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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


Whitletts Victoria will be playing Championship football next season after two second half goals from Louis Kerr and Adam Forsyth saw them overcome the challenge of Maryhill in the second leg of their play-off at Dam Park.

Vics went into the match holding a 2-0 advantage from Monday night’s match in Glasgow but knew that they were in for a stern test as the Lochburn Park club would give everything to retain their place in junior football’s second tier. But over both legs Vics proved to be too strong for their opponents and after the match celebrated the Clubs’ first promotion since 2009.

After a great spell of weather, the rain fell incessantly, making the Dam Park surface greasy with some players struggling to keep their feet early on but there was a tense atmosphere in the early stages of the game which was played in front of a healthy 300 strong crowd cheering on the Vics.

Despite having an advantage from the first leg, Maryhill knew that if they scored the first goal that could change the outcome and Whitletts were cautious early on. But they kept Maryhill at bay with the visitors posing little threat on Martin Fraser’s goal.

In what was almost a re-run on the first leg 48 hours earlier, it took Vics until ten minutes before the interval to threaten the visitors goal when Blair Anderson’s run left three defenders in his wake but he couldn’t quite get on the end of Forsyth neat backheel. Forsyth then broke clear but saw his shot blocked by ‘Hill keeper Kevin McAllister with both Graeme Barbour and Jordan Boyd clear in front of goal.

Boyd then had his chance when his close range shot hit McAllister who knew little about it and the ball flew over the bar as Vics finished the half strongly and there was still time for Forsyth to miss a golden opportunity when his shot was blocked by the foot of McAllister and the striker fired his follow up over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

It looked as if it wasn’t going to be Forsyth’s night as early in the second period he missed two great chances to give his side the lead with McAllister again denying him with a fine blocking save. Louis Kerr then fired a free kick narrowly over.

Maryhill needed to gamble and brought on forward player David Murdoch in place of a defender as they gave it their all to get back into the tie but in the 74th minute it was Whitletts who finally made the breakthrough. And for the third time in the tie, McAllister was beaten by an absolute peach of a goal, this time a free kick from 25 yards by Kerr that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

The game looked up for Maryhill just two minutes later when Sam McNeil received a second yellow card to reduce the visitors to ten men. Barbour almost made it two when he raced clear only to be denied by the keeper but to their credit Maryhill continued to battle away and with ten minutes remaining they gave themselves some hope when the Vics defence failed to clear their lines from a set piece and from just inside the area, Joe Beckley smashed the ball past Fraser into the net.

Maryhill pushed forward but Vics kept them at bay and with just three minutes remaining Callum Ogston released Forsyth who shrugged off the attentions of a defender to race clear and this time there was no denying him as he slipped the ball past the advancing McAllister into the net to seal victory and let the celebrations commence.

Whitletts Victoria
1. Fraser 2. Anderson 3. Ewart 4. Reynolds 5. Mullen 6. Buchanan 7. Fisher (Ogston 46) 8. L.Kerr 9. Forsyth 10. Barbour 11. Boyd (George 88)
Subs (unused) 14. Milligan 15. Dempsey 21. LT Kerr

1. McAllister 2. Beckley 3. McGillion 4. McFarlane (Murdoch 63) 5. Banks 6. Etherston 7. McKay (Jackson 59) 8. McNeil 9. Smith 10. Stevenson 11. Emsley
Subs (unused) 12. Tiffney 15. McNichol 18. Crawford

Referee: Paul Timmons