Keeper dismissal lets Downfield hit Vics for six goals in league action

Following on from their home win against Newburgh, Arbroath Vics were defeated 6-0 away to Downfield in league action on Saturday.

Vics should have had a penalty in the 11th minute when Liam Hely sent the ball forward for Abdourahman Njie to chase and having got past keeper Mark Stewart, his shot was blocked by the arm of a Downfield defender inside the box, but the referee wasn’t interested and waved play on, writes Neil Hardie.

The ball rebounded into the path of Rikki Gillespie, but he sent his drive wide of the target.

Downfield were lucky to find the referee in a lenient mood when Stewart fumbled a Liam Hely cross at the feet of Njie but a foul was awarded before the striker could turn it into the net.

It was Vics who were creating most of the chances and when Kieran MacGregor picked up an Alex Cargill throw out, he played the ball down the right to Njie who worked a one-two with Ryan Owbridge before firing off a shot, which was deflected into the path of Stewart.

Ryan Rigden got on the end of a Robert Smith free-kick to send a header low towards Cargill’s left-hand post, but the keeper got across his line to dive and push it behind for a corner.

Stewart was not having the best of afternoons in the Downfield goal and another fumble from a Hely cross saw him drop the ball into the path of Ryan Owbridge, but again it was scrambled away by the Downfield defence.

However when a goal did come, it was Downfield who made the breakthrough in the 40th minute.

A long range drive was blocked by Cargill, but the ball broke back off Steve Florence and into the path of Brian Clark who was on the spot to turn it over the line.

It was 2-0 a minute after half time - Keir Reilly played the ball upfield to Clark who in turn rolled it inside to Rigden, and the number 11 was given far too much time and space to turn and send a low shot into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

Steve Florence then blocked a Rigden cross at the near post after he had got free on the left and from the flag-kick the ball eventually found its way into the box where Alex Martin crashed a shot off the post.

Any chance Vics had of taking anything from the match vanished in the 63rd minute when Marc O’Leary broke through the defence and fired off a shot, which Cargill manage to block but he was beaten when the player fired the rebound behind him.

Things went from bad to worse for Vics in the 68th minute when Cargill was red carded for handball outside the box.

With no substitute keeper on the bench, left-back Corey McCulloch was forced to take over the keeper’s jersey.

And with 12 minutes left a fourth goal duly arrived when Clark and Robert Smith worked a short corner and the former’s angled drive deflected just inside the far post.

Downfield were now well on top and Liam McCartney added a fifth in the 80th minute when he was allowed time and space to drill a shot beyond Corey McCulloch.

Four minutes before the close McCartney was on target again forcing the ball into the net for Downfield’s sixth after Corey McCulloch had blocked the initial effort.

After a promising first-half, in which they were unlucky to go in a goal down, Vics disintegrated in the second half and were a well beaten side in the end.

Vics are again out of town this Saturday when they travel to meet Kirrie Thistle. Kick-off is at 2.30pm. Transport leaves Ogilvy Park at 12.30pm.

Arbroath Vics: Cargill, MacGregor, McCulloch, Riddell, Florence, Thomson, Hely (Millar, 66), Lawson (McWalter, 78), Owbridge (Donald, 80), Njie, Gillespie.