out of town on Saturday when they travelled to Dundee to meet East Craigie in a league fixture.
Having been down to the bare bones last week, Vics were bolstered by the return of Danny Smith, Mark Fotheringham and Ryan Owbridge to the starting line-up with Garry Warren and Scott McDowell on the bench.
The home side kicked off amidst a brief flurry of snow and were gifted a corner almost immediately when indecision between Chris Cargill and David McLeish led to the ball being turned behind.
Slack marking from the flag kick allowed Ross McFarlane to get his head to the cross, but the tall Craigie player could only direct it wide of the goal.
Steve Florence then did well to block Brian Scrimgeour as he lined up a shot on the edge of the box after Kieran Small had slipped a pass through the defence.
In Vics’ first foray into the Craigie half, McLeish sent Craig Watson away up the right, but his cross drifted into the side-net without troubling Shaun Logie in the home goal.
Two minutes later, a cross into the box from McLeish just eluded Watson and Owbridge stole in behind the defence but guided his shot back across goal and wide of the post.
Terry Gray then broke up a Craigie attack and surged forward from midfield and into the home half before drilling a shot just over the bar.
Vics had a great chance to open the scoring in the 27th minute when Gray headed a Cargill clearance through the Craigie defence giving Owbridge a clear run in on goal, but he failed to beat Logie with his shot, the ball being blocked by the legs of the ‘keeper.
Four minutes later, Vics found themselves behind.
There seemed little danger when GORDON NORRIE gathered almost 30 yards from goal, but he was given time and space to crash an unstoppable shot high into the corner of the net leaving Cargill helpless.
Vics found themselves further in arrears shortly after.
Peter McAvoy sent Gordon Norrie free down the right and when he pulled the ball back into the box.
Vics failed to clear their lines and DARREN GRAY took full advantage to send a shot beyond Cargill from around the penalty spot.
Half-time: East Craigie 2 Arbroath Vics 0.
A mistake by Danny Smith almost gifted Craigie a chance within a few minutes of the re-start when he lost possession to Kieran Small just outside his own box, but he recovered in time to slide in and concede a corner as the number 11 advanced into the area.
Soon after, a fine move involving McAvoy, Gray and Small saw the latter curl a dangerous cross into the box, which Cargill did well to clear off the line with the Craigie forwards bearing in on the ball.
Craigie might have added to their lead in the 57th minute when Scrimgeour pulled a corner back to Small who clipped the ball into the box for Craig Scrimgeour and he sent a 16 yard shot curling just over.
Vics almost hauled themselves back into the match two minutes later when Liam Campbell dispossessed McAvoy and sent Watson away.
And although the striker’s shot beat Shaun Logie, it was cleared off the line by Blair Mudie who got back to get a foot to the ball.
In their next attack, Vics were again out of luck when tenacious play from Gray saw him drill an 18-yard shot beyond the keeper, only for the ball to crash back into play off the post.
Cargill, however, had to be at his best to deny Sam McDonald as Craigie broke to the other end, the keeper making a great one-handed save to prevent his angled drive from finding the back of the net.
Vics were again indebted to Cargill in the 74th minute when he pulled off an almost identical save from Sam McDonald to restrict the home side’s lead to two.
Craigie then effectively shut up a shop inside the remaining minutes and were quite content to hold on to their two-goal lead and the points, which Vics were unable to make any inroads into.
East Craigie: Logie, McAvoy (Allen 65), Mudie, C. Scrimgeour, Anderson, McFarlane, McDonald, B. Scrimgeour, Norrie, Gray (Chalmers 80) and Small.
Arbroath Vics: Cargill, Smith, McLeish, Gray, Sturrock, Florence, Fotheringham, Campbell (Warren 65), Watson (Johnston 80), Owbridge and Simpson.
Vics are without a fixture this Saturday, but are likely to try and arrange a friendly.
Winners this week were: £10 – No. 25 Jackie McKenzie and £5 – No. 112 Barry Ruxton