Home is where the heart is for Vics

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Arbroath Vics were back on home territory on Saturday when Lochee Harp checked in at Ogilvy Park for a McBookie.com North Division fixture.

Steve Florence returned to the starting line-up, partnering Kevin Durno in central defence with striker Scott Donald dropping down to the bench to accommodate the change.

Otherwise the starting 11 was the same as the one that lost away to league leaders Downfield the previous week.

The visitors were first to settle and when a long ball forward from Mark Kelly came off the head of Durno in the fifth minute and ran into the path of Gordon Norrie it allowed the striker to get in a shot, which sped wide of Alex Cargill’s right-hand post.

Three minutes later, Liam McHugh flighted a free kick deep into Vics half where Norrie helped it on for Dominic Blair, but his drive from outside the box was wide of the target.

It took Vics until the 10th minute to make any serious inroads towards the Harp goal, but when they did, goalkeeper Darren Brown was alert to the situation, racing out of his box to kick clear from Josh Chalmers, who had been sent clear by Danny Ross.

Kane Hester almost gave Vics the lead in the 14th minute when Kieran MacGregor slipped the ball into his path and he got beyond Mark Kelly to send a shot just wide of the near post from just inside the box.

At the other end, Brian Scrimgeour did well to set up a shooting opportunity for Ian Petrie whose low drive was deflected behind for a corner.

From the flag-kick, Brian Scrimgeour’s cross was headed away by Kieran MacGregor, only for Callum Petrie to fire it back in, where his shot was blocked on the six-yard line before Vics got the benefit of the doubt when awarded a free kick in the ensuing scramble.

Despite that, Vics took the lead in the 18th minute. Good build up play down the left allowed Hester to swap passes with DANNY ROSS, who advanced into the box to take the return and shoot high beyond the reach of Brown.

Harp responded with Conor Ireland breaking away from his own half and playing the ball on for Norrie before taking the return and firing off a shot, which forced Cargill to dive and make the save.

A goal to the good, Vics gradually began to gain the upper hand, and when Craig Sturrock and Chalmers worked the ball into the box for Hester, his shot ended up in the side-netting as he tried to beat the keeper at the near post.

Soon after, Ross got on the end of a Grant Mowatt free kick to send a header spinning over the bar, with the keeper frantically backtracking to try and reach it.

Dale Riddell was next to have a go, getting on the end of a Mowatt corner to head down inside the six-yard box where Brown dived to smother the ball at the feet of Chalmers.

Hester was then taken out by Liam McHugh just a couple of yards outside the box and from the resultant free kick, Riddell again got in a header when Mowatt’s shot deflected up off the defensive wall, and Brown managed to stick up a hand to deflect his header over.

From the resulting corner, Harp broke upfield with Kelly, Blair and Norrie all involved, before Florence came across to block the latter’s shot away for a corner.

Scrimgeour’s corner was eventually played back into his path, and his second cross allowed Ian Petrie to send in a low drive, which Cargill did well to hang on to.

It was Vics, however, who grabbed the next goal with a couple of minutes of the first half remaining.

Hester was off the field receiving treatment having been clattered by Kelly and when Sturrock sent the resultant award into the box, Ross nodded it down for GRANT MOWATT who made space to send a shot beyond the reach of the keeper and just inside the near post.

Half-time: Arbroath Vics 2

Lochee Harp 0

Vics came close to scoring a third within a minute of the restart when Brown sliced a pass-back straight to Jamie Thomson who fired it back towards goal with the keeper out of position, but Scrimgeour stretched out a leg to divert it round the post for a corner.

The goal was only delayed momentarily as within 60 seconds Vics had taken a 3-0 lead. Riddell sent a pass through the Harp defence, which KANE HESTER ran on to and he curled a shot beyond the reach of Brown to all but seal the points.

Harp were forced into a change soon after when McHugh picked up a knock and was replaced by James Hay.

Mowatt came close to grabbing his second of the afternoon, when the Harp defence struggled to clear a Sturrock free kick; the ball bouncing around the box before he fired it goalwards, only to see Brown get a glove to it to deflect the ball round the post.

The visitors made a second change when Alan McKay came on for Norrie before Mowatt and Hester both passed up great chances within a minute of each other to add to Vics’ lead.

Vics took the opportunity to make a double change approaching the hour mark when Chalmers and Hester were both withdrawn and replaced by Garry Warren and Colin McNaught.

Harp too made a change when Sam McDonald came on forn Scrimgeour before Blair picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon for a show of dissent.

Vics continued to have the upper hand and when Ross got on the end of a Mowatt corner in the 68th minute, Brown managed to push it on to the post, with Warren’s follow up spinning wide.

With 17 minutes left, Vics sent on Donald with MacGregor making way.

Thomson found his name in the referee’s book following a foul on Blair, before Harp found themselves down to 10 men in the 80th minute. Kelly and McNaught both received yellow cards for an incident on the touchline, but before the referee had time to put his cards away, the Harp player unleashed a torrent of abuse at the official leaving the referee with no option but to show him a second yellow, followed by a red.

Vics capped a good afternoon’s work by extending their lead to 4-0 with three minutes left. Ross made ground up the right, picking out Mowatt who drilled a low cross into the box, where SCOTT DONALD arrived to crash a shot high into the roof of the net.

Having taken a two-goal lead into the interval, Vics never looked seriously troubled once they added a third soon after the break, against a Harp side that have been on a decent run of results of late. The win is their third home victory in a row, which has seen them keep three clean sheets and notch up 13 goals in the process.

Teams:

Arbroath Vics: Cargill, MacGregor (Donald 73), Sturrock, Riddell, Durno, Florence, Chalmers (Warren 59), Ross, Hester (McNaught 59), Thomson, Mowatt. Unused subs: Swan and Miller.

Lochee Harp: Brown, Kelly, McCabe, McHugh (Hay 49), Ireland, Scrimgeour (McDonald 63), Blair, Petrie, Norrie, Norrie (McKay 55), Petrie. Unused sub: Gk Chris Hutchison.

Referee: Mr. M. Ritchie (Arbroath).

Tomorrow’s match

Tomorrow (Saturday), Vics are away to Kirrie Thistle in the league. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.

150 Club

Winners this week were: £20 – No. 19 Kane Hester; £10 – No. 5 Susan Hogg; £5 – No. 97 Kieran MacGregor.

McBookie.com East North League

P W D L F A Pts

Downfield 18 16 1 1 56 14 49

Kennoway Star Hearts 22 12 6 4 76 42 42

Blairgowrie 20 12 3 5 50 27 39

East Craigie 19 11 4 4 58 30 37

Brechin Vics 20 12 0 8 51 38 36

Thornton Hibs 17 9 4 4 57 32 31

Newburgh 20 9 3 8 40 33 30

Lochee Harp 19 9 0 10 41 40 27

Arbroath Vics 20 7 5 8 42 43 26

Luncarty 19 7 4 8 41 38 25

Scone Thistle 19 8 1 10 35 42 25

Lochore Welfare 19 5 2 12 35 65 17

Kirrie Thistle 19 3 5 11 21 48 14

Kirkcaldy YM 20 4 2 14 38 67 14

Forfar Albion 21 2 0 19 20 103 6