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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


Vics showed their battling qualities in this thrilling encounter at Recreation Park that proved to be a great advert for junior football.

George Grierson welcomed back keeper Martin Fraser, Callum Ogston, Bobby Colligan and Sean Ewart from his depleted side that fell at Kilsyth the previous Saturday but his choices were limited by the absences on Jordan Baird and Morgan Brown but this Vics side gave their all for the jersey in a hugely entertaining match.

In tricky conditions, both sides went at each other straight from the kick off. In the opening moments Vale keeper David Markey had to be alert to save Grant Kirkwoods’ blushes as he nearly turn an low cross past his own keeper while at the other end Greg Vernon superbly controlled a long kick out inside the Vics box but his angled shot slipped wide.

Fraser then did well to save a 11 shot on the turn as the game see sawed from end to end. Adam Forsyth left Callum Walsh in his wake but from a tight angle could only fire into the side netting while Isaac Kerr’s shot was deflected over and from the resulting corner the ball just wouldn’t sit properly for a Vics player in the goalmouth scramble that followed.

Whitletts were having the better of the play and from a tight angle Forsyth beat two defenders only for Markey to save his effort at the near post. Moments later Forsyth looked to have got the better of Walsh as he ran in on a one on one with the keeper but the big defender made a superb challenge to save the day for the home side.

Although Vics were creating the better chances, Darvel were pressing forward at every opportunity and in the 34th minute the home side took the lead. A long ball down the right found Mark Armour. Sean Ewart hesitated looking for the offside which never came and from Armour’s low cross, Paul Cameron ghosted in at the back post to tap the ball home.

And it should have been two before the interval when Vernon found himself in acres of space inside the Vics box but Fraser made a superb save to turn the ball behind.

The second half saw Vics again take the game to the home side early on and twice they were denied an equaliser by goal line clearances. First Cameron headed a Kerr header off the line from a corner and then Buchanan saw his header from another corner blocked on the line and the Vics skippers follow up was saved by Markey.

Darvel had claims for a penalty waved aside when Vernon went down in the box after a Buchanan challenge but referee Matthew McDermid wasn’t interested in the home sides appeals but in the 55th minute Whitletts finally got back on level terms. From a Bobby Colligan free kick into the box Isaac Kerr volleyed home from ten yards.

It was no more than Vics deserved at that stage and three minutes later they took the lead. Ross George broke down the right and his exquisite cross into the area picked out Forsyth who bulleted a header past Markey from ten yards.

Darvel responded and now it was their turn to have a good spell of pressure and in the 64th minute they were back on level terms. Armour latching onto a through ball down the right and drilling the ball high past Fraser.

Thomas Donovan was denied by a point blank saved from Markey as he got on the end of an Ogston knock down and moments later the wee striker almost turned provider but Forsyth’s bicycle kick flew past the angle.

The home side went close when a low Mark Gilmour cross evaded both Vernon and Armour with the goal at their mercy while at the other end Donovan fired wide with a shot on the turn after Marker had spilled a Jordan Boyd strike.

As the game entered the final ten minutes Darvel pressed forward and twice Fraser saved his side with fine saves to deny ex-Vic midfielder Rikki Hanvey and then Lee Sloan .

In the end both sides will feel that they had chances to win the match but they had to settle for a hard fought point

1. Markey 2. Biggar 3. Gilmour 4. Kirkwood 5. Walsh 6. Hanvey 7. Armour 8. Cameron (Davidson 78) 9. Vernon (Sloan 76) 10. Henderson 11. Findlay (Nelson 74)
Subs (not used) 12 McCreadie 15. Tan

Whitletts Victoria
1. Fraser 2. Colligan 3. Ewart 4. George (A.Kerr 85) 5. I.Kerr 6. Buchanan 7. Ogston 8. Millar 9. Forsyth 10. Boyd 11. Donovan
Subs (not used) 12. Anderson 14. Ferris

Referee: Matthew MacDermid