Arbroath Vics 2,
Montrose Roselea 1
Arbroath Vics continued their sectional matches in the D.J. Laing League Cup with a home match against Montrose Roselea on Saturday.
Manager Jake Ferrier made five changes to the starting line-up, which drew 1-1 with Blairgowrie on the opening day of the season.
In came goalkeeper, Lee Hutcheson, Danny Smith, Chris Simpson, Ryan Owbridge and Garry Warren.
Those who missed out were David McLeish, Craig Stephen and Mark Fotheringham, who were all injured, while Matty Johnston dropped down to the bench.
Roselea, who hit the ground running with a 7-0 win over Forfar Albion the previous week, were without striker. Callum atson, but had the ideal replacement in James Collier who was free of suspension.
The away side had the first glimpse of goal in two minutes when Callum Rae tried a pot shot at trying to catch Hutcheson off his line, but his effort drifted wide of the target.
At the other end, Craig Sturrock flighted a free-kick from just over the halfway line deep into the Roselea box where Owbridge got above the defence to get in a header, which dropped over the bar.
In the 10th minute, a Michael Cruickshank corner allowed Robert Urquhart to get his head on the ball, but the ex-Vics player saw his glancing effort bounce around the box before being cleared upfield.
A minute later, the deadlock was broken when Vics took the lead.
Simpson made a great run up the left and into the box and after evading a tackle almost on the byline, the ball broke back into his path allowing him to square it across for MARC WALKER to net from close range.
Roselea had a great chance to level matters almost immediately when Cruickshank was brought down a yard outside the box, bang in the centre of goal, but Craig Anderson’s low shot from the resultant free-kick went wide of Hutcheson’s right-hand post.
The visitors were pushing hard for the equaliser and it eventually came in the 25th minute.
Anderson picked up a loose ball and passed it inside to Urquhart who, in turn, helped it across to CRUICKSHANK who hit an unstoppable shot high into the corner of the net.
In a Vics response, Walker picked up the ball in midfield and made inroads towards the Roselea goal, but his shot from distance was well wide of the intended target.
The Montrose side might have gone in at the interval ahead following a corner, which Vics struggled to deal with in the 40th minute.
The ball was turned back over his shoulder into the middle of the goal by Collier, but Anderson somehow contrived to throw himself headlong and send his header over the bar from six yards.
Half-time: Arbroath Vics 1, Montrose Roselea 1.
Roselea were first to show after the interval when Cruickshank, Urquhart and Collier all combined, but Urquhart’s shot took a deflection and looped over the bar.
But despite Roselea’s bright start to the half, Vics were far from out of it. A Colin Lawson pass released Warren on the left and his cross to the near post saw Watson stab a shot just wide as Jo Reoch challenged.
Both teams then made changes with Vics replacing Owbridge and Lawson with Liam Campbell and Grant Mowatt and Roselea sending on Graham Allan for Paul Taylor.
Mowatt was quickly involved making ground down the right and whipping a great cross along the six-yard line, but there was no one up to take advantage and the ball sped away to safety.
In the 79th minute, Vics edged in front for the second time in the match.
Paul Whyte brought down Warren on the left and when the Vics number 11 whipped the free-kick into the box, STURROCK stole in behind the Roselea defence to bullet an unstoppable header into the net.
Four minutes later, Vics were thankful for the woodwork to keep their lead intact when Collier saw a shot bounce back into play off the post.
With the danger still not cleared, Anderson clipped the loose ball back into the danger area and Collier was again first to it but sent his header back across goal and wide of the far upright.
There was still time for Vics to finish the match with 10 men when Watson was sent off for a late tackle on Reoch with seconds to go, but no sooner had he left the field when the referee ended the match.
In a hard fought encounter, Roselea, had the upper hand particularly in the first half, but Vics dug deep after the break and showed character to grab a winner and keep their qualification hopes alive.
Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, Smith, Sturrock, Lawson (Campbell 65), Durno, Florence, Walker (Johnston 46), Simpson, Watson, Owbridge (Mowatt 65) and Warren. Not used: Laing and Fotheringham.
Montrose Roselea: Craig, Taylor (Allan 65), Taylor, Rae, Reoch, Whyte, Ross (Brand 88), Anderson, Collier, Urquhart (Fletcher 76) and Cruickshank. Not used: Milne and Riach.
Vics complete their matches in the group stages of the D.J. Laing League Cup tomorrow (Saturday) with an away match against Forfar Albion. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. and players should meet at Ogilvy Park at 12.45 p.m.
If Vics are to make it to the semi-final away to the winners of Group A on Wednesday evening, (August 29), they would not only need to win, but also hope that Blairgowrie slip up at home to Montrose Roselea.
Although Vics and Blairgowrie both have four points from their two opening games, Blairgowrie top the group with a vastly superior goal difference having run in 13 goals without reply against Forfar Albion.