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Match Report : Whitletts Vics v Annbank Utd


Annbank United deservedly took the points after dominating this Ardagh Cup clash at Dam Park.

To say that this was simply a poor display from the home side would be an injustice to Annbank who play some very attractive football to which Vics had no answer. The play of midfield dynamo Jamie Martin and the Bankies twin strikeforce of Darren Baird and Roddy Paterson caused the home side problems all afternoon with the only surprise being that the margin of victory was only one goal.

Vics were first to threaten and Marc Fisher had to react quickly to get down to a Paul Cameron shot but Bankies immediately went on a counter attack and Martin did well to work his way into the box only to be denied by Ally McInnes

The home side were given the ideal opportunity to take an early lead when Colin Granger handled the ball inside the area giving referee Drew Kirkland no option but to point to the spot. However Tony Balfour’s spot kick was superbly saved by Fisher diving low to his left. And Vics were punished for that miss as Bankies took the lead in the 16th minute.

Martin again at the centre of events for the visitors as he set up Roddy Paterson who prodded the ball past McInnes from 10 yards. Bankies were controlling the game and looked to have doubled their advantage when Scott Granger headed home a corner kick which was ruled out for climbing over the back of the Vics defender.

Niall Kennedy then brought another fine save out of Fisher as Vics tried to work their way back into the game. The big striker then scooped a Blair Anderson cross just wide and moments later Josh Sloan headed a corner past the post.

Kennedy then brought another fine save out of Fisher on the half hour mark, the keeper this time diving to his left to parry clear the strikers shot from 20 yards. Four minutes from the interval Vics finally got back on level terms. Raymond Buchanan headed a corner kick goalwards and from virtually on the line Chris Black made sure by heading home. But Annbank were not to be denied their interval lead and two minutes later Darren Baird was allowed to drift in behind the Vics defence to head home from six yards. Bankies started strongly in the second half looking to build on their advantage and when Peterson got on the end of a Martin cross, McInnes save on the line and followed that up to block Baird’s toe poke from point blank range.

Balfour then found the side net for Vics after Fisher flapped at a corner and then the striker was denied when his shot was blocked by Jamie Ballantyne but that proved to be all Vics could muster as an attacking threat in the second half.

Annbank took a strong grip on the game. Baird went close with a curling effort from the edge of the box and then McInnes had to be alert to save from Paterson as Annbank took up the play. McInnes again came to Vics rescue in the 57th minute with an outstanding save to tip over a Paterson header from six yards that even drew applause from the Bankies striker.

The visitors were well on top and the likelier side to add to their tally and they almost did so when Baird headed over a Paterson cross from close range. Bankies continued to dominate the proceedings as Vics struggled to find an answer. Martin saw his shot from the edge of the box slip wide. Then a stroke of good fortune kept Vics in the game. With eleven minutes remaining Paterson raced clear and lobbed the ball over the advancing McInnes only to see his effort come back off the post and Buchanan on hand to clear the danger.

This was not a pleasant 90 minutes for Vics manager Neil Duffy who will now be looking for answers from his squad when they travel to play Superleague First outfit Girvan on Wednesday evening.

Whitletts Victoria
1. McInnes 2. Anderson 3. Mullen (Mathieson 75) 4. Cunningham 5. Buchanan 6. Sloan (Boyd 60) 7. Kennedy 8. Black 9. Cameron 10. Kerr 11. Balfour
Subs (not used) 21 Dorigo

Annbank United
1. Fisher 2. Waite 3. Hainey 4. Ballantyne 5. C. Granger 6. Wilson (Lowe 71) 7. Martin 8. Faulds 9. Paterson 10. Baird (Sloan 81) 11. S.Granger
Subs (not used) 12. Connelly 16. Tait 19. Newman

Referee: Drew Kirkland