Hat-trick hero Kenny seals the deal for Vics

Ross Kenny hit the net three times.
Ross Kenny hit the net three times.

Forfar Albion 2, Arbroath Vics 5

While Arbroath were entertaining Forfar at Gayfield, Arbroath Vics headed in the opposite direction for a McBookie.com North Division league derby.

They were visiting Guthrie Park to play Forfar Albion on Saturday. Despite the poor weather since the start of the year, the pitch was looking in good condition, despite being soft underfoot, as the match got under way.

Vics were first to create an opening when Craig Watson chased a long ball towards the Albion box, which enticed ‘keeper Ryan Haldane out of his area, but the striker’s header came off the leg of the goalkeeper and the home defence were able to scramble the ball away.

Haldane was again called into action soon after when he dived low to his left to smother a low drive from Ross Kenny.

With only four minutes on the clock, it was the home side that opened the scoring however. MARK McINTOSH picked up the ball in midfield and advanced forward before letting fly with a drive, which Lee Hutcheson got both hands to but he could only push the ball over his head and help it into the net.

Within a minute, the scores were level. ROSS KENNY picked up the ball some 25 yards from goal and hit an unstoppable shot high into the top right hand corner.

The glut of early goals continued when Vics took the lead with only nine minutes on the clock. GRANT MOWATT gathered in a Craig Stephen throw and sent a low ball into the box, which eluded everyone and went in off the far post, past the unsighted Haldane.

Four minutes later, a Hutcheson clearance found its way through to Kenny on the left and his cross took a deflection and almost caught Ryan Haldane unawares, but the ‘keeper recovered to dive and smother it inside the six-yard box. Mowatt then sent Jake McWalter in on goal with a flighted ball over the top of the Albion defence but his low shot was easily gathered by Haldane.

Vics thought they had increased their lead in the 20th minute when Kenny slammed the ball in from close range following a Craig Sturrock cross, but his effort was disallowed for offside.

In the 28th minute, the home side was forced into a change when Dale Millar picked up a knock and was replaced by David Geekie.

Mowatt sent a free kick inches wide of the post after he had been obstructed a few yards outside the box. Despite that, Albion squared the match at 2-2 in the 33rd minute. Steve Florence uncharacteristically lost possession on the half-way line, allowing Mark McIntosh to sprint forward before he was brought down in the box by Matty Johnston. SCOTT BLACK was entrusted with the resultant penalty, and although Hutcheson got hands to his kick, he was unable to prevent it from finding the net.

Vics continued to look the more likely to regain the lead and Haldane produced a great save in the 35th minute to push a Watson header over the bar when it seemed destined for the back of the net.

Half-time: Forfar Albion 2 Arbroath Vics 2

Vics were first to show after the interval when Florence sent Njie racing through the Albion defence but his first effort was blocked, and his follow-up on the rebound was deflected behind for a corner. Njie was denied again three minutes later when he saw a shot half blocked by Haldane and it was enough to take the pace off the ball allowing Ross Cormack to get back and clear before it could cross the line.

Hutcheson then kept Vics in front when he dived full length to push a thunderous drive from Watson round the post for a corner. From the flag kick, Hutcheson punched Ferrar’s cross out towards the 18-yard line where McIntosh lofted it back in, but his effort carried too much elevation and sailed over the bar. Albion made their second change of the afternoon soon after when Chris Bell came on for Kerr Watson.

The home side was having their best spell of the match, and Hutcheson had to be alert to tip a deceptive Frazer Elder cross over the bar when it threatened to sneak in under it. Their good work was undone soon after however when Vics went in front.

Mowatt and Watson combined on the edge of the box to slide in ROSS KENNY and he fired a shot beyond the reach of Haldane.

Three minutes later, Vics made a change when McWalter made way for Garry Warren.

Albion were next to make a substitution when Elder was replaced by Stuart Thomson. The points were effectively wrapped up in the 72nd minute when ROSS KENNY slammed in his third from just inside the box to give Vics a two-goal cushion.

That proved to be the last contribution from the hat-trick hero as he was replaced along with Watson minutes later by Andy Cowan and David McLeish.

A fifth goal wasn’t long delayed when ABDOURAHMAN NJIE got on the end of a cross from the left to plant a header beyond the reach of Haldane with seven minutes left. Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, Stephen, Sturrock, McWalter (Warren 63), Johnston, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham, Watson (McLeish 75), Njie, Kenny (Cowan 75). Unused subs: Durno and Whitton, g/k.

Referee: Mr. M. McIlvenny (Dundee).

Tomorrow’s match

Vics travel into Fife to meet Kennoway Star Hearts in the league tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and transport leaves Ogilvy Park at 12 noon.