Dundee Violet 4, Arbroath Vics 1
HAVING posted a good win away to Blairgowrie the previous week, Arbroath Vics were again out of town on Saturday when they travelled to Glenesk Park to meet league leaders Dundee Violet in a McBookie.com North Division fixture.
Suspensions ruled out Matty Johnston and Liam Campbell, while Danny Smith was sidelined due to injury and Terry Gray was unavailable. To compensate, Craig Sturrock, Chris Simpson and Ryan Owbridge were all drafted back into the starting 11.
On a bumpy pitch, the game was slow to get going although Mark Fotheringham sent Craig Watson through on goal in the fifth minute, only to see the linesman raise his flag for offside as goalkeeper Mark Stewart dived to save at his feet.
Violet responded by winning a corner, which Scott Reynolds hoisted into the box for Bryan Duell to knock down for Jon Thomson, but the centre-half hooked his effort over the bar.
At the other end, Craig Stephen made space for Chris Simpson to fire in a shot, but it was charged down outside the box by a Violet defender before it had a chance to trouble Stewart in goal.
Three minutes later, Bryan Duell turned a Craig Logan throw-in back into the path of Aaron Conway who drilled a shot wide of the post.
Ross Grant was next to have a go firing wide of the same post from 25 yards after he had been played through by Duell.
Garry Warren then made a timely block to turn away a Ross Grant shot after Duell had nodded a Ralph Henderson free-kick back into his path.
Although Violet had the bulk of possession, Chris Cargill had not been called upon to make a save of any note as the defence coped with all that the home side had to offer, but a lapse in concentration in the 26th minute saw the Pansies take the lead. Conway whipped over a cross from wide on the right and DUELL was left unattended to bullet a header into the back of the net from eight yards.
Violet had half hearted appeals for a penalty waved aside when Logan went to ground rather easily as Kevin Durno made a challenge inside the box as they went in search of a second goal.
Having been given the benefit of the doubt without being yellow carded, Logan found himself in the referee’s book a minute later when he said something out of turn to the referee.
As half-time approached, Duell was allowed to carry on from a suspiciously offside position down the right, allowing him to set up Martin Szpak, but the midfielder failed to find the target, dragging his shot wide.
Half-time: Dundee Violet 1 Arbroath Vics 0.
The referee was reaching for his pocket again soon after the re-start when Szpak was yellow carded for a foul on Fotheringham in the middle of the park.
However, in the 52nd minute, Vics gave away a free kick, lost a man and found themselves further behind. Sturrock was shown a straight red card for a foul just outside the right-hand side of the box, and although clearly a foul, his dismissal seemed a little harsh, but SCOTT REYNOLDS didn’t debate the issue, curling the resultant award high into the far corner to effectively make sure Violet would finish the afternoon with the three points.
Vics tried to respond and a McLeish cross forced Stewart off his line, the ‘keeper failing to reach the ball, but he was bailed out by Thomson who managed to head it away from Craig Watson.
Warren then got free down the left and whipped a cross over to the far post, which Stephen managed to gather on the by-line, but his hook back into the middle drifted harmlessly behind, with no one up to get on the end of it.
Duell then sent a shot into the side-net after Logan had been released up the right wing by Thomson and the full-back’s cross found the striker lurking at the back post.
Midway through the half, Violet replaced Szpak with Sean Anderson and a couple of minutes later, further changes saw Mark Pirie come on for Reynolds and Vics take off Owbridge and send on Colin Lawson.
Violet thought they had increased their lead in the 67th minute when Duell got the final touch to a low, Lee Milton drive from distance, but their joy was shortlived when the linesman raised his flag for offside.
Vics then made their second change of the afternoon when Stephen was withdrawn in favour of Kevin Laing.
With 15 minutes left, the home side increased their lead. A fine move up the left involving Ralph Henderson, Duell and Milton opened up Vics’ defence and ROSS GRANT finished it off slamming the ball home inside the box. That proved to be the scorer’s last involvement as he was immediately replaced by Grant Manzie before play restarted.
Vics kept plugging away and got some reward for their efforts in the 79th minute when they pulled a goal back. Warren sent over a corner and WATSON rose high above the Violet defence to plant a header beyond Stewart.
Manzie became the third Violet player to be yellow carded in the 84th minute, before the home side wrapped up the scoring with a fourth goal three minutes from the end. A Conway corner bounced around the six-yard box before centre-half, THOMSON got a foot to it to turn it over the line from close range.
Despite containing Violet for most of the first-half, Vics never threatened the home goal. A one-goal deficit at the break was not insurmountable, but the dismissal of Craig Sturrock followed by a second goal in the early stages of the second period left the door open for the league leaders to run out comfortable winners.
Dundee Violet: Stewart, Logan, Henderson, Sime, Thomson, Reynolds (Pirie 65), Conway, Szpak (Anderson 63), Duell, Milton, Grant (Manzie 75). Unused subs: McConnachie, Leahy, Ballantine and Kelly, gk.
Arbroath Vics: Cargill, McLeish, Sturrock, Simpson, Durno, Florence, Stephen (Laing 71), Fotheringham, Watson, Owbridge (Lawson 65), Warren. Unused sub: Hutcheson, gk.
Referee: Mr. K. Beats (Finavon)
Vics are back at home tomorrow (Saturday) when they play host to East Craigie in a league fixture. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.
Winners this week were: £10 – No. 36, Hayley McDonald; £5 – No. 138, Joe McKenzie.
McBookie.com East North League
P W D L F A Pts
Violet 15 14 0 1 60 13 42
Roselea 16 12 3 1 44 10 39
Dundee NE 16 11 3 2 42 18 36
Kirrie Th. 17 9 1 7 42 21 28
East Craigie 14 7 4 3 36 25 25
Arbroath Vics 17 7 4 6 31 33 25
Lochee Harp 16 5 2 9 29 45 17
Brechin Vics 16 5 0 11 26 55 15
Blairgowrie 15 3 3 9 22 31 12
Forfar Albion 16 1 5 10 21 40 8
Coupar Angus 16 0 1 15 20 82 1