ARBROATH Vics completed their league programme for the season with a home match against Brechin Vics on Saturday.
The away side kicked off, but it was Arbroath who came close to scoring inside the first minute when a long throw-in from Terry Gray was cleared back into his path and he fired in two shots, the first of which was blocked and the second brought out a good save from Jamie Robbie.
The ‘keeper was again called into action from the flag-kick and did well to block Mark Fotheringham’s header on the line after he had got on the end of Garry Warren’s cross at the far post.
With 10 minutes played, Arbroath’s early endeavour was rewarded with the opening goal. The Brechin defence failed to deal properly with a Gray throw, and when David McLeish fired the ball back into the box, Fotheringham was brought down for a penalty kick. GRAY stepped up, and as he had done the previous week, made no mistake with a well taken kick.
Arbroath continued to dominate although the Brechin defence began to look more composed after a nervy start.
The visitors fashioned a chance in the 20th minute when Robbie fired a clearance downfield, which Ewan Buggins headed on. Lee Hutcheson was forced to come outside his box to kick clear before Lewis Fyfe could get on the end of it.
Despite that, Arbroath came within inches of doubling their lead in 22 minutes. Gray headed the ball forward from midfield where Stephen flicked it out towards Fotheringham. His cross saw Warren coming in from the left and his volley beat Robbie but rebounded back into play off the bar.
In a rare Brechin attack they were awarded a free-kick within range of goal, but Liam Scott’s shot was straight into the arms of Lee Hutcheson.
It came as no surprise when Arbroath went 2-0 ahead in 35 minutes. Gray sent Stephen free on the right and when he crossed into the box, SIMPSON got above the defence to direct a header beyond the reach of Robbie.
The visitors’ ‘keeper then did well to smother a Gray drive from distance before the woodwork again came to Brechin’s rescue. A Warren corner caused panic in the visitors’ defence and the ball eventually fell at the feet of Smith who crashed a shot off the bar.
Half-time: Arbroath Vics 2 Brechin Vics 0.
In 49 minutes, Brechin snatched a goal back. LEWIS FYFE let fly from distance and his shot took a deflection, which was enough to send it looping high over Hutcheson and just inside the post as it dropped under the bar.
Colin McNaught was yellow carded for a foul on Steve Florence before Brechin made a double substitution, replacing S. Eaton and Laing with Chris Eaton and Danny Ross.
A poor throw-in from Brechin saw Fotheringham intercept the ball and touch it forward for Simpson before taking the return and firing in a shot, which Robbie blocked behind with his foot, although the referee halted play for offside as he shot.
The Brechin goal then led a charmed life when Robbie struggled to deal with a pass-back and Fotheringham played in Warren who took the ball beyond the ‘keeper only to see his shot blocked away by a defender before it could cross the line.
The goal was only delayed for a further five minutes, however. Arbroath broke away following a Brechin corner with Gray finding Fotheringham who in turn picked out SIMPSON, and he took the ball around Robbie before knocking it in for his second of the afternoon. Brechin protested long and loud for offside, but they only succeeded in having Fyfe yellow carded for dissent.
Mark Fotheringham came close to extending Arbroath’s lead but his shot was blocked away by Gourlay.
McLeish then found his name in the referee’s book when he tripped Ross before Arbroath made a triple substitution when Smith, Simpson and Warren made way for Craig Sturrock, Craig Watson and Colin Lawson.
Arbroath remained on top for the last 15 minutes and might have increased their lead on more than one occasion, but Watson had an effort disallowed for offside, before drilling a shot just wide, while Lawson also sent a shot past the post just before the end.
Apart from a spell just after the interval, Arbroath dominated most of the game and they won convincingly in what could be their last competitive fixture of the season.
Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, Laing, McLeish, Smith (Sturrock 77), Durno, Florence, Stephen, Fotheringham, Simpson (Watson 77), Gray, Warren (Lawson 77 ). Unused sub: Bob Duncan (gk).
Brechin Vics: Robbie, Gourlay, Cairney, Ross, Easton, S. Eaton (C. Eaton 60), Laing (Ross 60), Buggins, McNaught, Fyfe, Scott. Unused substitutes: Gauld, Cooper and Robertson.
Referee: Mr S. Traynor (Dundee)
With no competitive fixtures left, Vics have arranged a friendly away to Newburgh in Fife tomorrow (Saturday) in the hope that a further cup competition will be sanctioned for teams, most of whom in the North Division are, like Vics, near to completing their league games.
Kick-off is at the later time of 3 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 12.45 p.m.
McBookie.com East North League
P W D L F A Pts
Dundee V 17 15 1 1 71 14 46 Montrose R 19 13 4 2 49 15 43
Dundee NE 19 13 4 2 47 21 43 Arbroath V 20 10 4 6 37 35 34 Kirriemuir T 19 10 1 8 45 24 31 East Craigie 16 7 5 4 39 30 26 Brechin Vics 19 7 0 12 32 60 21 Lochee Harp 19 6 2 11 32 49 20 Blairgowrie 18 4 3 11 28 35 15 Forfar Albion 19 1 6 12 25 47 9 Coupar Ang 19 0 2 17 22 98 2 160 Club
Winners this week were: £10 – No. 53, Willie Rattray; £5 – No. 133, Bob Smith.