Arbroath Vics 6, Forfar Albion 1
FOR THE first time since mid-November the junior football programme turned to something like normality with the weather allowing most fixtures to go ahead on the final Saturday of the year.
Arbroath Vics played host to Forfar Albion in the league and although Kevin Durno and Danny Smith were both absent, there was a welcome return to the substitutes’ bench for Marc Walker and Craig Stephen, both of whom had been out injured for a large part of the season.
The first opening came Albion’s way in the second minute, when Mark McIntosh got free down the left, and cut into the box but Craig Sturrock came across to concede a corner before the striker could lay the ball off.
Albion were showing plenty of enterprise in the opening exchanges and Sam McDonald wasn’t far off target with a dipping volley from the edge of the area that went just wide of the far post.
Vics responded by winning a series of corners with Craig Watson having two efforts blocked behind before the same player saw a close range header from the third brilliantly clawed off the line by goalkeeper Justin Brough after he had been teed up by Mark Fotheringham.
It was Albion who snatched the lead in the 21st minute. Graeme McLeish sent over a cross from the left, which Hutcheson came for, but was never likely to reach, and McINTOSH guided a header over him and into the net.
The lead was short lived as within two minutes Vics were back on level terms.
Albion were far from pleased at the award of a corner but when Warren sent the cross into the box, COWAN got above the defence to send a header inside the near post from six yards.
Brough then did well to push away a shot from Watson, before Vics went in front from the penalty spot in the 37th minute.
Warren swung the ball out wide to David McLeish on the right and when he returned the ball into the box, Warren’s attempt to find a colleague was blocked by the hands of Black.
The referee initially allowed play to continue, perhaps looking for advantage before pointing to the spot with WATSON taking the kick and stroking the ball home.
Half-time: Arbroath Vics 2, Forfar Albion 1.
Albion made a change at the start of the second half when Liam Hely replaced Black. The substitute almost got on the end of a Matty Reynolds cross within a minute, but David McLeish got back to head behind for a corner at the back post before he could reach.
Within a minute, Vics had increased their lead to 3-1. Cowan slipped the ball through the Albion defence where MOWATT shrugged off the attentions of Graeme McLeish to drill a shot beyond Brough.
Two minutes later, Vics all but wrapped the points up with a bizarre own goal. Warren played the ball inside to Fotheringham who clipped a shot beyond the keeper from just inside the box.
Ferrar got back to prevent it from crossing the line, but goalkeeper BROUGH, in his haste to get back and save, turned the defender’s clearance into his own net.
Midway through the half, Vics made a substitution when Cowan was withdrawn in favour of Colin Lawson.
It took the substitute only a couple of minutes to help increase Vics lead when he threaded a pass through the Albion defence for MOWATT to run onto and drill low into the back of the net.
Vics were well on top at this stage as Albion visibly wilted and it came as no surprise when the lead was extended to 6-1 in the 80th minute.
Warren played the ball in from the left for Mowatt, who could easily have completed his hat-trick, but he unselfishly rolled the ball across for WATSON to apply the finishing touch.
In a fairly even first half, the match swung in Vics’ favour with two goals inside the opening five minutes after the break and they ran out comfortable winners.
Arbroath Vics: Hutcheson, McLeish, Sturrock (Laing 70), Cowan (Lawson 66), Johnston, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham, Watson, Simpson (Walker 77) and Warren. Not used: Campbell and Stephen.
Vics begin 2013 with a league match away to Kirrie Thistle tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is at 1.30 p.m. and transport leaves Ogilvy Park at 11.45 a.m.
Winners this week were: £70 – Marie Gouck; £30 – Bob Nicol; £15 – M. McKenzie; £15 – Ryan Owbridge; £10 – Kevin Laing and £5 – George Kennedy.