Arbroath Vics 0
Arbroath Vics travelled to meet a Luncarty side sitting second in the McBookie.com North Division in a league fixture on Saturday.
Injuries, suspension and unavailability meant Vics were down to the bare bones for the trip and former player, Liam Campbell was drafted into the starting eleven at left back, while David McLeish was forced to sit on the bench alongside young trialist, Connor Mitchell.
The match got under way in horrendous conditions with lashing rain and a fierce wind blowing straight down the park from the dressing room end.
Despite facing the elements, Vics created the first half chance when a Grant Mowatt cross from the left came off Kevyn Fowler, forcing ‘keeper Mark Mitchell to dive low towards his near post to prevent it from creeping in.
Liam Campbell then sent Craig Sturrock racing up the left and although he appeared to be impeded by Nick Robertson, the referee waved play on and he carried the ball into the box before delivering a shot into the side-net.
Jack Whitton kept Vics on level terms in the 12th minute with an important block, when he turned aside a Ryan Ward shot after a Kasim Urek cross had pinged about the box, as it got caught up in the wind.
From the resultant corner, Neil Ritchie got on the end of Jon Kelly’s cross but he could only direct his header over the bar.
Luncarty were beginning to push Vics further and further back and when Neil Ritchie and Fowler combined to play Robbie Henderson through on goal he blasted a shot just over the bar.
Soon after Daniel Kelly stooped low to get his head to a Kelly free kick but Whitton got across his line to hold onto the ball.
At the other end, Craig Sturrock picked up a Liam Campbell throw and turned his marker to get in a cross to the near post, but Mark Mitchell was down quickly to smother it before anyone in a Vics’ jersey could reach.
The home side almost claimed a bizarre lead in the 22nd minute when the wind caught a Matty Johnston clearance out on the right touchline and sent it back over his shoulder towards goal and Whitton made a miraculous save, leaping backwards to prevent it from finding the net by pushing the ball onto the bar.
Midway through the half, Luncarty were forced to make a change when Henderson picked up a knock and was replaced by David Fyfe.
Vics’ resistance was eventually broken in the 28th minute when Luncarty were awarded a penalty. Despite repeated attempts to clear the ball from inside their own box, Vics were unable to do so and the referee had little option but to point to the spot when Daniel Kelly was brought down. FOWLER made no mistake from the spot sending the ball high to Whitton’s left corner.
Vics might have had a penalty themselves three minutes later when Jake McWalter appeared to be impeded by Luncarty ‘keeper Mark Mitchell as he tried to take the ball round him inside the box, but the referee waved play on as he kept on his feet and he was eventually crowded out by the backtracking defenders.
In the 40th minute, Vics hopes of going in only one goal in arrears took a dive when Luncarty scored a second. Good build up play on the edge of the box between Fowler and David Fyfe allowed the substitute to advance into the area to fire in a shot, which Whitton did well to beat away, but he was helpless to prevent UREK from netting the rebound from almost on the line.
Half-time: Luncarty 2, Arbroath Vics 0.
Despite playing with the elements in their favour, Vics were soon on the back foot when Jamie McKenzie created an opening for Kelly to cross from the left touchline and Steve Florence was forced to chest it behind for a corner at the near post. From Fyfe’s corner, Kelly was given a free header but sent it wide of the target.
In an increasingly rare Vics’ attack they won a corner, Jake McWalter played short for Johnston to swing into the box where Abdourahman Njie got in a header, but it was comfortably held by Mitchell in the home goal.
The home side made a change in the 63d minute when Allan Hay came on for Nick Robertson.
Four minutes later, the match was put out of Vics’ reach when Luncarty scored a third. Fowler made a surging run up the left and whipped over a cross to the far post where FYFE arrived to send a header beyond the reach of Whitton.
Vics immediately made a change on the restart when Mitchell was sent on for McWalter.
It was increasingly likely the only real chance Vics would have would be if the referee called a halt to proceeding as pools of water began to lie on the surface and indeed it was this factor, which had a hand in Luncarty scoring a fourth in the 70th minute.
Florence played a pass back to Whitton, but the ball stopped dead in the water on the penalty spot. Although the ‘keeper got to the ball first he could only knock it out of the pool straight into the path of FOWLER whose shot also got bogged down, but it had just enough momentum to carry it over the line before Johnston got back to clear.
With the points well and truly wrapped up, Luncarty made their third change of the afternoon when Jamie McKenzie made way for Steven Brown.
Luncarty finished the match on top and after Neil Ritchie flashed a long range drive just wide, they should have had a second penalty when Whitton took out Fowler inside the area as he dived at his feet, but the referee awarded a goal kick.
A fifth goal duly arrived in the 84th minute Jack Whitton failed to hold onto a Fowler cross and UREK scrambled the ball over the line through the now sodden goalmouth to complete the scoring.
On a dreadful day for football, Vics were relieved to hear the final whistle as Luncarty ran out comfortable winners on an afternoon the Ogilvy Park men will want to forget.
Luncarty: Mitchell, Robertson (Hay 63), McKenzie (Brown 71), Ward, Cassidy, Ritchie, Kelly, Fowler, Henderson (Fyfe 23), Kelly, Urek. Unused subs: McDowell and McGillvray.
Arbroath Vics: Whitton, Johnston, Campbell, McWalter (Mitchell 68), Durno, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham, Njie, Lawson, Sturrock. Unused subs: McLeish and Simpson.
Referee: Mr. A. Tait, Longridge.
Vics will hope to get back on track tomorrow (Saturday) when they play host to Thornton Hibs in the league. Kick-off is at 1.45 p.m.
Winners this week were: £10 – No. 89, Ricky Goodwin; £5 – No. 24, Arthur Walker.
East North League
P W D L F A Pts
Dundee NE 14 10 3 1 58 14 33
Luncarty 14 10 1 3 51 19 31
Star Hearts 13 8 1 4 51 24 25
Blairgowrie 14 8 1 5 45 24 25
Downfield 13 7 4 2 31 21 25
Lochore Welfare 14 7 3 4 31 28 24
Forfar West End 14 7 2 5 37 28 23
Newburgh 11 6 4 1 38 19 22
Arbroath Vics 14 6 3 5 32 34 21
Thornton Hibs 14 6 1 7 44 32 19
East Craigie 15 6 1 8 36 31 19
Scone Thistle 16 5 2 9 32 49 17
Lochee Harp 13 4 2 7 26 32 14
Forfar Albion 15 4 0 11 23 71 12
Brechin Vics 14 2 2 10 12 38 8
Coupar Angus 14 0 0 14 9 92 0