Arbroath Vics 2
ARBROATH Vics took a break from the business of gathering league points when they headed north up the coast to meet Super League side, Stonehaven in the second round of the GA Engineering Cup on Saturday.
With Paul Tosh on holiday, Mark Fotheringham came back into the starting line-up, but otherwise it was an unchanged side from the one that defeated Brechin Vics the previous week.
Vics had the first attack of note in the third minute when David McLeish played a throw-in near to the corner flag into Chris Simpson before taking the return and crossing into the box where home ‘keeper Michael Smith gathered before Andy Cowan could reach.
However with only six minutes on the clock, Stonehaven took the lead. Calum Murray was impeded just outside the box and from the free kick, Lee Hutcheson seemed slow to react to KEITH HORNE’S low shot towards the near post and although he got hands to the ball it had crossed the line before he could bring it under control.
Worse was to follow three minutes later when Stonehaven scored again. Scott Pyper, Max Alexander and Calum Murray all worked the ball forward to release KEITH HORNE who advanced into the box and rounded Hutcheson before slipping the ball into the empty net.
Two goals down inside the first 10 minutes, left Vics with a mountain to climb but the glut of early goals continued when they pulled one back in the 14th minute. Kevin Durno played the ball out of defence to MARK FOTHERINGHAM who swapped passes with Chris Simpson before taking the return and clipping a curling shot over the head of the ‘keeper and just under the bar from around 25 yards.
Play quickly moved into the Vics’ half with Ivan Sinclair breaking forward and firing off a shot, which Hutcheson had to hold under the bar.
At the other end, Grant Mowatt won a corner down the right and when the flag kick was played into the box, Chris Simpson got in a header, which dropped wide.
Four minutes later, Fotheringham made space for McLeish to send over a cross to the far post for Garry Warren whose effort was scrambled away.
Warren picked up a yellow card midway through the half and he was soon joined in the book by Durno and Sinclair.
Stonehaven were forced to make a change when Campbell Watt came on for Darren Taylor, before further yellow cards were shown, this time to Fotheringham and Horne.
In the 37th minute, Warren and Craig Stephen helped to release Simpson, who got his shot away despite appearing to have his heels clipped, but his effort flew over the bar.
Michael Smith then kept Stonehaven in front when he dived full length to tip a Warren header around the post just as it looked to be going in.
The home side then came close to re-establishing their two goal lead when Hutcheson did well to block a thundering drive from Calum Murray before Horne saw his rebound cleared off the line. The ball bounced in and around the area before Hutcheson relieved the danger by clutching it under the bar.
The final chance of the half fell Vics way when Lewis Shand failed to deal with a Warren cross into the box and he sent the ball to Craig Stephen, but his first-time shot was straight at the ‘keeper.
Half-time: Stonehaven 2, Arbroath Vics 1.
Vics got off to the best possible start to the second half by grabbing an equaliser within four minutes. Simpson was impeded inches outside the box on the right-hand side and GARRY WARREN’S free kick beat Smith low down inside his near post.
Having got back on level terms, Vics almost found themselves behind again soon after when Campbell Watt made space to get in a shot, which beat Hutcheson but Fotheringham got back to clear before it reached the line.
Simpson was added to the referee’s book for dissent, before Murray sent a snapshot just over Hutcheson’s bar.
Stephen was next to be yellow carded for a trip on Sinclair.
A promising Vics’ move saw Durno play the ball forward for Stephen and McLeish to advance down the right, but when the full back turned the ball into the box, it took a deflection and ran away from Simpson who was waiting to pounce.
Midway through the half, Vics made a change sending on Craig Watson for Cowan.
The substitute was soon involved, sticking out a leg to prod a Stephen cross goalwards but the ball landed in the arms of Smith on the line.
Vics looked to be denied a stonewall penalty in their next attack when a Mowatt corner was nodded back across the face of goal for Simpson whose header beat the ‘keeper but was handled on the line, before being scrambled away, but the referee decided it was unintentional and Stonehaven were let off the hook.
Calum Murray was added to a lengthy list of yellow cards before Watson and Warren sent shots just wide of the target.
In the 77th minute, and against the run of play, Stonehaven regained the lead. KEITH HORNE sent the ball out wide to Sinclair on the right, who took it to the by-line before crossing into the box, where the centre forward had continued his run to volley in for his hat trick.
In a late throw of the dice, Vics replaced Simpson with Colin Lawson before Sean Croll was shown the ninth yellow card of the afternoon in the 86th minute.
Vics’ last chance came and went in the 88th minute when Watson headed a Hutcheson clearance through the Stonehaven defence for Stephen to run on, but he overran the ball as he entered the box, allowing Smith to smother it at his feet before he could shoot.
Despite a lengthy period of stoppage time, Vics were unable to grab an equaliser, which would have taken the tie to penalties.
Although they had a decent amount of play, Vics paid the penalty for allowing the home side to take a two-goal lead inside the first 10 minutes. When they got back on level terms, Vics looked the team most likely to go on and win but were caught out again late on and it was enough to see Stonehaven hold on and progress to the next round.
Stonehaven: Smith, Low, Taylor (Watt 34), Pyper, Shand, Sinclair, Alexander, Croll, Horne, Murray, Stewart. Unused substitute: Duncan.
Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, McLeish, Sturrock, Fotheringham, Durno, Florence, Mowatt, Stephen, Simpson (Lawson 85), Cowan (Watson 64), Warren. Unused substitutes: Johnston, Campbell, Smith and Stewart.
Referee: Mr. F. Wallace (Aberdeen).
Vics are back on league duty tomorrow (Saturday) with an away match against Coupar Angus. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and transport leaves Ogilvy Park at 12.15 p.m.
Winners for the last two weeks were: £70 – No. 94, Craig Stephen; £30 – No. 7 Mark Fotheringham; £15 – No. 35, Casey Duncan; £15 – No. 117, Willie Fotheringham; £10 – No. 133, Bob Smith; £10 – No. 24, Arthur Walker; £5 – No. 129, Ryan Owbridge; £5 – No. 56, Elaine Simpson.