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Match Report : Whitletts Vics


Manager Neil Duffy kept his side locked inside the dressing room for half an hour after the match ended after watching Whitletts promotion ambitions being dealt a severe blow as a late goal denied them two vital league points at Burnside Park.

Vics went into the game with six players missing with Graeme Barbour and Martin Lawrie suspended and Craig Harvey, Sean Ewart, Darren Baird and Mbanje Munyaradzi all injured, forcing manager Neil Duffy to re-jig his side.

But that can be no excuse for a woeful second half display which led to Muirkirk's late equaliser and probably left them someaggrived that they hadn't taken all three points.

The match started brightly with an audacious attempt from 'Kirk's Daryl Macdonald drifting just wide before Vics' broke straight upfield and Jordan Boyd fired straight at Nathan Bogle in the home goal with only the keeper to beat.

Whitletts had by far the greater possession and play in the first period by on a very heavy pitch, rarely looked like breaking through a resolute 'Kirk defence to trouble the keeper.

Louis Kerr was through on a one on one with the keeper but was denied as the keeper dived at his feet to save while for the home side, Niall Carslaw went close with a near post effort from a low Macdonald cross.

But with five minutes of the first half remaining Vics finally made the breakthrough via the penalty spot. Blair Anderson was tripped in the box by Jay Burns and Isaac Kerr stepped forward to drive his penalty kick low past the keeper.

It was no more than Vics deserved at that stage and they should have doubled their advantage before half time when Declan Milligan released Boyd but this time the outstretched leg of Bogle denied the makeshift striker.

At the start of the second period it looked as if it would be more of the same as the impressive Bogle tipped over an Anderson shot but the visitors goal led a charmed life at the other end when Stephen Campbell just couldn't get enough on a deep cross to teh back post to direct it goalwards and moments later as Vics failed to clear a cross into the area, Carslaw's drive crashed back off the face of the crossbar with Marty Fraser beaten.

Midway through the half Fraser pushed away a piledriver free kick as Muirkirk threatened everytime they went up the park while at the other end, it was Louis Kerr again through on a one on one only again to be denied by a fine save from the home keeper.

Macdonald fired just wide for the home side while Milligan's drive from inside the area flew over the crossbar but the game was turned on its' head in a matters of second in the 84th minute. Milligan was released through on the keeper but again Bogle dived at the strikers feet to save as he tried to take the ball round him and Muirkirk immediately broke up the park and from a long ball that Jordan Mullen failed to cut out, Macdonald turned Raymond Buchanan before firing high into the net past Fraser.

It was no more than the home side deserved for their play.

As for Vics, after only taking one point from successive visits to the league bottom two clubs, their promotion hopes to the Championship are now left hanging by a thread. With 12 league matches left, Vics lie in sixth place and if they are to achieve the clubs' ambitions of promotion, there can be no more dropped points between now and the end of the season, starting with next Saturday's visit of in form Ardrossan to Dam Park.

1. Bogle 2. Baxter 3. Peck 4. Burns (Murray 87) 5. Lundie 6. Steedman (Hunter 71)8. Conlon 9. Macdonald 11. Campbell (Henderson 89) 12. Carslaw 18. Neossi
Subs (not used) 15. Mcacaulay 21. Cunningham

Whitletts Victoria
1. Fraser 2. Fisher 3. McClymont 4. Mullen 5. Buchanan 6. Sloan 7. Anderson 8. I. Kerr 9. Milligan (Dempsey 87) 10. L. Kerr (Ogston 87) 11. Boyd
Subs (not used) 15. Ewart 16. Harvey 21 McClung

Referee: George King