Tayport 2, Arbroath Vics 1
Having won away at Premier League side Jeanfield Swifts in the first round of the D.J. Laing East of Scotland Cup, a tough tie beckoned.
Arbroath Vics travelled over the Tay Bridge to meet Super League opponents Tayport in the second round on Saturday.
Manager Jake Ferrier made two changes from the previous week’s outing in the league at Dundee North End, Craig Stephen replacing Matty Johnston at right-back and Chris Simpson coming into midfield at the expense of Grant Mowatt.
A fairly low key opening to the match came to an abrupt halt in the seventh minute when Tayport took the lead courtesy of an own goal. Steven McPhee swung over a cross from the left, which CRAIG STURROCK got to before anyone else, but his headed clearance flew into his own net.
Two minutes later, it might have been 2-0. McPhee again caused problems up the left and when Grant Lawson headed his cross into the path of Matty Adam, he sent an instinctive header against the top of the crossbar.
Vics responded with Mark Fotheringham battling to win possession in midfield before linking up with Ross Kenny to play in Garry Warren who had cut in from the wing, but his drive flew across the face of goal and wide.
Jack Whitton had to be on his toes in Tayport’s next attack when a long ball from defence sent Adam away but the ‘keeper did well to hold on to his shot.
Despite that, play was fairly low key and it was the 20th minute before either ‘keeper was seriously troubled again. Vics lost possession in midfield allowing Ryan Suttie to set off on a solo run before firing off a shot, which Whitton got hands to, the ball dropping off his gloves for a corner.
At the other end, Andy Cowan broke forward, his shot breaking off the back of Paul Thomson into the path of Abdourahman Njie, but his effort was well wide of the target.
Tayport responded with Adam getting on the end of a McPhee cross to head goalwards, but Kevin Durno was in position to hook clear before it could trouble Whitton.
In the 32nd minute, Vics came close to grabbing an equaliser when they were awarded a free kick a couple of yards outside the box and Ross Kenny’s shot from the resultant award struck the post and went behind with ‘keeper Sam Morris beaten.
That apart, there was little excitement during the remainder of the half and Tayport went in at the break still leading by a goal to nil.
Half-time: Tayport 1, Arbroath Vics 0.
Kris Rollo picked up an early booking within 60 seconds of the re-start for hauling back Njie on the touchline.
In the 48th minute, Tayport doubled their lead. A quickly taken throw led to Adam getting in a shot, which Durno blocked away for a corner. From the resultant flag kick, Whitton failed to keep hold of McPhee’s cross and in the ensuing scramble in the six-yard box; RYAN SUTTIE forced the ball over the line.
Three yellow cards quickly followed for Tayport’s Suttie and Vics’ pair Fotheringham and Simpson all for fairly innocuous incidents in the space of five minutes.
Play was still pretty much stifled in midfield, but in the 65th minute, Vics reduced the deficit to 2-1. Kenny did well to turn a cross from the left into the path of ABDOURAHMAN NJIE on the 18-yard line and the striker took one touch before drilling a low shot beyond the ‘keeper.
A minute later, Vics made a double substitution when Owen Bryce and Grant Mowatt came on for Warren and Kenny.
Vics were enjoying their best spell of the game and Chris Simpson brought out the best in home ‘keeper Sam Morris, who was forced to dive full length along his line to hold on to his long range drive.
Tayport made a change soon after when Suttie was replaced by Jake Mair.
Vics were giving it a go in an attempt to get back on level terms and when Mowatt sent the ball out wide to Njie on the right he turned the ball back for Stephen to swing a cross into the Tayport box, which Cowan got on the end of, but his header was held by Morris.
In Vics’ next attack Ruaridh Davidson was fortunate not to turn Bryce’s cross into his own net as he cleared from Cowan coming in behind him, but the ball dropped just the wrong side of the post for those of a Vics’ persuasion.
The most noteworthy Tayport attack was a solo run from Mair, who sped deep into Vics’ territory, but did not catch his strike and Whitton made a comfortable save.
With nine minutes left, Vics sent on Colin Lawson for Cowan.
Try as they might in the remaining minutes, Vics couldn’t conjure up an equaliser, the closest they were to come being in stoppage time when Mowatt was fouled on the by-line and Bryce’s free kick whizzed across the face of goal with no one able to get on the end of it.
Tayport did just enough to see themselves through to the third round, although they got a lucky break with the first goal and Vics perhaps left it too late to get back into the game in the second half.
Tayport: Morris, Rollo, Robertson, Donaldson, Thomson, Donachie, Lawson, Suttie (Mair 71), Adam, Grant, McPhee. Unused subs: Toner, Hart, Connelly and Boyd.
Arbroath Vics: Whitton, Stephen, Sturrock, Simpson, Durno, Florence, Cowan (Lawson 81), Fotheringham, Njie, Kenny (Mowatt 66), Warren (Bryce 66). Unused subs: McWalter and Johnston.
Referee: Mr. C. Fordyce (Dundee).
Vics are back on league business tomorrow (Saturday) when they play host to new league side Kennoway Star Hearts. Kick-off is at 2 p.m.