Kinnoull 1, Arbroath Vics 6
A break away from the business of collecting points in league football saw the second round of the Scottish Junior Cup take centre stage on Saturday.
Arbroath Vics were handed the relatively short trip to Perth to meet Premier Division side Kinnoull.
Manager Derek Lawson, in his first official game in charge, made three changes to the side that won away at Lochore the previous week.
Garry Warren, married on the Friday, missed out, while Mark Fotheringham and David McLeish were also absent. David Sturrock, Josh Chalmers and Kieran MacGregor all came into the starting line-up.
A strong wind blowing down the park from one corner to the other was always going to make conditions difficult, but despite playing against it, it didn’t appear to deter Vics as they took the lead with only six minutes on the clock. Matty Johnston sent a searching ball through the Kinnoull defence, which picked out KANE HESTER, who sidestepped the diving ‘keeper, before picking his spot beyond the defender who had raced back to cover on the line.
Just how strong the wind was became evident in the 10th minute when Kinnoull ‘keeper Scott Christie gathered a David Sturrock free kick and launched the ball upfield where it took one bounce and sailed over Alex Cargill’s crossbar.
Hester sent a pass through the Kinnoull defence for Jamie Thomson to chase, but Jamie Gill got to the ball first on the edge of the box to clear for a throw-in.
Hester then broke through the Kinnoull defence to chase after a Scott Donald through ball, but Christie was quickly off his line to dive and save at his feet before he could get in a shot.
In a rare Kinnoull foray they were awarded a free kick a few yards outside the box, but Davies’ shot was comfortably held by Alex Cargill.
That proved to be Davies’ last contribution as a couple of minutes later he was heading to the dressing room for kicking out at Sturrock long after the Vics’ player had played the ball, leaving the home side to continue with 10 men.
Vics extended their lead in the 38th minute. Donald split the Kinnoull defence with an accurate pass to Chalmers and although Christie did well to block his shot with his leg, HESTER followed up to net the rebound.
With the half-time whistle only seconds away, another through ball saw Christie race out of his box and flatten Hester as he tried to take it round him. The referee contended himself with giving the ‘keeper a warning before Vics wasted the resultant free kick.
The home side was forced to make a couple of changes at the start of the second-half. Goalkeeper Christie failed to reappear, having come off second best in the challenge with Hester just prior to the break, and substitute ‘keeper Robert Hannan took his place between the sticks. Jack Gaffney also picked up a knock before the whistle and he too stayed inside with David McCaughie his replacement.
Despite being down to 10 men and having to readjust their line-up, Kinnoull pulled a goal back within three minutes. Gill swung in a dangerous free kick from the left and LEE BLOOMER got the slightest of touches to guide the ball inside the far post.
Having made a bright start to the second half, Kinnoull found their cause further handicapped when they went down to nine men in the 53rd minute. Sturrock sent Hester away and he was tripped by Andy Smith just a couple of yards outside the box, leaving the referee with no alternative but to show him the red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Vics began to regain control and gave themselves a two goal cushion again in the 63rd minute. Donald and Hester combined up the right before the former cut the ball back into the box where Sturrock saw his shot blocked only for it to run into the path of HESTER who drilled it home from 12 yards to complete his hat-trick.
The result was put beyond doubt in the 73rd minute when Vics went 4-1 in front. Jamie Thomson and Donald linked up to play CHALMERS into the box and he got to the ball first to knock it beyond the advancing ‘keeper.
With the tie all but won, Vics made a double substitution when Craig Watson and Colin Lawson replaced Donald and MacGregor.
Kinnoull’s afternoon went from bad to worse when manager Alan Cameron was sent to the dressing room for an outburst at the referee before they found themselves down to eight men when McCaughie picked up a stupid second booking for dissent as he was being treated on the ground in the 80th minute. Before play re-started Chris Terry was also yellow carded.
With nine minutes left, Vics took off Hester and sent on Jake McWalter who had returned to the club after a short spell with Arbroath CSC.
Kinnoull might have been down to seven men a couple of minutes later when Kevin Sinclair caught Thomson with a late tackle on the knee, but the referee let him off with a yellow card. Unfortunately for Thomson he was unable to continue and with all three substitutes used Vics were forced to see out the remaining time down to 10.
Despite that, Vics still had a two man advantage and after slicing a shot wide, WATSON got on the scoresheet, racing clear off the Kinnoull defence before sending an outrageous chip over the head of the keeper from 20 yards.
In the 89th minute, Vics increased their lead to 6-1. Colin Lawson made the running up the right and although his shot from a tight angle caught the base of the post, WATSON was on hand to prod it in from almost on the line.
Rarely can Vics have had such an easy win in the “Scottish” away from home against a side in a league above them. Even when it was 11 v 11 Vics looked likely to progress and apart from a brief spell after the break, Kinnoull never looked like they could get back into the game and by the time they found themselves down to eight men it could have been an even greater winning margin.
Arbroath Vics: Cargill, Johnston, Sturrock, Riddell, Florence, Sturrock, MacGregor (Lawson 74), Thomson, Donald (Watson 74), Hester (McWalter 81), Chalmers. Unused sub: Durno.
Vics are back on league duty tomorrow (Saturday) when they make the short trip to Guthrie Park to meet Forfar Albion. Kick-off is at 2 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 12.30 p.m.
Winners this week were: £20 – No. 55, Steve Florence; £10 – No. 15, Alex Cargill; £5 – No. 88, George Watson.