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Whitletts Vics : Match Report


Whitletts’ undefeated league run now stands at ten matches under the guidance of manager George Grierson after Adam Forsyth's second half double gave the Ayr club all three points against promoted Craigmark at Station Park.

But with the play-offs looming, the Vics boss was dealt a severe blow by the early loss of midfield kingpin Josh Sloan with a serious knee injury that will see the 22 year old miss the remainder of this campaign and probably much of next. Before the match Vics applauded Craigmark onto the park in recognition of their magnificent achievement of gaining promotion to the new Championship next season, where the Dam Park side will be looking to join them by coming through the play-offs against either Maryhill or Shettleston.

Played in blistering sunshine, with one eye on the play-off, manager Grierson took the opportunity to rotate his squad to ensure everyone is in peak condition going into the play-offs and the youngsters he drafted into the side grasped that opportunity with both hands and early on they took the game to their hosts with most of the play taking place in the opposition half.

Craigmark were looking to finish their excellent season on a high in front of their home support but they were dealt a blow midway through the first half when defender Ryan McKay was shown a second yellow card after a rash challenge on young Frazer Dempsey that saw the ‘Mark defender head for an early bath. But as is often the case, the ten men picked up the mantle and took the game to the visitors and they should have led at half time but Marc Dyer could only direct his point blank header straight at Martin Fraser.

The second period was played in similar fashion with some fine football played by both sides but both lacked that cutting edge that gave the game that end of season feel about it with few clear cut chances being created. The impressive Dyer was pulling the strings for the home side and tested Fraser with a fine shot which the Vics keeper did well to keep out while former Vics midfielder Ali Boyle’s shot from distance was superbly parried away by the Vics No1.

At the other end the visitors created a number of half chances but they were finding it to difficult to get in behind a resolute home defence but in the 65th minute they made the breakthrough. Adam Forsyth raced onto a through ball and fended off a strong challenge from a Craigmark defender before smashing the ball past the advancing keeper into the net.

From that point on Vics had control of the match and their midfield, which consisted of three 18 year olds in Callum Ogston, Dempsey and Ross George grew in confidence. Ogston tried his hand with a couple of efforts from distance while Demspey was always looking to take on the responsibility and it was from his through ball that led to Vics doubling their advantage with 15 minutes remaining. As Sean Ewart raced onto his pass his heels were clipped inside the box by Fraser Lamont forcing referee Euan Birch to make a decision. That was to point to the spot with Adam Forsyth taking on the responsibility to despatch the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards.

Vics complete their scheduled league programme next Saturday when they host league champions Dalry Thistle at Dam Park before facing either Maryhill or Shettleston in a two-legged play-off to determine who will be playing in the Championship next season.