North End too strong for Vics

ARBROATH Vics were out of town on Saturday to meet Dundee North End in a McBookie.com North Division fixture.

There was one change to the team that beat Downfield the previous week, with Danny Smith missing due to injury. Matty Johnston switched to right-back, allowing Kevin Durno to slot into central defence.

The home side was quickly on the offensive with Ryan Cruickshanks sending a good crossfield pass into the path of Scott McComiskie who raced up the right and fired a shot just wide of the post.

Vics had a let-off in North End’s next attack when Lee Hutcheson spilled a McComiskie effort into the path of Cruickshanks, but he recovered in time to save his shot.

Despite that, Vics came close to taking the lead in their first attack in the seventh minute. Durno got on the end of a Warren corner, only to see his shot cleared off the line with the ‘keeper beaten.

At the other end, Njie Abdourahman got free on the left before pulling the ball back for Cruickshanks whose shot was deflected into the side netting.

And from the flag-kick, Vics broke quickly to take the lead.

Sturrock headed the cross out of the box, allowing Warren to run deep into the North End half before picking out David McLeish who played Craig WATSON in. The centre forward steered a shot beyond the ‘keeper as he tried to narrow the angle.

Vics might have extended their lead in 20 minutes when Grant Mowatt played a lovely pass through the home defence which released Watson, but the striker’s lob drifted wide as Mark Fotheringham raced from his line.

Despite that it was the home side which was doing most of the attacking as Vics began to be increasingly pinned back in their own half.

North End continued to put Vics under pressure and Hutcheson was again called into action, leaping to tip a McComiskie free-kick over the bar.

Just when it looked as if the visitors had weathered the storm and were to go in ahead at the interval, North End grabbed an equaliser in time added on at the end of the half.

ABDOURAHMAN got the break off the ball on the 18-yard line and flicked it into the box, before drilling a low shot into the corner of the net beyond the reach of Hutcheson.

Half-time: Dundee North End 1, Arbroath Vics 1.

The home side began the second half where they had left off the first and within seven minutes of the restart took the lead.

Martin Stewart sent over a cross, which was met by Cruickshanks, and although Hutcheson did well to prevent his close range strike from crossing the line, the number six turned the ball back across the face of goal from the bye-line for ABDOURAHMAN to nod in from less than a yard.

And North End were rewarded with a third goal in the 63rd minute.

Ross Browne broke forward from defence and advanced down the right before pulling the ball back for McCOMISKIE to finish off the move by shooting low just inside Hutcheson’s left-hand post.

In the 77th minute, Vics hauled themselves back into the match when CHRIS SIMPSON ghosted in behind a static North End defence to plant a header beyond Fotheringham, who remained rooted to his line.

Vics continued to push for an equaliser as North End began to get nervous defending their one goal advantage and when Fotheringham was bundled over just a few yards outside the box, it presented Warren with a chance, but he sent his shot from the resultant free-kick high over the bar.

Over the piece, despite Vics taking the lead, North End were worthy winners.

Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, McLeish, Sturrock (Laing 65), Johnston (Lawson 73), Durno, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham, Watson (Cowan 63), Simpson and Warren. Not used: Duncan.

Tomorrow’s match

Vics are back at home tomorrow (Saturday) when they play host to Coupar Angus in the league. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.

150 Club

£10 – No. 68 Ann Emslie

£5 – No. 29 Cameron Walker