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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


Two stunning second half strikes by Graeme Barbour and Blair Anderson have given Vics a great chance of achieving promotion to the Championship after a superb victory over Superleague side Maryhill in the first leg of the play-off at Lochburn Park.

The first half was a scrappy affair but in the second period Vics took control of the match to run out deserved winners to give themselves the best possible platform to go on and finish the job in Wednesday’s second leg at Dam Park

Maryhill, looking to retain their status in the second tier, started brightly but although Vics conceded some free kicks around their own box early on, the home side couldn’t take advantage. Chris Jackson went close with a back post header from a Dean McKay free kick before McKay himself fired a free kick from just outside the box over the crossbar.

Whitletts hadn’t settled and it took them until the 34th minute to fire a strike on goal when Craig Fisher tested ‘Hill keeper Kevin McAllister from fully 35 yards. That seemed to kick start the visitors into action and when Adam Forsyth broke down the left moments later, he worked himself into the corner of the six yard box but curled his effort just wide of the far post.

However the best chance of the first period fell to the home side right on half time but Nickolas Emsley headed wide at the back post just six yards out.

It was a different story in the second half as Vics found their shape and five minutes after the restart took a grip on the game and took the lead with a Goal of the Season contender from Barbour. Sean Ewart and Louis Kerr worked the ball down the left and when the letters deflected cross fell at the edge of the area Jordan Boyd set up Barbour who fired an unstoppable left foot volley past McAllister high into the net to give the visitors first blood.

Adam Forsyth was then set up by Boyd but this time his shot was saved by McAllister as Whitletts went in search of a second. A Raymond Buchanan back post header was scrambled clear as Vics dominated the proceedings. A second goal looked on the cards and it arrived in the 65th minute. And if Barbour’s goal was a Goal of the Season contender, then Blair Anderson’s strike was just as good if not better!!

Barbour was again instrumental in the build up as he got his head onto Buchanan’s long free kick and when the ball broke off Forsyth, Anderson lashed a right foot drive from 20 yards that went screaming into the top corner giving McAllister no chance.

It was no more than Vics deserved at that stage. Maryhill tried to find a way back into the tie but found the Vics defence resolute with the visitors always looking the more likely side to add to their tally as they comfortably saw out the remainder of the match.

A strong second half display from Vics, who were minus the injured duo of Josh Sloan and Ross George while Isaac Kerr missed out through suspension to set them up nicely for Wednesday’s second leg at Dam Park where they will be looking to complete the job and secure their place in the Championship. However it is only half time in the tie and Maryhill will be hurting after this result. And an animal can always be at its’ most dangerous when its’ wounded.

1. McAllister 2. Beckley 3. McGillon 4. McFarlane 5. Banks 6. Jackson (Kelly 63) 7. McKay 8. Crawford (Tiffney 78) 9. Smith 10. Murdoch (Duncan 69) 11. Emsley
Subs (not used) 13. Mailey 18. McQueen

Whitletts Victoria
1. Fraser 2. Anderson 3. Ewart 4. Reynolds 5. Mullen 6. Buchanan 7. Fisher (Dempsey 76) 8. L.Kerr 9. Forsyth 10. Barbour (Ogston 89) 11. Boyd (Milligan 90)
Subs (not used) 16. Baird 21 LT.Kerr

Referee: Paul Timmons