Arbroath Vics 4
Coupar Angus 1
Vics got the new season under way in the league with a home fixture against Coupar Angus in the expanded East Region North Division on Saturday.
Vics included three new signings in their starting line-up; Owen Bryce from Forfar Athletic at right-back, Jake McWalter (Arbroath CSC) in midfield and goalkeeper Alan Cormack on loan from Broughty Athletic.
It didn’t take Vics long to get in and about the Coupar box with Grant Mowatt clipping a ball into the box, which goalkeeper Marc Mackie just got to before Craig Watson could reach.
The deadlock was broken in the 14th minute, and it was Vics who made the breakthrough. Owen Bryce won a tackle just inside his own half and the ball broke into the path of GRANT MOWATT who ran straight through the heart of the Coupar defence to drill a low shot into the net.
A minute later, Vics doubled their advantage. Garry Warren sent a ball inside from the left to Mowatt who played in CRAIG WATSON and although Mackie got his hand to the ball he was unable to prevent the striker’s shot from finding the net.
A third goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived in the 29th minute. Mowatt sent Warren up the left and when he crossed into the box, STEVEN FERRIER got to it first but only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net as he attempted to clear.
Despite having been under the cosh for most of the first 30 minutes, Coupar almost pulled a goal back in the 35th minute. Miller delivered a cross into the box, which glanced off the head of Kevin Durno and sat up nicely for Cameron MacDonald who cracked a shot off Cormack’s right-hand post.
In the final minute of the half, two fouls in quick succession led to Coupar Angus being awarded a penalty. Bryce was yellow carded for tripping Jamie Matheson as he raced towards the box, and from Ryder’s free kick, Garry Warren charged his shot down with his hands giving the visitors a chance form 12 yards. After Warren was booked, Shaun Conway took the kick, but Cormack dived to hold his effort.
In the 50th minute, Vics extended their lead to 4-0. Warren sent the ball through the middle for CRAIG STEPHEN who took it into the box before cleverly lofting the ball over the head of the advancing ‘keeper and into the net.
In a rare Coupar attack, Ryder did well to make space for a shot from 25 yards, which flew just wide of Cormack’s post.
Watson very nearly grabbed his second goal of the game in the 64th minute when he advanced into the box and lobbed the advancing Mackie, but his effort struck the bar and the ‘keeper got back to grab it as it bounced down in front of the goal.
Both teams made further changes midway through the half, with Vics replacing Mowatt with Andy Cowan and Coupar sending on Ben Middleton for MacDonald.
Coupar Angus refused to give in and they were rewarded in the 89th minute when PAUL ARCHIBALD blasted an unstoppable 30 yard drive high into the corner of the net to give them some consolation.
This proved to be a comfortable enough win for Vics to start their league campaign against a Coupar team who never gave up, but never looked liked overhauling the three-goal deficit at the interval.
Arbroath Vics: Cormack, Bryce, Sturrock, McWalter (Lawson 60), Durno, Florence (Simpson 53), Mowatt (Cowan 70), Fotheringham, Watson, Stephen, Warren. Unused subs: Walker and Hutcheson, g/k.
Brechin Vics 0,
Arbroath Vics 1
Arbroath Vics made the short trip to Brechin on Tuesday evening to meet Brechin Vics in their second league fixture of the season.
With four players off to the England v Scotland international at Wembley, and Ross Kenny injured, it was a much depleted pool that made the trip.
Matty Johnston slotted in at right-back, while Colin Lawson was given a start in central midfield, with former player, Danny Brown making up the numbers on the bench.
Arbroath made a positive start, forcing a corner in the opening minute. Garry Warren’s flag kick was punched clear by Jamie Robbie in the home goal, but it only went as far as Johnston who thundered it back in from 25 yards and Jamie Robbie made a great save, leaping to tip the full-back’s netbound drive over the bar.
The Arbroath side had the ball in the net in the fifth minute when Warren finished off a fine move by lofting the ball beyond Robbie from a tight angle, but the referee disallowed his effort for offside.
Five minutes later, yet another Arbroath corner saw Warren’s cross only half cleared as far as Craig Stephen, who nodded it back into the box where Craig Watson sent an overhead kick just over the bar from seven yards.
A terrific crossfield pass from Sturrock gave Warren a chance to score in the 42nd minute but his shot, after he had advanced into the box, was smothered by Robbie.
Having had most of the play in the first period without any reward, Arbroath took a deserved lead four minutes into the second period. Steve Florence picked up the ball just inside his own half and threaded a pass through the Brechin defence for CRAIG WATSON, who took it into his stride before converting beyond the outrushing ‘keeper from just inside the box.
Soon after, Fotheringham got above the Brechin defence to head a Warren corner goalwards, but he was denied by Robbie who threw up a hand to tip it over.
Barrie Gourlay was then caught in possession by Warren, trying to play the ball out of his own box, and was fortunate to see his clearance rebound off the number 11 into the path of Robbie.
Ewan Cairney followed Steel into the referee’s book when he went through the back of Chris Simpson soon after.
Brechin fashioned out their best chance of the match so far in the 75th minute when Gourlay played in Buggins who completely mishit his shot but the ball spun into the air and landed inside the box for Steel whose shot was deflected over the bar.
Within a minute, Walker make a surging run down the right for Arbroath but he elected to square the ball when he advanced into the box instead of shooting and the Brechin defence got back to clear the danger.
The referee had his book out again adding the names of Steven Barclay and Garry Warren to his list for fouls on Craig Sturrock and Adam Comiskey respectively.
In the 87th minute, Brechin were presented with a great chance to level when Kevin Durno was penalised for a push on Buggins a few yards outside the box, directly in front of goal.
Player/manager Charlie King took the resultant free kick, but he failed to find the target, sending his shot wide of the mark.
Despite there being only one goal in it, and Brechin squandering a couple of chances at the end, Arbroath were on top for most of the game and were worthy winners over the 90 minutes.
Arbroath Vics: Cormack, Johnston, Sturrock, Lawson, Durno, Florence, Stephen (Walker 67), Fotheringham, Watson (Cowan 77), Simpson, Warren. Unused sub: Brown.
Vics travel into Fife tomorrow (Saturday) to play Newburgh in the North Division. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.