Whitletts Vics : Match Report
WHITLETTS VICTORIA 2 - ST.ROCH’S 3
A late collapse saw Whitletts snatch defeat from the jaws of victory to leave the Dam Park side firmly rooted in a relegation dogfight.
It appeared that Vics were heading for all three points as they looked comfortable with a 2-0 lead with just fifteen minutes remaining but the Glasgow outfit produced a stunning late fightback to take all three points with them back up the M77 to leave Whitletts wondering what hit them and only now only goal difference prevents the Ayr side from sitting at the foot of the table.
Yet this match should have been out of sight for Vics long before that collapse. On a glorious autumnal afternoon, the large crowd were treated to an entertaining game of football with both sides pressing forward at every opportunity but it was the home side who always looked to be carrying the greater goal threat.
Inside the first five minutes Whitletts had two great opportunities to take the lead. Firstly Louis Kerr got on the end of a Sean Ewart knockback across goal but the Candy keeper, John Stark made a fine reaction save. Then Ewart set up Robert Patterson but on this occasion the striker didn’t connect properly with the ball and his volley saved by Stark at his near post.
St.Roch’s failed to trouble Vics’ 16 year old keeper Cole Millen with their attacking play tending to break down around the home penalty area.
The goal threat was at the other end and both Jordan Boyd and Michael Reilly had curling efforts from outside the area drifting inches wide.
Midway through the half referee Ross Menzies incensed the home support when he booked Reilly for simulation after the Vics striker was clearly tripped in the area but in the 38th minute, Whitletts finally made the breakthrough. Isaac Kerr headed a Callum Walsh free kick back across goal and his brother Louis slid in to fire past Stark.
It was no more than Vics deserved at that stage and right on half time they should have doubled their advantage when Reilly raced clear but fired his angled drive narrowly past the far post.
The second half started in a similar fashion with both sides going forward at every opportunity but in the 59th minute Whitletts went two ahead. In a crowded area the ball was poked through for Robert Patterson who slipped the ball past Stark into the net.
Vics keeper Cole Millen was called into action in the 63rd minute when a Kieran Martin drive from distance was superbly turned round the post by the youngster at full stretch as St.Roch’s tried to fightback. Robert Halliday’s low cross into the box found no takers in front of goal and in the main it looked as if Vics would comfortably see out the remainder of the match.
But with 15 minutes remaining the game was turned on its’ head in the space of 60 seconds! First a long ball down the inside left channel saw Liam Coogans race clear to fire past the advancing Millen to give the visitors some hope and then seconds later they repeated the doze. Although Millen saved Jordan Logan’s effort the Candy player was fouled by a late Isaac Kerr challenge and referee Menzies this time pointed to the spot. Millen guessed the right way but couldn’t keep out Ryan McManus’ well struck spot kick.
Suddenly it was the visitors who were in the ascendancy although the better chances still fell to the home side. Louis Kerr went close with a header and with two minutes remaining Stark did well to keep out an Isaac Kerr header.
But as the match entered injury time St.Roch’s sealed the victory with a stunning 25 yard strike from Coogans into the top corner of the net that gave young Millen no chance and the three points, that 15 minutes beforehand looked to be staying in Ayr, were suddenly heading to Garthamlock.
A stunning fightback by the Candy but Vics manager, Peter Leonard, must be wondering just what is happening with his team. A team that was put together to challenge at the top end of the table can’t buy a win in the league at present and now sit three points adrift of the safety zone at the wrong end of the table.
1. Millen 2. Findlay 3. Millar 4. I.Kerr 5. Walsh 7. L.Kerr 8. Boyd (Cunningham 62) 9. Reilly (Donovan 66) 11. Patterson 15. Ewart 17. Dinwoodie
Subs (not used) 12. Ogston 16. Cunningham
1. Stark 2. Tierney 6. Kindlan (Coogans 53) 8. Daw 9. Hughes ( Halliday) 10. Martin 15. Bryson 19. McManus 23. Hanlon (Logan 63) 32. McStay 88. McGuigan
Subs (not used) 5. Russell 21. Cairney
Referee: Ross Menzies