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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


Whitletts Victoria’s promotion ambitions were dealt a severe blow as they crashed to a second successive league defeat as they went down by the odd goal in seven to a rejuvenated Craigmark.

Yet there seemed to be no indication of what was to come as Vics started the match strongly, dominating the early play. Michael O’Connor almost opened the scoring in the 12th minute as he cut inside two defenders but dragged his shot wide of the target but two minutes later Whitletts took a deserved lead. Chris Black played a pass inside the defender for Tony Balfour to race clear and fire the ball past Mark Higgins at his near post.

Midway through the first half Balfour again got on the end of a deep cross at the back post but a deflection took the ball inches wide but the home side settled and began to work their way into the game and Vics young stand in keeper Elliot Masterson had to look sharp as he raced off his line to dive bravely at the feet of Grant Kelly as he bore in on goal.

Craigmark were growing in confidence and on the half hour they were back on level terms as Dylan Thirtle broke down the right and from his cross the unmarked Kelly headed home from six yards. Indeed the Dalmellington side almost went in ahead at the break but Kelly headed a Scott Dempster free kick just over when he should have done better.

However three minutes into the second period it was Whitletts who regained the lead. From a Steven McCarrison corner, Tommy Sloan flicked the ball across goal and Black rose at the back post to head home. But for the second week running Vics conceded within sixty seconds of taking the lead. A howler from young keeper Masterson who punched a Marc Dyer corner kick into his own net

The game was now end to end and O’Connor was denied by Higgins who made a fine block before the home defence scrambled the ball to safety. For Craigmark, Dempster raced into the box but pulled his angled shot wide of the target while at the other end Higgins again kept his side on level terms as he denied Balfour.

There was always going to be further goals in this game and it was Craigmark who struck in the 61st minute. On the counter attack Dempster broke down the left and set up Thirtle at the edge of the box who fired low into the corner of the net.

Whitletts response was an O’Connor shot on the turn that was saved by Higgins but with 14 minutes remaining Craigmark made it 4-2. Raymond Buchanan delayed in possession and his attempted clearance was charged down by the impressive Dempster who crossed for Kelly to sweep home his second of the afternoon.

Vics continued to strive to get back into the game and in the 83rd minute the persistence of Sam McFall at the edge of the area paid off as the ball broke to O’Connor to fire home. McFall went close to snatching the equaliser but just failed to connect with a diving header to reach an O’Connor cross. Sean Ewart then headed wide from 8 yards but the leveller didn’t materialise as Craigmark comfortably held on the claim all three points

Craigmark Burntonians
1 Higgins 2. McCubbin 3. Steele 4. Hall (Reid 67) 5. McKay 6. Holland 7. Thirtle (Dunn 61) 8. Dyer 9. Dempster 10. Kelly (Barratt 88) 11. McCambley
Subs (not used) 15. Uppal 17. Dawson

Whitletts Victoria
1. Masterson 2. Longair 3. Ewart 4. Hercus 5. Buchanan 6. Sloan (Anderson 71) 7. Kerr 8. Black 9. McCarrison (McFall 60) 10. Balfour (Mathieson 80) 11. O’Connor
Subs (not used) 16. Ferris

Referee: Daniel McFarlane