Arbroath Vics 7, Coupar Angus 0
ARBROATH Vics continued their league campaign with a home match against Coupar Angus on Saturday.
Vics made several changes to the side that lost away to Dundee North End the previous week with starting places for Kevin Laing, Colin Lawson and on-loan signing, Andy Cowan, while Bob Duncan took over in goal from Lee Hutcheson who was in Wales to watch Scotland’s World Cup qualifying encounter.
Despite the torrential rain of the previous 24 hours, Ogilvy Park was in remarkably good condition as the match got under way.
Vics got off to a quick start hemming the league’s bottom markers into their own half and almost took the lead inside the first five minutes when Cowan got on the end of a Grant Mowatt corner, but his glancing header flashed wide of the post.
Steve Ferrier then almost headed into his own net trying to clear a Kevin Laing cross into the box, the ball just dropping a yard wide of the post to concede a corner.
The Coupar centre-back then did well to knock away a Chris Simpson cut-back after Mark Fotheringham and Craig Watson had worked their way forward as Vics continued to carry the game to their opponents.
Lawson almost played Watson in on the 15 minute mark, but Shawn Conway got a toe to the ball to turn it back to his ‘keeper before the striker could get on the end of it.
Watson then passed up a great chance to give Vics the lead when he shot wide from good position after Lawson, Mowatt and Fotheringham had combined to set up the opening.
The striker was only deterred for a further two minutes however as the one-way traffic towards the Coupar goal led to Vics opening the scoring in the 20th minute. Lawson supplied the pass for CRAIG WATSON to spring the offside trap and take the ball round the keeper before knocking it into the empty net from a tight angle.
In their first real venture into Vics’ half, Steven Folganan picked up a Jamie Mathieson throw-in and had two attempts at goal, the first being blocked and his follow up deflected over the bar.
Normal service was soon resumed and Coupar had goalkeeper Marc Hackie to thank for keeping them in the hunt when he got down low to prevent a Watson shot from finding the net. The rebound fell into the path of Simpson, but Conway got enough on his effort to block it and the ball landed in the arms of the ‘keeper who was still on the ground.
Simpson then fired a shot just wide before he released WATSON who breached the Coupar defence to shoot Vics into a two goal lead in the 30th minute.
Duncan was at last called on to make a save in the 35th minute when Michael Malone sent in a low drive from almost 30 yards, but the ‘keeper was down smartly to smother the shot on the six-yard line.
From the clearance Vics stretched their lead. SIMPSON gathered the ball in and ran at the heart of the Coupar defence before firing an angled drive beyond the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Stewart Cassidy was a little unlucky to see a shot go just wide from 19 yard after Kevin Durno had acrobatically hooked a Malone cross out of the box in the 41st minute.
Despite that, Vics continued well on top and in the last play of the half increased their advantage to 4-0. Fotheringham played the ball up to Watson who flicked it forward for Fotheringham to roll it into the box for LAWSON who coolly picked his spot beyond the helpless ‘keeper.
Half-time: Arbroath Vics 4, Coupar Angus 0.
Vics continued the second half the way they had left off the first and when Fotheringham and Simpson released McLeish, Fotheringham had continued his run to get on the end of the cut-back only to see his shot deflected into the arms of Marc Hackie.
Mowatt was next to have a go cutting in from the right and firing off a shot, which the ‘keeper did well to smother on the six-yard line.
Soon after, Watson burst into the Coupar box before pulling the ball back for Mowatt but he found his way to goal blocked and his shot was charged down.
Steve Ferrier then prevented a certain goal by clearing away a Watson cut-back before Coupar replaced Stewart Cassidy with Laurie Spence.
On the hour mark, Vics increased their lead to five. Mowatt overhit a corner, but when Colin Lawson returned it into the box, Fotheringham saw his close range shot blocked on the line by the outstretched hand of Hackie, but it only teed it up for WATSON to complete his hat-trick from a matter of inches.
Vics made a triple substitution a couple of minutes later when McLeish, Fotheringham and Watson made way for Matty Johnston, Liam Campbell and Garry Warren.
No sooner had the change been made when Vics scored again. Matty Johnston sent Garry Warren free down the right and when he played the ball inside for Chris Simpson he set up GRANT MOWATT who drilled a shot home from 15 yards.
Midway through the half Cowan picked up what was to be the only yellow card of the afternoon for one foul too many for the referee’s liking.
Despite being outplayed, Coupar at least carved out a couple of chances with Folganan being denied by a double save from Duncan, before the ‘keeper did well to beat away a heavily deflected shot from Michael Marecek.
At the other end, Marc Hackie made a fine save from Garry Warren before Vics grabbed a seventh goal in the 72nd minute. Warren carried the ball down the right before pulling it back from the by-line for SIMPSON to tuck away his second goal of the afternoon.
In the 75th minute Coupar made a second change when Scott Brown came on for Adam Guthrie.
Despite a further 15 minutes to play, Vics were unable to add to their tally although Cowan almost did so with a 25-yard effort, which flew just wide and Mowatt was denied a tap-in when he was held back by Michael Malone, which should have resulted in a penalty, but the referee chose to ignore it and allowed play to continue.
Vics are unlikely to have an easier win all season against a Coupar side who tried their best but were beaten every bit as easily as the scoreline suggests.
Arbroath Vics: Duncan, McLeish (Johnston 72), Laing, Cowan, Durno, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham (Campbell 72), Watson (Warren 72), Simpson and Lawson. Unused substitute: Sturrock.
Coupar Angus: Hackie, Malone, Mathieson, Ferrier, Conway, Cassidy (Spence 59), Guthrie (Brown 75), Mitchell, Folganan, Marecek and McKillen. Unused substitute: Scrimgeour.
Referee: Mr. S. McBurney, Broughty Ferry.
Vics face more difficult opposition tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Whitton Park to meet Premier League Broughty Athletic in the preliminary round of the GA Engineering Cup.
Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 12.45 p.m.