Hester to the ‘four’ as Vics hammer Kirkcaldy YM

Vics v Kirckaldy
Vics v Kirckaldy

Having picked up a point away to Kennoway Star Hearts the previous week, Arbroath Vics again had Fife opposition when they played host to Kirkcaldy YM in a McBookie.com North Division fixture on Saturday.

There was one change to the side that drew at Treaton Park, with Garry Warren coming into the starting line-up at the expense of Matthew Swan who was unavailable, resulting in Grant Mowatt switching to central midfield.

Two trialists, Danny Ross (ex-Montrose Roselea) and Colin McNaught (ex-Tayport) were included on the bench.

Vics kicked off into the teeth of a fierce wind that was blowing down the park towards the town end of the ground, but despite that were soon in and around the Kirkcaldy goal with Grant Mowatt finding Warren on the left, but after checking inside the number 11 hit a shot with his weaker right foot, which keeper Connor Redpath got down to block.

Mowatt then linked up with Kane Hester to advance into the box and fire off a shot, which deflected off the body of David Byrne and spun behind for a corner. From the flag kick, Warren’s cross found its way to the far side of the box where Craig Sturrock sent a shot wide.

At the other end, Kieran Matthew got free on the right and sent a cross into Vics box, which Liall Robertson flicked on, but the ball struck the knee of Mowatt and bounced behind for a corner.

With 12 minutes on the clock however, Vics took the lead. Josh Chalmers seized upon a poor goal kick from Redpath to send KANE HESTER away and the striker advanced into the box before slotting it beyond the ‘keeper.

Four minutes later, Vics scored again. Scott Donald played the ball through the Kirkcaldy defence and with them expecting an offside whistle the referee waved play on and KANE HESTER took full advantage to hold off a defender and take the ball round the ‘keeper before rolling it into the empty net.

Kirkcaldy tried to respond and from a Charlie Denton corner, the ball deflected across the box to Ryan Robertson who fired in a volley, which Dale Riddell managed to get his body to and the ball spun behind for another corner.

Despite that, Vics looked the more likely to score and it came as no surprise when they took a three goal lead in the 22nd minute. Mowatt sent Kane Hester away and he advanced into the box before completing his hat-trick by turning the ball into the roof of the net after Redpath had blocked his initial effort.

It was 28 minutes before Alex Cargill was called upon to make his first worthwhile contribution to proceedings when he pushed a Robertson free kick over the bar after Jamie Thomson had impeded Alan Budd.

It was almost 4-0 to Vics 10 minutes later when Steve Florence won a tackle before sending the ball forward to Donald who in turn picked out Warren, but Redpath made a fine save, leaping to tip his net-bound effort over the bar.

Vics dominated proceedings for the remainder of the half with the only blot on their copybook being a needless booking for Sturrock just before the whistle for a foul on Robertson.

Half-time: Arbroath Vics 3, Kirkcaldy YM 0.

The visitors made a change at the start of the second half when Joe Kinninmonth came on for Denton.

Kane Hester almost found his name on the score-sheet again when he raced on to a Scott Donald through ball, but Redpath did just enough with his knees to squeeze his shot round the post for a corner.

The number 10 was causing the Kirkcaldy defence all sorts of problems and when Grant McManus was yellow carded for bringing him down, Redpath failed to hold on to Warren’s free kick allowing Hester to turn in the rebound. His celebrations were short-lived however when the referee disallowed his effort for offside.

The goal was only delayed for a further four minutes when Steve Florence advanced over the halfway line to take a Garry Warren pass and release KANE HESTER who raced into the box to pick his spot beyond the ‘keeper to bag his fourth goal of the afternoon and 20th of the season.

Terry Ormiston found his name in the referee’s book for a trip on Sturrock before Vics sent on Pat Martin for Donald.

Kirkcaldy then made a double change when McManus and Connor Kirton made way for Grant Blyth and Callum Ramsay.

Midway through the half, Alan Budd made space to get in a shot as Kirkcaldy tried to pull a goal back, but his shot from distance bobbled along the ground and failed to seriously trouble Cargill.

In the 68th minute, Vics made a second change when Josh Chalmers was replaced by Danny Ross.

Sturrock almost increased Vics lead in the 75th minute when he arrived at the back post to get on the end of a Mowatt corner, but could only direct his header wide of the target.

The game had gone fairly flat since Vics fourth goal although Kieran Matthew caused a moment of anxiety in Vics’ rear-guard with a free kick that skipped wide of Cargill’s right hand post.

Vics made their third and final change of the afternoon when goalscorer Hester went off to be replaced by Colin McNaught.

The substitute was only on the pitch for a few minutes when Martin gathered a Ross pass and cut the ball back into his path, but his shot was blocked away by the body of goalkeeper Redpath.

The game petered out somewhat from there with yellow cards being administered to Martin and Kirkcaldy’s Byrne and Matthew before the referee brought proceedings to a close.

Vics won as comfortably as the scoreline would suggest with Kane Hester giving the Kirkcaldy defence a torrid time as he grabbed all four goals.