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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


For Vics this result will feel like a defeat after they had victory snatched from them in a dramatic finish at Dam Park as Darvel scored twice in the final minute to grab a share of the points.

With Whitletts leading 4-2 and both sides reduced to ten men, there appeared little danger that the three points were remaining in Ayr as the clock hit the 89th minute. Darvel won a free kick 25 yards out from which Dale Shirkie reduced the leeway as he fired low into the bottom corner.

Still it appeared that Vics would see out the game as the visitors broke down the right. Darren McIntyre however failed to clear the danger and allowed Hewitt to cut the ball back from the byeline for Stewart Davidson to roll the ball into the back of the empty net.

As Darvel celebrated, a dejected Vics team trudged off the park at full time to face the wrath of manager George Grierson after his final game in charge before he goes into hospital for a hip replacement operation.

With the Kerr brothers missing from the game due to holidays’, Vics were dealt a further blow when Sean Ewart declared himself unfit after picking up an injury in the warm up. Yet the game itself started so well for Whitletts after Adam Forsyth had given the home side the lead inside 30 seconds.

A long ball from Blair Anderson was superbly controlled by the Vics striker before he beat the defender to fire low across David Markey in the Vale goal into the bottom corner.

It was a dream start for Vics and shortly afterwards Jordan Mullen headed straight at Markey from close range.

Darvel recovered and Greg Vernon should have done better when he got on the end of a deep cross into the box but fired wide but at the other end they received a big let off as an attempted clearance by Mark Gilmour flew into the arms of Markey.

But the big keeper was beaten again in the 17th minute as Vics went two up. After Thomas Donovan’s shot was deflected narrowly wide, the Vics’ strikers’ corner kick was met by the head of Raymond Buchanan and despite the efforts of a defender on the line the ball ended up in the back of the net.
Greg Vernon however was proving a handful for the home defence to deal with as Darvel fought to get back into the game. Biggar fired narrowly wide for the visitors but in the 22nd minute they were back in the match. Mark Armour was allowed time to cross the ball into the area and Vernon nipped in behind Graeme Condon to fire past Martin Fraser.

Ten minutes later Whitletts restored their two goal advantage with Buchanan grabbing his second of the game and he drilled a low 22 yard free kick under the Darvel defensive wall into the corner of the net.

Vernon went close with a 25 yard drive for Darvel but the visitors were dealt a severe blow just three minutes before the break when Allan Jenkins was shown a straight red by referee Gary Hanvidge for something he said to the official.

Whitletts thought they had a penalty moments later when Graeme Barbour went down in the box. To everyone on the ground it looked a clear penalty kick but to their amazement the referee booked the Vics striker for diving!

It was going to be an uphill struggle for the visitors but they responded well and three minutes after the restart they reduced the leeway again when Gilmour, with the outside of his left foot, fired his angled shot high past Fraser.

Despite being a man down, Darvel sensed they could get the equaliser yet despite having most of the possession, the only real threat to Fraser’s goal came from a Vernon shot from distance that the Vics keeper had to tip over his crossbar.

In the 64th minute Barbour had a fresh air swipe at the ball with the goal at his mercy while Anderson’s drive from the edge of the box was deflected wide as the home side regained the ascendancy and with eleven minutes remaining they looked to have wrapped up the points when Forsyth released Barbour to fire low past Markey into the net to make it 4-2.

It seemed as if Whitletts would comfortably see out the match but with six minutes remaining the home side were reduced to ten men after Blair Anderson picked up a needless second yellow card – which was to prove very costly indeed for Vics.

Darvel sensed that they could salvage something from the game and Paul Cameron fired just past the angle from the corner of the box. But just when it seemed Vics would take all three points, came that sensational finish that saw the visitors score twice within a minute for a share of the spoils.

A cracking entertaining game for the neutral with two sides committed in their desire for the points and showing all the best attributes of junior football but one that I think both sets of managers wouldn’t like to experience too often!

Whitletts Victoria
1. Fraser 2. Anderson 3. Boyd 4. Mullen 5.Condon (McIntyre 29) 6. Buchanan 7. Ogston 8. Millar 9. Forsyth 10. Barbour 11. Donovan
Subs (not used) 12. Milligan 15. Dempsey 16. Ewart 17. George

1. Markey 2. Biggar 3. Gilmour 4. Kirkwood 5. Walsh 6. McCreadie 7. Hanvey (Davidson HT) 8. Jenkins 9. Vernon (Shirkie 78) 10. Cameron 11. Armour (Hewitt 78)
Subs (not used)

Referee: Gary Hanvidge