HAVING drawn their two previous league matches against Dundee Violet and Brechin Vics, Arbroath Vics were hoping for a change in fortune when they headed up the coast to meet Montrose Roselea in a league fixture at Broomfield Park on Saturday.
Vics made three changes to the side that was held at home by Brechin Vics the previous week, with Steve Reid, Craig Sturrock and Lee Jones all returning to the starting 11 at the expense of Chris Cargill, Ryan Low and Colin Lawson.
On a terrible day, with driving wind and rain sweeping down the pitch, Roselea won the toss and elected to shoot into the elements.
It was the home side which made the early running and they forced a couple of corners. The ball broke to Matthew Millar from the second one and he turned and hooked the ball goalwards where it was cleared off the line. James Collier then touched another corner towards goal and Reid did well to block the ball away.
Vics began to put pressure on the Roselea rearguard with the wind and rain to their advantage and Jones saw a drive blocked as did David McLeish from the rebound.
Garry Warren then found Craig Anderson entering the box and his shot was deflected behind for a corner. From the flag kick, Sean Mustard did well to clear the ball away under pressure inside his own six-yard box.
In the 15th minute, Vics’ spell of pressure resulted in the opening goal. Warren flighted a cross into the box, which Ryan Owbridge nodded on and DOUGIE CRAIG, in attempting to clear, steered the ball into his own net.
Vics were well on top at this stage and only a great block from Ross McLeod prevented McLeish from extending their lead.
In 21 minutes, McLeod was again called into action, leaping to tip a dangerous Gavin Norrie cross over the bar as it threatened to dip in.
Another fine move involving Norrie, Jones and Anderson set up Warren, but although his shot beat the ‘keeper, it landed in the side net.
Callum Rae picked up the first booking of the afternoon for going in late on Anderson.
Matty Johnston put Vics back on the attack, battling to win possession in midfield and picking out Anderson who slipped in Jones, but his shot curled across the face of goal and wide.
Matthew Millar then lost possession for Roselea, allowing Anderson to fire in a terrific drive, which looked netbound until McLeod threw up a hand to divert it over the bar.
In one of the few Roselea attacks of the half, Robert Urquhart went down in the box, but the referee wasn’t interested in awarding a penalty and waved play on.
Vics continued to hem Roselea back and in the 40th minute, Warren was sent through by Anderson, but despite looking to have done everything right his shot slipped just wide of the far post as McLeod came out to narrow the angle.
McLeod continued to be a one man barrier and he made two further important blocks from Norrie and Warren as Vics must have wondered why they only went in one goal to the good at the interval.
Half-time: Montrose Roselea 0, Arbroath Vics 1.
With the wind at their backs, Roselea looked to get an early goal, pushing Vics back and winning two free-kicks in dangerous positions. However, both were wasted with Craig and Collier, shooting high and wide of opposite posts.
Norrie was then penalised for pulling back Mark Fotheringham and a quickly taken free kick saw Craig’s cross fly across the face of goal and behind with no one able to get a touch.
In the 57th minute, Roselea got back on level terms when they were awarded a penalty for a needless trip on Urquhart just inside the box. JAMES COLLIER took the kick and made no mistake.
Four minutes later, the match turned in Roselea’s favour when they edged in front. Rae sent over a corner, which saw Lee Hood rise above the defence to send a header against the bar. Unfortunately for Vics, the rebound struck JAMES COLLIER and rebounded into the net.
In a rare Vics’ attack, Warren saw a shot charged down before Richardson blazed the rebound over.
Vics then had Jones and Kevin Durno booked following a dispute over a throw-in before Urquhart sent a snap-shot from just outside the area spinning wide.
Collier then broke away in search of his hat-trick and Reid made a good diving save to prevent his shot from finding the net.
With seven minutes left, Vics sent on Danny McKenzie and Ryan Low for Owbridge and Warren. At the same time Roselea replaced Hood with Joe Aitken.
The Roselea substitute was barely on the pitch when he was yellow carded for a poor challenge and he was joined in the book soon after by Johnston.
Four minutes into stoppage time, Vics were down to 10 men when Jones picked up a second yellow card for dissent and was sent off.
Despite that the referee continued to play on and with the watch showing 50 minutes, McKenzie took advantage of a mistake by Matthew Millar to race in on goal, but man-of-the-match McLeod ensured Roselea bagged all three points by diving to block away his shot from just inside the box.
Montrose Roselea: McLeod, Millar, Craig, Rae, Reoch, Fotheringham, Hood (Aitken 84), Mustard, Collier, Urquhart, Reid. Unused subs: Brand, Strachan, Riach, Watson, McKellar.
Arbroath Vics: Reid, Richardson, Johnston, Norrie, Durno, Sturrock, McLeish, Anderson, Owbridge (McKenzie 84), Jones, Warren (Low 84). Unused subs: Lawson, Laing, Cargill, gk.
Referee: Mr M. Ritchie, Arbroath.
North End visit
Vics are back at home tomorrow (Saturday) when they play host to Dundee North End in the league. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.
Winners this week were: £10 – No. 81, Nicola McLeod; £5 – No. 124, Lee McLean.
East Region North District League
P W D L F A Pts
Downfield 15 10 3 2 38 21 33
Montrose Roselea 14 9 2 3 27 16 29
Dundee North End 14 9 1 4 39 25 28
Arbroath Vics 15 8 3 4 34 23 27
Dundee Violet 14 8 1 5 34 22 25
Arbroath SC 14 7 3 4 32 22 24
Blairgowrie 15 7 2 6 42 32 23
Kirrie Thistle 11 4 4 3 29 24 16
Forfar Albion 15 3 4 8 27 41 13
Brechin Vics 13 3 3 7 18 33 12
East Craigie 14 3 2 9 17 34 11
Lochee Harp 9 2 1 6 11 17 7
Coupar Angus 15 1 1 13 15 53 4