Vics’ league opener is at home against Coupar Angus

Arbroath Vics 0,

Tayport 2

Arbroath Vics completed their pre-season friendlies with a home match against Super League side, Tayport on Saturday.

It was Vics who nearly drew first blood when a long range effort from Craig Watson forced Iain Ross to dive smartly to his right to tip the shot round the post.

Despite that, Tayport settled and took the lead in the 12th minute when Vics were caught expecting a throw-in, which wasn’t forthcoming, from a move down the left and as they debated the decision, JAKE MAIR hooked a shot beyond Lee Hutcheson from just inside the box.

The remainder of the half saw Vics give as good as they got, but they never really threatened Iain Ross in the Tayport goal, while Lee Hutcheson, likewise dealt comfortably with most of what Tayport had to offer.

Half-time: Arbroath Vics 0, Tayport 1.

After the break it was the Canniepairt side that extended their lead with a good goal when STEVEN McPHEE cut in from the right and curled an unstoppable shot high into the top corner in 65 minutes.

From there on in, Tayport were never going to lose their two-goal lead although Jake McWalter almost pulled a goal back for Vics in the closing stages with a shot towards the near post, which Iain Ross did well to push behind.

Despite losing, Vics put in a good performance against a side two leagues above them and there were enough positives for manager Jake Ferrier to take from the game.

Arbroath Vics 3,

High School FPs 2

In another friendly in the previous midweek, Vics won 3-2 against amateur side, Arbroath High School FPs.

The FPs started better than Vics and were 2-0 ahead by the 30 minute mark with goals from ex-Vics players, RYAN LOW and DANNY McKENZIE.

However a mistake by the FPs’ ‘keeper allowed CHRIS SIMPSON to pull a goal back for Vics with a long range shot before the interval.

Half-time: Arbroath Vics 1, High School FPs 2.

After the break, Vics looked more composed and eventually went on to secure the win with goals from GRANT MOWATT and CRAIG WATSON.

Squad news

Most of last season’s squad have re-signed with the exception of David McLeish, who has taken up the role as a coach along with Chris Simpson who will operate a dual role, although he will continue playing. Paul Tosh has decided to retire while Liam Campbell is considering his options due to work commitments, which see him working outwith the Tayside area.

New signings at Ogilvy Park are defender Owen Bryce from Forfar Athletic and Jake McWalter a midfielder who was with Arbroath Community Sports Club.

Andy Cowan, who spent most of last season on loan at Ogilvy Park from Carnoustie Panmure, has joined permanently from the Gowfers

Assistant manager Arthur Walker, however, has decided to call it a day on the footballing front, having been with Jake Ferrier since the pair of them took over at Ogilvy Park, having joined up from Carnoustie Panmure.

This season sees the East Region operate four leagues of 16 teams encompassing a Super League, Premier League, North League and South League.

Vics find themselves in the North League along with the majority of teams which were in the division last season. However, to make the numbers up to 16, Perthshire sides Scone Thistle and Luncarty are back in the fold having spent several years in the Central League.

Further newcomers to the division are Fife sides Thornton Hibs, Newburgh and Lochore Welfare who were also in the Central League last season. The final team to make up the division is Kennoway Star Hearts also from Fife.

The Fife based side is an amalgamation of two teams, Kennoway Amateurs and Star Hearts, who played in the amateur leagues last season and were admitted into the junior ranks at the SJFA annual general meeting in Aberdeen.

Tomorrow’s match

Vics begin their league campaign with a home match against Coupar Angus tomorrow (Saturday), with a 2.30 p.m. kick-off.

On Tuesday evening they make the short trip to meet Brechin Vics, also in the league, when the kick-off will be 7 p.m.