NCR 1, ACSC 2
It was back to league business for ACSC who travelled to Caird Park Stadium to take on NCR in their fifth away game from a possible seven.
The away side lined up with their favoured 3-5-2 formation and came out the traps quickly into a stiff breeze as they looked to dominate the early exchanges in this tough encounter.
NCR adopted a very direct approach with the wind at their backs and forced a number of set-pieces which ‘keeper Cargill and his defence were alert to deal with.
ACSC continued with their quick passing game as they looked to create an opening against a home side that adopted a high defensive line hoping to catch the Arbroath strikers offside (which, with the referee’s help they managed on numerous occasions).
ACSC took the lead midway through the first half when a long throw into the box from Powrie was headed goalward by SPUREK who was delighted to see the ball deflect off his marker into the net past the helpless home ‘keeper.
The Arbroath side almost made it two after good link up play with Pearson put Gatrick through on goal but he saw his left foot effort palmed onto the post by the home ‘keeper.
ACSC were now dominating play and increased their lead when a good move down the left found R.GILLESPIE with space in the box to unleash a goalbound shot that found the net after a deflection off a home defender.
The away side almost made it 3-0 soon after but Pearson was unlucky to see his 25-yard free kick crash off the post as ACSC looked finish the game off before half-time.
NCR grabbed a goal back before the half against the run of play when a ball played into the box from the right found the home striker who incredibly back-heeled the ball, wind assisted past a bemused Cargill into the top corner.
Half-time: NCR 1, ACSC 2.
ACSC went into the second half with high hopes of adding to their goal tally that their play deserved but came up against a home side encouraged by their freak goal before the interval.
As the half progressed ACSC passed up several chances to increase the lead which led to a sustained period of pressure from the Cash who created a number of chances that were only stopped by the woodwork, some sharp goalkeeping and desperate defending.
ACSC were digging deep to preserve their slender advantage and were delighted to hear the final whistle to give them another three precious points on the road.
In a very open game ACSC played some good stuff at times but were unable to kill off a young, determined NCR side that will feel unlucky not to have taken something from the match.
Team: Cargill, D. Gillespie, Graham, Powrie, Swan, McDowell, Gatrick, Spurek (Forbes 60), McKenzie (Longmuir 65), Pearson (Gall 80) and R. Gillespie.