East Craigie 0-4 Arbroath Vics: Awesome first half puts Dundee side to the sword

Arbroath Vics returned from Dundee with all three points after hammering East Craigie 4-0 in the North Division on Saturday.

The home side carved out the first opening when they were awarded a free-kick on the right touchline with barely 60 seconds on the clock and when Andy Walls sent a low ball into the box, Nik Mann scuffed it wide of the post from around the penalty spot, writes Neil Hardie.

At the other end, Vics were themselves awarded a free-kick when Abdourahman Njie was pushed just outside the box and when Jamie Thomson swung the ball into the area, Scott Donald rolled a shot just wide of Shaun Logie’s right-hand post.

Vics were rewarded for their enterprising start by opening the scoring in the ninth minute.

Rikki Gillespie sent Njie away down the left before taking the return and drilling a low shot beyond the reach of Shaun Logie from 19 yards.

It might have been 2-0 in the 12th minute when Scott Donald cut the ball back for Josh Chalmers whose shot saw Logie get a foot to it to clear off the line despite diving in the wrong direction.

A couple of minutes later however, Vics did double their advantage.

Kieran MacGregor sent a pass through the Craigie defence which Logie left his box to clear, but the keeper completely missed his kick, allowing Njie to get beyond him and turn the ball into the empty net.

Vics were ripping the Craigie defence to pieces at this point and in the 17th minute scored again.

A fine move saw Njie get beyond Mark Ferrie and roll the ball across to Gillespie, who in turn played in Scott Donald who cut into the box before firing an unstoppable shot on the angle into the far corner.

Arbroath were well on top and it came as no surprise when they went 4-0 ahead in the 23rd minute.

Gillespie sent over a corner which Logie punched down inside the box, but he only sent it as far as Chalmers who drilled it into the back of the net.

Njie should have made it five a couple of minutes later when he beat the offside trap to get on the end of a Corey McCulloch through ball, but Logie threw up a hand to block it before the rebound was hacked behind for corner.

In a rare Craigie attack, Mann nodded an Andy Walls cross down inside the box for Andy McDonald, but his shot was comfortably gathered by Alex Cargill.

It was Vics who came close to scoring again two minutes after the restart.

Gillespie and Colin Lawson combined to get the ball into the box for Chalmers, but Ross McFarlane slid in to hook it away before Chalmers could get in a shot.

At the other end, Dillan Duddy sent in a free-kick from just outside the box but it was easily gathered by Cargill.

Andy McDonald thought he had pulled a goal back for the home side when he cheekily netted a free-kick as the referee was moving Vics’ wall back, but the official wasn’t fooled and ordered a re-take, which the Craigie number four sent wide of the opposite post.

The home side did have more purpose about them this half and David Salisbury sent a header looping over after Andy Walls had sent a cross into the heart of Vics box in the 65th minute.

Vics still looked the more likely to score again and when Chalmers turned a MacGregor throw into the path of Donald, Logie was called upon to dive across and make a fine save.

The first half saw Vics put East Craigie to the sword, playing some delightful football and the four goal interval lead never looked like being relinquished in the second half.

East Craigie: Logie, Walls, Ferrie (Geekie, 46), McDonald, Malone, McFarlane, Walls, Gray, Mann (Constable, 72), Duddy (Salisbury, 60), Houston

Arbroath Vics: Cargill, MacGregor, McCulloch, Florence, Johnston, Lawson, Chalmers, Thomson (Riddell, 67), Njie (Owbridge, 87), Gillespie, Donald (Warren, 82).

Vics take a break from league football this Saturday when they welcome Fife opponents Dundonald Bluebell from the Premier League to Ogilvy Park in the second round of the Scottish Junior Cup. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.