Kirkcaldy YM 1, Arbroath Vics 3
Arbroath Vics were back on league business on Saturday, travelling over the Tay into Fife to meet Kirkcaldy YM.
Dale Riddell was recalled to the starting line-up, slotting in at centre-half, which meant David Sturrock was moved into midfield where he was joined by Garry Warren who missed out the previous week.
The first shot at goal came with only 30 seconds on the clock, and it was an ambitious effort from YM’s Grant Blyth who sent a shot dipping over the bar from outside the box.
Soon after, the home side fashioned out a corner and although Charlie Denton’s cross was cleared the ball came out to Liall Robertson on the far side and he took it to the by-line before clipping a cross back into the middle where Sam Graham sent a header wide.
The home side had made the better start and after Liall Robertson won the ball outside the Vics box, he set up Jamie McNeish, but after cutting in from the right he shot tamely wide when he should have at least got his effort on target.
Despite that the nearest to a goal came Vics way in the 12th minute when a fine move ended with Garry Warren crossing in from the left and Josh Chalmers saw his close range effort blocked away by the knees of goalkeeper Steven Macrae.
Back at the other end, Liall Robertson picked out Jamie McNeish at the far side of the box, but he was challenged in the air by Craig Sturrock as he tried to get his header on target and his effort dropped wide of the post.
In the 18th minute YM opened the scoring. Dale Riddell lost possession to Liall Robertson just inside his own half and he quickly played the ball through the defence for RYAN ROBERTSON to run on and fire beyond Alex Cargill.
The home side threatened again when Liall Robertson sent Sam Graham through on goal, but Kieran MacGregor got back to deflect his shot over the bar for a corner as Alex Cargill advanced from his line.
As the half wore on, Vics began to come into proceedings and when Kane Hester turned a Garry Warren cross back into the path of Craig Watson, his close range effort went straight into the arms of Steven Macrae.
Craig Watson was again denied by the keeper in Vics next attack in the 40th minute when he held onto his shot after Garry Warren had picked him out inside the box.
With seconds of the half remaining, YM’s Jamie McNeish was booked for a trip on David Sturrock.
Half-time: Kirkcaldy YM 1 Arbroath Vics 0
Vics got off to the best possible start in the second half with a goal within two minutes. There seemed little danger when Alex Cargill launched the ball forward from a free-kick deep inside his own half, but it bounced through the YM defence and KANE HESTER took full advantage by running on and driving a shot beyond the reach of the keeper.
It was a much livelier Vics that came out for the second half and Jamie Thomson saw a near post shot fumbled round for a corner by Steven Macrae after he had been played in by Josh Chalmers.
In the 57th minute, Craig Watson got on the end of a Garry Warren through ball to loft it over the advancing keeper and into the net, but it the “goal” was disallowed for offside.
The home side responded with Grant Blyth sending Ryan Robertson down the left where he cut inside Dale Riddell before sending in an angled drive to the near post, which Alex Cargill was forced to get down to and push behind for a corner.
A minute later, YM should have been down to 10 men when Kane Hester was played through by Garry Warren, but he was tripped from behind by Alistair Granger just outside the box as he was about to take it round the keeper. It looked a certain red card, but the referee let him off with a yellow before Craig Sturrock fired the resultant free-kick over the bar.
Both teams made a double substitution soon after with Vics replacing Kieran MacGregor and Josh Chalmers with Colin Lawson and Liam Scott, while YM sent Kieran Matthew and Shaun Mackie on for Jamie McNeish and Terry Ormiston.
Vics were looking the more likely to break the deadlock and only a finely timed tackle by Matthew Christie, sliding into clear away from Kane Hester inside the box prevented the striker from getting a shot on goal.
Alex Cargill began Vics next attack, throwing the ball out to Liam Scott who sent a crossfield pass to Garry Warren on the left. He swung a cross over to the far side of the box, where David Sturrock got in a shot that Steven Macrae managed to turn behind.
YM were not entirely out of it and when they broke quickly from a Vics corner, Ryan Robertson sent Shaun Mackie racing into the box, but Alex Cargill was down quickly to save at his feet before he could get in a shot.
Charlie Denton became the third YM player to be yellow carded when he attempted to trip Garry Warren in a Vics attack, the referee allowing play to continue, before noting his name after the attack broke down.
Vics eventually got their noses in front in the 76th minute. Colin Lawson sent Liam Scott scampering up the right and when he drilled a cross along the six-yard line, Craig Watson just failed to reach it, but GARRY WARREN arrived at the back post to turn it over the line, despite an attempt by the keeper to keep it out.
A minute later, Vics made their third change of the afternoon when Scott Donald came on for Craig Watson.
Within three minutes the substitute all but sealed the points with a third goal on 80 minutes. Steve Florence sent the ball over the half-way line and SCOTT DONALD got a head start on the defenders to fire a shot beyond the advancing keeper.
YM responded with Liall Robertson and Ryan Robertson working a short corner and when the cross was only partially cleared, Charlie Denton thumped the rebound inches wide.
Jamie Thomson found his name in the referee’s book for a trip on Kieran Matthew before Scott Donald passes up an opportunity to increase Vics lead when he volleyed a Liam Scott cross over the bar.
David Sturrock was next to have a go for Vics, rising above the YM defence to reach a Garry Warren corner, but his header dropped over the bar.
With a couple of minutes left, YM came close to reducing the deficit when Charlie Denton, Liall Robertson and Ryan Robertson worked the ball across the field to Shaun Mackie whose 20 yard shot crashed back off the post. The rebound was fired back in by Grant Blyth, but Alex Cargill leapt to push it over the bar.
There was still time for Vics to come close in the final seconds when a Garry Warren cut-back ran into the path of Kane Hester whose shot brought out an instinctive save from Steven Macrae, who turned it away with his knees.
After a slow start, Vics eventually worked their back into the game and the equaliser soon after the re-start gave them the impetus to go on and win the points fairly comfortably in the end.
Arbroath Vics: 1 Alex Cargill 2 Kieran MacGregor (sub 12 Colin Lawson 62 mins) 3 Craig Sturrock 4 Jamie Thomson 5 Dale Riddell 6 Steve Florence 7 David Sturrock 8 Josh Chalmers (sub 16 Liam Scott 62 mins) 9 Craig Watson (sub 15 Scott Donald 77 mins) 10 Kane Hester 11 Garry Warren. Unused subs: 14 Matty Johnston 17 Kevin Durno.
Referee: Mr. G. MacDonald (Kirkcaldy).
Vics are at home this Saturday when they entertain Kirrie Thistle in a McBookie.com North Division fixture. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.