Match Report : Whitletts Vics
CRAIGMARK BURNTONIANS 3 - WHITLETTS VICTORIA 3
A late, late equaliser from Greg Vernon earned bottom club Craigmark a point in this vital relegation clash at Station Park as Vics old failings came back to haunt them.
Leading 3-1 with ten minutes remaining, Whitletts were denied all three points as Craigmark struck twice with two fortunate goals to snatch a share of the spoils which could prove to be a vital points for the Dalmellington club come the end of the season while Vics were left to rue the two points dropped.
Whitletts appeared to be comfortably heading to victory when in the 80th minute keeper Scott Johnson uncharacteristically dropped a harmless cross at the feet of Vernon who took full advantage to prod the ball over the line from close range.
That gave the home side hope and they pressed Vics back as they searched for the equaliser and deep into injury time Callum Walsh failed to cut out a low cross across the face of the goal and the ball struck Vernon and ended up in the back of the net.
Whitletts created the first chance of the game with only two minutes on the clock when Michael Reilly raced clear and lifted the ball over the keeper but unfortunately for the Vics striker over the crossbar as well but midway through the half it was the home side that took the lead. A free kick whipped into the area came off Walsh and fell kindly for Scott Dempster who drilled the ball low past Johnson.
Vics responded with a Jordan Boyd drive that flew just past the angle and then player coach Raymond Buchanan saw his header cleared off the line by Ryan McCubbin.
Keeper Johnson made a fine save at full stretch to deny Vernon with a clever shot on the turn and from the resulting corner Ryan McKay’s header was headed off the line by Boyd as the game opened up.
Louis Kerr headed a Martin Findlay cross wide of the target for Vics but in the 32nd minute Whitletts were back on level terms. As the home defence failed to clear their lines from a corner, Thomas Donovan returned the ball to the danger zone and Isaac Kerr rose at the back post to head home.
‘Mark keeper Elliot Masterton then blocked a Louis Kerr shot with his hand and then saved a Donovan shot at full stretch as the sides went in level at the break.
It was the visitors who come out strongly at the start of the second period and Reilly pulled a shot wide of the post after he was set up by Donovan. Sean Ewart then broke into the box but saw his shot deflected wide and from the corner kick, in a crazy sequence of events Reilly saw his shot blocked by Masterson and Walsh fired the rebound off the underside if the bar and it came down to striker a Craigmark player on the line before the home defence scrambled the ball to safety.
Isaac Kerr the headed a Donovan free kick wide but in the 63rd minute Whitletts finally took the lead when Louis Kerr floated a free kick from 22 yards into the top corner of the net.
Two minutes later it was 3-1. Louis Kerr again on target as he received a pass from Ewart inside the box and beat Masterson with the aid of a deflection into the far corner of the net.
Whitletts were controlling the proceedings and looked the more likely to add to their tally. In fact they did have the ball in the net when Reilly prodded home from close range but referee Paul Timmons ruled out the goal for an earlier foul by Isaac Kerr.
Craigmark continued to fight to try and get back into the game and twice Johnson had to make an excellent saves, one at full stretch the other from a point blank deflection to keep the home side at bay before that late collapse cost Vics what could prove to be two priceless points.
On paper with the players at their disposal, this Whitletts side should not be in this relegation fight. But football is not played on paper and the Vics players need to realise and quickly that they are in a real scrap at the wrong end of the table and its’ time for them to respond accordingly.
1. Masterson 2. Golightly 3. Connor 4. Stewart 5. R.McKay 6. McCreadie 7. McCubbin 8. Connelly (Lowe 68) 9. Vernon 10. Dempster 11. Neil
Subs (not used) 12. Cherrie 14. Childs 16. Whittaker 21. Russell
1. Johnson 2. Findlay 4. I. Kerr 5. Walsh 7. L. Kerr (Cunningham 83) 8. Boyd (Dinwoodie 74) 9. Reilly 10. Donovan 12. Buchanan 15. Ewart 16. Davidson
Subs (not used) 3. Millar 11. Patterson 13. Millen
Referee: Paul Timmons