Arbroath Vics 0, East Craigie 2
Having been rained off at Thornton Hibs the previous week, Arbroath Vics were back on home territory this Saturday when they entertained East Craigie in a McBookie.com North Division fixture.
The teams had met only a few weeks back in the DJ Laing East of Scotland Cup in Dundee and on that occasion the Dundee side came out on top in a 2-0 win.
The game was slow to get going, but it was East Craigie who had a bit more purpose about them in the opening exchanges, although Alex Cargill had little difficulty in fielding shots from Darren Gray and Liam Ross as they tried their luck from distance.
Matty Johnston picked up a booking inside the first 10 minutes when he lunged in to try and win the ball from Andy Millar on the half-way line.
A high ball into the Vics box from Andy Walls caused a moment of confusion in the area as Dale Riddell and Kieran MacGregor both went to head it clear and between them they could only knock it down towards Zak Wilson who hit a shot on the drop speeding past the post.
It took Vics until the 19th minute to put together their first cohesive attack of the afternoon when Scott Donald and Jamie Thomson worked the ball out wide to Craig Sturrock on the left, but having cut inside his pass into the box just eluded the run of Craig Watson and rolled through to goalkeeper Calum Brodie.
Steve Florence then broke up a Craigie attack in the 25th minute, putting Vics on the front foot, which eventually ended with Matty Johnston swinging a cross into the box, which Stephen McNally was forced to head over his own bar as Craig Watson tried to get on the end of it. From the flag kick, David McLeish’s cross picked out Craig Watson, but his header went straight into the keeper’s midriff on the line.
At the other end, Alex Cargill did well to hold on to a high, looping cross, which dropped under the bar despite being under pressure from David Black, who had ventured forward from the back, but when the Craigie player bundled the keeper over the line, the referee awarded Vics a free-kick.
Vics responded by winning another corner and when Calum Brodie could only flap David McLeish’s cross away, the ball dropped to Craig Sturrock, but he could only find the side-net with his right foot shot.
Almost on the half-time whistle, Matty Johnston and Scott Donald combined to create an opening, but Calum Brodie managed to hold onto the latter’s chip just under the crossbar.
Half-time: Arbroath Vics 0 East Craigie 0.
With little goalmouth action of note in the first period it took just over a minute in the second half for the deadlock to be broken.
Zak Wilson broke free down the left for Craigie and pulled the ball back from the by-line for ANDY MILLAR to slot beyond Alex Cargill from eight yards.
Minutes later, an Andy McDonald corner was only partially cleared and when the same player whipped it back into the area a second time, Alex Cargill did well to punch it away under pressure and then get down low to his right to push the follow-up from Zak Wilson round the post.
Ryan Welsh found his name in the referee’s book; the substitute having passed a comment from the dugout, before Vics replaced Colin Lawson with Garry Warren.
Vics were still strangely lethargic despite being a goal behind and when Darren Gray made space for Andy Millar, the goalscorer had a sight of goal but sent in a weak shot, which didn’t trouble Alex Cargill.
Warren Hay should have increased Craigie’s lead in the 64th minute when Zak Wilson again got down the left and crossed to the opposite side of the box, but with only Alex Cargill to beat, the number seven could only find the side-net with his shot.
Midway through the half, Vics made a double substitution, sending on Josh Chalmers and Mark Fotheringham and withdrawing Jamie Thomson and David McLeish.
Calum Brodie was at last tested a couple of minutes later when Craig Sturrock played the ball out wide to Garry Warren, who cut inside and played the ball back for Matty Johnston to send in a low 25-yard drive, which the keeper did well to hold on to.
Craigie were then awarded a free-kick a few yards outside the box in a central position, but again Alex Cargill was in position to hold the shot, which came in from Andy Millar.
In the 77th minute, Craigie got the all decisive second goal.
Craig Watson appeared to be impeded as he tried to head the ball on just inside the visiting half, but the referee allowed play to continue and it was pushed forward to ANDY WALLS who let fly with a speculative shot that took a deflection on its way into the net.
Before play could restart, Craig Watson was booked for dissent.
The remaining minutes fizzled out with neither team looking like scoring. Craigie brought on Paul Constable for Andy Millar and then Garry Welsh for Warren Hay, while there were yellow cards shown to Dale Riddell, Warren Hay and James Malone before the referee brought the match to an end.
In a poor match, almost identical to the one between the sides in Dundee, right down to the final score, East Craigie showed just that little bit more intent to take the points as Vics huffed and puffed, but never really looked like seriously troubling Calum Brodie in the away goal.
Arbroath Vics: 1 Alex Cargill 2 Kieran MacGregor 3 Craig Sturrock 4 Dale Riddell 5 Steve Florence 6 Matty Johnston 7 Colin Lawson (sub 15 Garry Warren 58 mins) 8 David McLeish (sub 17 Mark Fotheringham 70 mins) 9 Jamie Thomson (sub 12 Josh Chalmers 70 mins) 10 Craig Watson 11 Scott Donald. Unused subs: 14 Kevin Durno 16 Liam Scott.
East Craigie: 1 Calum Brodie 2 Stephem NcNally 3 David Black 4 Andy McDonald 5 James Malone 6 Darren Gray 7 Warren Hay (sub 16 Garry Welsh 84 mins) 8 Andy Walls 9 Liam Ross 10 Andy Millar (sub 17 Paul Constable 80 mins) 11 Zak Wilson. Unused subs: 14 Mark Ferrie 15 Ryan Welsh 18 Kristofer Ward.
Referee: Mr. R. McIntyre (Montrose).
Yellow cards: Vics: Matty Johnston, Craig Watson, Dale Riddell. East Craigie: Ryan Welsh, Warren Hay, James Malone. Red cards: None.
Vics are out of town this week, when they travel into Fife to meet Lochore Welfare in the league. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 11.45 a.m.
Winners this week were:
£20 – No. 28 Dale Riddell
£10 – No. 100 Jake McWalter
£5 – No. 52 Rusell Ruxton
P W D L F A Pt
Downfield 7 6 0 1 22 7 18
Luncarty 8 5 1 2 21 11 16
Blairgowrie 8 5 1 1 20 10 16
Newburgh 9 5 1 3 18 14 16
Brechin Vics 8 5 0 3 25 18 15
Scone Thistle 9 5 0 4 20 17 15
Thornton Hibs 7 4 2 1 26 14 14
East Craigie 8 4 1 3 22 16 13
Kennoway Star Hearts 8 3 2 3 24 21 11
Kirrie Thistle 9 2 4 3 16 20 10
Arbroath Vics 8 2 2 4 13 19 8
Kirkcaldy YM 7 2 1 4 13 22 7
Lochee Harp 7 2 0 5 13 16 6
Lochore Welfare 9 1 1 7 13 36 4
Forfar Albion 9 1 0 8 12 37 3