Scone Thistle 1,
Arbroath Vics 1
Arbroath Vics were back in Perthshire on Saturday when they travelled to Farquharson Park to meet Scone Thistle in a league fixture.
Manager Jake Ferrier stuck with the same 11 that finished the match away to Jeanfield Swifts in the East of Scotland cup win the previous week.
The home side was first to create an opening when Charlie Fertacz got free on the left and sent a cross in towards the near post, but Steve Florence cut out the danger by turning the ball behind for a corner. From the flag kick, Craig Mitchell got on the end of Jamie Ayton’s cross but his header was comfortably held under the bar by Jack Whitton.
Vics almost took the lead in the fifth minute when a pass from inside his own half by Abdourahman Njie picked out Craig Watson who spotted the ‘keeper off his line, but his attempted lob was held by Matthew Curtis.
Two minutes later, another identical move saw Chris Simpson latch on to Grant Mowatt’s through ball, but again Matthew Curtis managed to leap and gather the lob shot.
In the eighth minute, Vics passed up a great chance to open the scoring when tenacious play from Simpson saw him break down the right and hold off the attentions of a defender before squaring the ball across goal from the by-line, but Watson miscued his shot from a few yards allowing Curtis to get a touch and tip it over the bar.
Soon after, Vics spurned another opening when Mowatt won the ball in midfield before playing it up to Watson who flicked it into the box where Mowatt had continued his run, but his parting shot rolled wide of the post as the ‘keeper came out to narrow the angle.
In a Scone attack, Mitchell sent the ball up the left where Fertacz turned the ball into the box for Callum Robertson, but Whitton did well to block with his feet before claiming the ball.
In the 22nd minute, Vics broke the deadlock. Mowatt saw a corner headed out of the area, but Florence gathered the loose ball and quickly sent it out wide to Mark Fotheringham on the right and when he clipped it across the face of goal, it afforded CRAIG WATSON the easiest of chances to head into the empty net from inside the six yard box.
At the other end, a dangerous inswinging corner from Garry McCallum was only partially punched clear by Whitton inside a packed area, but Jamie Ayton blazed the loose ball high over the bar.
Vics had another chance to add to their tally before the break when Craig Stephen worked his way to the by-line and crossed into the box, but Njie directed his header over the bar.
Half-time: Scone Thistle 1, Arbroath Vics 1.
Vics were first to show after the break when Mowatt sent a free kick towards the edge of the box where Simpson turned it back into the path of Mowatt whose shot was deflected over.
Watson was yellow carded in the 52nd minute for disputing the referee’s decision when he was given offside as he tried to break through the Scone defence.
Stephen was next to put pressure on the Scone defence making ground up the right before he was upended, but Sturrock’s cross from the resultant free kick was headed out of the danger area.
On the hour mark a poor throw-in from Graham Michie on a level with his own 18-yard line allowed Watson to play the ball across the box where it eventually fell to Njie whose shot crashed back into play off the crossbar.
With only a slender lead, Scone were far from out of it and Whitton did well to get in amongst a cluster of players to punch away a dangerous McCallum corner inside the six-yard box.
Scone were beginning to push Vics further and further back and came within inches of equalising in the 67th minute when Ayton threw himself at a McCallum free kick and his header rebounded off the post and away from goal.
A silly foul by Fotheringham on the far side of the box presented Scone with another chance but Mitchell headed McCallum’s cross over the bar when he should at least have got it on target.
Three minutes later a fine move began by Scott Balligall saw Scott Lafferty play the ball in behind the defence allowing Fertacz to get in behind Kevin Durno, but Florence came across to block his shot for a corner inside the six-yard area.
Vics nearly grabbed a second when Watson blasted in a snap-shot, which Curtis did well to beat away as it looked like finding the back of the net.
With 15 minutes left, Vics sent on Garry Warren for Simpson, while a minute later, Scone replaced McCallum with Michael Waring.
Ayton picked up a booking for tugging the jersey of Fotheringham, which didn’t go down too well with Scone coach Ian Flaherty and his remarks to the referee saw him sent from the technical area to the dressing room.
Vics wasted another chance to increase their lead in the 80th minute when Craig Stephen hoisted the ball into the box where Watson nodded it down to Njie, but he failed to beat the ‘keeper; sending his shot behind off Matthew Curtis’s body.
Vics inability to put the game to bed came back to haunt them when Scone equalised a couple of minutes later. The ball was played up towards the 18-yard line where Mitchell laid it back for FERTACZ who drilled a thumping drive low into the corner of the net.
From there on in, Scone looked the more likely to go on and win, but in truth despite all their possession, Whitton wasn’t called upon to make a save of any note.
In the final five minutes, the referee was forced to reach for his yellow card on three occasions, noting the names of Scone’s Lafferty and Vics’ Mowatt and Fotheringham all for separate incidents.
Despite not losing, Vics felt more than a little deflated at the end of the 90 minutes. Profligacy in front of goal cost them dear and it was hard to argue that Scone didn’t merit a point for their efforts, particularly in the last 25 minutes.
Scone Thistle: Curtis, Ballingall, Michie, Mitchell, Angus, Lafferty, Ayton, Mitchell, Fertacz, Robertson, McCallum (Waring 76). Unused subs: Keir, Adam, Hynd and Barnett.
Arbroath Vics: Whitton, Stephen, Sturrock, Cowan, Durno, Florence, Mowatt, Fotheringham, Watson, Njie, Simpson (Warren 75). Unused subs: Lawson, Bryce, McWalter and Hutcheson, g/k.
Referee: Mr J. Stokoe (Kirkcaldy).
Vics are again out of town this Saturday when they travel to Beechwood Park to meet Lochee Harp in the league. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.
Winners this week were: ₤10 – No. 58, Audrey Forbes; £5 – No. 134, Pauline Kiddie.
East North League
P W D L F A Pts
Luncarty 7 6 0 1 30 8 18
Forfar WE 7 5 0 2 22 12 15
Dundee NE 7 4 2 1 14 8 14
Kennoway SH 7 4 1 2 20 13 13
Arbroath Vics 7 4 1 2 18 12 13
Downfield 7 3 3 1 21 10 12
Newburgh 7 3 3 1 18 14 12
Lochore Welfare 7 4 0 3 15 14 12
East Craigie 7 3 1 3 17 10 10
Blairgowrie 7 3 1 3 17 14 10
Brechin Vics 7 2 2 3 8 12 8
Thornton Hibs 7 2 0 5 13 18 6
Forfar Albion 7 2 0 5 10 28 6
Scone Thistle 7 1 2 4 11 18 5
Lochee Harp 7 1 2 4 8 16 5
Coupar Angus 7 0 0 7 5 40 0