Vics draw a blank at home to North End

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Arbroath Vics 0, Dundee North End 0

ARBROATH Vics were back at home for a league match with joint leaders, Dundee North End on Saturday.

With Paul Tosh in sunnier climes, Steve Florence returned to his usual role in the centre of defence, but otherwise the side was the same as the one which won 3-0 away to Brechin Vics the previous week.

On a perfect day for football, the Dundee side was first to test the water when Scott McComiskie picked up a Georgie Grier pass wide on the left and fired a dangerous low driven cross towards the near post, but Bob Duncan was equal to the task, diving out to claim it just inside the six-yard box.

In Vics’ first attack of note in the eighth minute, Craig Watson threatened to break through the North End defence, but he was crudely tripped by Adam Stevenson before he could reach the box, earning the North End player an early yellow card. From the free-kick, Ross Kenny got above the North End defence to reach Grant Mowatt’s cross, but his header struck the bar and bounced over.

Two minutes later, Vics broke with intent up the left with Mowatt sending Mark Fotheringham up towards the bye-line, but his cut-back was hastily cleared away before it could find a colleague.

Kenny then won possession from Gordon Ramsay in midfield before playing the ball out to Mowatt who cut inside, but his low shot from distance was comfortably gathered by Fotheringham in the North End goal.

At the other end, Reece Ritchie gathered in a Gordon Ramsay throw-in and made space for Gary Muckersie to get away a shot, but it was straight into the arms of Duncan.

As North End began to enjoy a reasonable spell, Ross Grant won the ball in midfield and set up Barry McNaughton who brought out a fine save from Duncan with his 25-yard drive.

Soon after, Ritchie made space for Ramsay to whip over a dangerous cross, and McNaughton, arriving late in the box, sent a header over the bar.

Vics had a great chance to take the lead in the 24th minute when a Duncan clearance sailed over the North End defence allowing Mowatt a clear run at goal, but ‘keeper Fotheringham got a foot to his shot to deflect it round the post for a corner.

Play was soon back at the other end, with Adam Stevenson climbing above Vics’ defence to get on the end of a Muckersie cross only to send his header wide.

Chris Simpson put Vics back on the attack finding Mowatt wide and when he swung the ball into the box; Watson got a touch, but could only prod wide from around 15 yards.

The last chance of the half fell North End’s way in the 40th minute when Reece Ritchie send a header wide at the back post following a Muckersie free kick.

Half-time: Arbroath Vics 0, Dundee North End 0.

The second half was slow to get going with a yellow card shown to Kenny for a foul on McNaughton the only incident of note in the opening 10 minutes.

It was the 63rd minute before either side created a meaningful attack with Vics breaking forward when Kenny nodded on a Duncan clearance, allowing Watson to play the ball into the box looking for Fotheringham, but his namesake in the North End goal got there to claim it before he could reach.

Duncan then made a good diving save on the line two minutes later to claim a David O’Neill header from close range after Muckersie had swung a corner kick into the box.

Ritchie tried his luck from way out on the touchline after he spotted Duncan out of his area, but his effort had little pace behind it and the ‘keeper was able to get back in position to claim it on the penalty spot.

Andy Cowan found his name in the referee’s book for a foul on McComiskie before firing off a shot from almost 30 yards, but it failed to trouble Fotheringham as it flew well wide.

The North End ‘keeper was a little bit more fortunate in Vics’ next attack when Watson headed a Matty Johnston free kick into the box looking for Kenny, but the ball struck the Vics’ attacker and a defender and landed in Fotheringham’s arms.

In the 75th minute, North End replaced Ramsay with Ryan Crickshanks before Ross Grant was yellow carded for dissent.

Vics came close to breaking the deadlock in the 79th minute when Cowan got above the North End defence to get on the end of a Mowatt corner, but his header was cleared off the line with the ‘keeper beaten.

Watson was replaced by Marc Walker and the substitute had a great chance with his first touch when he was played through by McLeish, but his shot was weak allowing Fotheringham to save.

Play was broken up with yellow cards issued to Vics’ Fotheringham and North End’s Ritchie in separate incidents before Garry Warren came on for Kenny in the 85th minute.

McComiskie was next to be yellow carded for a comment passed to the referee, before Vics were denied all three points right at the death. Fotheringham got on the end of a Warren corner and blasted a volley goalwards, but the ball crashed off a couple of maroon jerseys inside a packed six-yard box and rebounded to safety with the ‘keeper well beaten.

Over the piece, Vics will feel they were a little unlucky not to have claimed all three points, as they created the clearer chances, hitting the bar in the first-half and having two efforts cleared off the line late on in the second period.

The draw keeps Vics still in with a chance of securing a promotion place, but with both Montrose Roselea and East Craigie winning it increases both their leads at the top of the table.

Arbroath Vics: Duncan, McLeish, Sturrock, Cowan, Johnston, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham, Watson (Walker 82), Kenny (Warren 85), Simpson. Unused substitutes: Lawson, Durno and Hutcheson, g/k.

Dundee North End: Fotheringham, Ramsay (Cruickshanks 75), Deuchars, Stevenson, O’Neill, Ritchie, McNaughton, Grier, Muckersie, McComiskie, Grant. Unused substitutes: Gaskell, Borland, McCabe and Lees, g/k.

Referee: Mr. S. Leslie.

Tomorrow’s match

Vics are away to Lochee Harp in the league tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 12.45 p.m.

150 Club

Winners this week were: £10 – No. 79, Ron Haldane; £5 – No. 20, Craig Watson. East North League

P W D L F A Pts

Montrose 18 12 2 4 57 19 38

East Craigie 18 12 2 4 46 28 38

Dundee NE 18 11 3 4 52 22 36

Arb’th Vics 19 10 4 5 46 30 34

Downfield 18 10 2 6 50 35 32

Kirrie Thistle 15 9 4 2 42 20 31

Blairgowrie 19 9 2 8 39 30 29

Forfar WE* 14 10 0 4 34 25 24

Lochee Harp 16 4 2 10 21 39 14

Brechin Vics 20 3 1 16 30 64 10

Forfar Albion 16 2 1 13 22 66 7

Coupar Angus 19 1 1 17 15 76 4