East Craigie 2,
Arbroath Vics 3
ARBROATH Vics travelled to Dundee to meet East Craigie in the first round of the G.A. Engineering Cup on Saturday.
There were two changes to the side that drew at Kirrie Thistle the previous week. Kevin Laing slotted in at left-back, allowing Craig Sturrock to switch to central defence in place of Steve Florence, while former Arbroath, Dundee and Hibs, player, Paul Tosh was included in midfield after Vics had reached agreement with Tayport to allow him to play the remainder of the season at Ogilvy Park. This resulted in Garry Warren dropping down to the bench.
Vics started brightly and retained possession for the first minute, but the move eventually fizzled out when David McLeish sent a low cross into the side-netting from almost on the by-line.
East Craigie responded with Scott Gordon playing the ball inside to Darren Gray who laid it off for Connor Adam and he clipped a 25-yard shot over the top of Lee Hutcheson’s crossbar.
At the other end, Mark Fotheringham sent Grant Mowatt away down the left, but as he cut inside towards the box, his attempted shot was blocked away.
Soon after, Craig Watson headed a Lee Hutcheson clearance on for Mowatt who made his way to the by-line, but his cross ran out for a goal kick. Watson again caused problems for the Craigie defence when he nodded on yet another Hutcheson clearance but the home rearguard re-grouped to block the shot from Chris Simpson.
With 17 minutes played, Adam was booked for going in late on Fotheringham.
The home side almost took the lead a couple of minutes later when they broke away following a Vics’ corner with Daniel Low releasing Adam whose drive was too hot for Hutcheson to hold, but the ‘keeper was quickly down to get a touch to Daniel Low’s follow-up and deflect the ball behind for a corner.
East Craigie put further pressure on Vics from the flag-kick, before Hutcheson got down to snuff out the danger by diving to smother a shot from Gordon Norrie.
In the 24th minute Vics opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Laing played the ball up to Andy Cowan who took it into the box, where the referee adjudged him to have been impeded as Shaun Logie gathered. It seemed a soft award, but CRAIG WATSON didn’t debate the issue as he smashed the kick into the back of the net.
A high looping cross into the box from Paul Allan put Sturrock under pressure, but the central defender did enough to head it behind for a corner with Norrie coming in behind him.
Vics doubled their lead in the 28th minute and this time there was little debate about the goal. Sturrock won a tackle inside his own area before releasing CRAIG WATSON and the striker ran on to curl a low shot just inside the far post beyond the diving Logie.
Before play restarted, Logie was yellow carded for dissent.
East Craigie were back in contention a couple of minutes later when they were awarded a free-kick a couple of yards outside the box in the middle of goal and RYAN WELSH got the ball up, and over, the wall and into the back of the net, clipping the bar on its way.
The goal gave East Craigie added impetus and they had Vics on the back foot until the break with Ross McFarlane spurning a reasonable chance by heading a Welsh cross into the arms of Hutcheson.
Fotheringham picked up a booking for a foul on Darren Gray, before the half ended with Adam sending a 22-yard drive just wide of Hutcheson’s right-hand post.
Half-time: East Craigie 1, Arbroath Vics 2.
Vics were first to show after the break when a Laing pass from defence was flicked into the path of Mowatt, but he was crowded out before he could get in a shot.
East Craigie were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position similar to the one that led to their goal, but this time, Welsh’s effort struck the ‘wall’ and Hutcheson got down to save the follow up from Adam.
Another Craigie attack saw Norrie backheel the ball into the path of Brian Scrimgeour but Matty Johnston got across to block it away for a throw-in.
On the hour mark, Hutcheson had to be alert to palm a long range drive from Scrimgeour round the post, and from the flag kick, Greg Anderson had a great chance to level when he raced into the box unmarked at the back post but failed to find the target with his header.
Vics replied with Watson making ground up the right and drilling the ball along the six-yard box, but there was no one up to take advantage and the Craigie defence were able to clear their lines.
A couple of minutes later, Watson got on the end of a Fotheringham cross, but his header was held by Logie.
Midway through the half, Vics made a change when Craig Stephen came on for Simpson.
McLeish then found his name in the referee’s book for downing Norrie, but the Craigie player hit the resultant free kick high over the bar, before earning himself a yellow card minutes later for diving in the box in an attempt to win a penalty.
In the 75th minute, Vics regained their two goal advantage. Stephen fired over a great cross from the right, which picked out Watson who was only denied his hat-trick, by a fine block from Logie to keep out his header, but the keeper was helpless to prevent GRANT MOWATT firing in the rebound.
Stephen was causing Craigie problems with his runs up the right flank and after he saw a cross just elude everyone he then picked out Watson a minute later, who saw his shot curl wide.
With 10 minutes left, Craigie took off defender Paul Allan and threw on striker David Salisbury in an attempt to get back into the tie.
A strong run from Adam took him to within shooting distance, but his effort was comfortably gathered by Hutcheson as Craigie pushed forward.
Vics made a double change in the 86th minute when Mowatt and Fotheringham were replaced by Marc Walker and Liam Campbell, before Laing saw yellow for a foul on Scrimgeour.
As the match moved into stoppage time, Hutcheson had to be alert to hold on to a Scrimgeour shot, but with three minutes of added time played Craigie did grab a second goal when SALISBURY turned in a cross from six yards.
It proved to be too late for the home side however as Vics held on for the next 60 seconds to win through and set up a second round match away to Stonehaven.
East Craigie: Logie, Gordon, Allan (Salisbury), Anderson, McFarlane, Scrimgeour, Low, Gray, Adam, Norrie, Welsh. Unused sub: Ronnie gk and Adam.
Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, McLeish, Sturrock, Cowan, Johnston, Laing, Mowatt (Walker 86), Fotheringham (Campbell 86), Watson, Simpson (Stephen 67), Tosh. Unused subs: Lawson and Warren.
Referee: Mr. C. Fordyce (Dundee).
Vics are back on league duty tomorrow (Saturday) when they play host to Blairgowrie. Kick-off is at 1.45 p.m.
Winners this week were: £10 – No. 124, Grant Mowatt; £5 – No. 94, Craig Stephen.