Vics are hit for six in league opener

Arbroath Vics 3, Brechin Vics 6

Arbroath Vics opened the 2014/15 season with a home match against Brechin Vics in the McBookie.com North Division on Wednesday evening.

There were four new signings in the starting line-up; Dale Riddell, David Sturrock, Liam Scott and Kane Hester, along with a trialist keeper. Four further new signings; Kieran MacGregor, Jamie Thomson, Josh Chalmers and Scott Donald were included on the bench.

Brechin Vics had made several new signings over the summer, the most notable being Charlie Fertacz from Kinnoull.

In the 10th minute Arbroath took the lead. Matty Johnston was impeded as he tried to make ground up the right and when Garry Warren swung the resultant free-kick to the back post, FOTHERINGHAM escaped his marker to head into the net.

Hester almost double the Arbroath lead within a minute when he was sent clear by David McLeish but his shot on the run flew over the bar.

Brechin replied with Lewis Dunn gathering the ball in midfield and making space to send in a low drive from distance, but it was comfortably held by Leighton Davidson in the Arbroath goal.

A minute later, Fertacz got on the end of a Dunn corner at the near post to send a header over the bar.

Davidson then kept Arbroath in front when he blocked a close range drive from Arran McKay, with Dale Riddell booting the loose ball clear as it spun off the keeper’s body towards the goal-line.

With 17 minutes on the clock, Brechin’s pressure was rewarded with the equalising goal. Fertacz made ground down the left before whipping over the perfect cross for McKAY to come racing in and head high into the net.

The vistors looked the more dangerous when they attacked and a fine move saw King play the ball down the left to Fertacz who pulled the ball across the face of the goal for McKay who was denied by yet another fine save from Davidson.

Almost on the half-time whistle, Fertacz sent a dipping volley just wide as the teams left the field with the score still tied.

Half-time: Arbroath Vics 1, Brechin Vics 1.

Barrie Gourlay picked up a yellow card for a foul on Garry Warren soon after, but Arbroath failed to make nothing of the free kick and in the 49th minute, Brechin took the lead. Arbroath were caught napping at a throw-in and when the ball landed at the feet of DUNN his shot took a deflection and spun into the net beyond the wrong-footed Davidson.

Three minutes later, Brechin extended their lead. A cross from the right saw Fertacz appear to barge Riddell away from the ball, but the referee saw nothing amiss and when it ran on to KING he guided a shot into the net beyond the reach of the ‘keeper.

Soon after the restart, Sturrock and Ryan Young were both yellow carded before the Arbroath number six got his head to a Warren corner to glance a header inches wide.

On the hour mark, Arbroath made a double substitution when Liam Scott and Matty Johnston went off to be replaced by Chalmers and Thomson.

Sixty seconds later, Kevin Durno was booked for hauling down FERTACZ, but in the 64th minute the striker burst through the Arbroath defence to plant a shot beyond Davidson to increase Brechin’s lead.

The powerful running of Fertacz was causing Arbroath no end of problems and he was instrumental in increasing Brechin’s lead to 5-1 a couple of minutes later, again racing through the defence before playing in McKAY to grab his second goal of the night.

Arbroath made their third change in the 70th minute when Warren made way for Donald, but it was Brechin who were on top and they bagged a sixth goal three minutes later. Fertacz again carved his way through the defence, shrugging of a foul from Thomson, before laying the ball off for DUNN to pick his spot.

Before play resumed, Thomson was yellow carded for the foul in the lead up to the goal while Brechin replaced Dunn with Andrew Ferguson.

Arbroath got back on the scoresheet in the 75th minute when a Josh Chalmers corner landed at the feet of THOMSON inside the box and the substitute swept a low shot into the net.

A minute later, Arbroath had reduced the deficit to 6-3. Chalmers and Sturrock combined to play Hester into the box where he was impeded and DONALD netted the resultant penalty kick.

Chalmers almost got a fourth for Arbroath when he was sent away by Durno, but Robbie got a hand to his attempted lob to push it behind for a corner.

In the 90th minute yet another block at the near post by Robbie, this time with his legs, prevented Chalmers from scoring, but the final whistle sounded when the flag kick came to nothing and Brechin came away with the three points.

Brechin were deserved winners on the night and hit a purple patch in the second-half when they looked as if they could score at will, with the only consolation for Arbroath being a late rally in the final 15 minutes, which put a bit of respectability on the final score.

Arbroath Vics: Davidson, Johnston (Chalmers 60), Lawson, Riddell, Durno, Sturrock, Scott (Thomson 60), Fotheringham, Hester, McLeish, Warren (Donald 74). Unused subs: MacGregor and Simpson.

Tomorrow’s match

Tomorrow (Saturday), Vics are away to Luncarty in the league. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 12 noon.