|28th January 2017||1:45 pm||McBookie.com League North Division||Season 2016-17|
KO KO 15 25 64 69 74 74 80 80 80 86 87 90 92 92 FT
It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a classic but Scone did enough this afternoon on a miserable Angus afternoon to claim all three points against a hard working and physical Arbroath Vics side.
The game started off in quiet fashion with the ball being hammered about the middle of the park with little end product and it wasn’t until just after the 15th minute that any moment of note happened in the game. That was when Scone took the lead thanks to Fraser Mills’ 14th goal of the season.
Arbroath keeper Jack Whitton’s kick from goal was collected in midfield by Craig Mitchell and he burst into the Arbroath half of the pitch before slipping a lovely pass to the right to Mills who showed good paced to dribble past Florence into the Vics box before finishing coolly under the advancing Whitton.
The game settled back into the midfield slogfest for the next wee while before the game burst into life after 23 minutes when chances at both ends led to an equaliser for the hosts.
Firstly Gillespie collected a quickly taken free kick some 30 yards out before moving into space and firing goalwards from distance, however his effort was easily held by Winton, then Mitchell and Mills combined well to set up Njie on the edge of the Arbroath box but the Scone striker pulled his effort wide of target.
Moments later it was 1-1 when Gillespie cut out a Mills pass to Mitchell in the Scone half of the pitch before slipping the ball to Walker on the right, he cut inside Sinclair before unleashing an unstoppable left foot effort past Winton from just inside the box.
Five minutes later and Scone almost went back in front when a Sinclair corner from the right was met in the middle by Whitton but under pressure from one of his own teammates the Arbroath keeper’s attempted punch carried the ball towards his own goal where Bastow was forced to head the ball off the line. Arbroath couldn’t clear their lines and when Whitworth played the ball into the box it looked as if Florence had fouled Mills in making a tackle, however the referee didn’t award the penalty kick. Video replays showed this to be the correct decision as Florence had played the ball before making any contact.
The game settled back into the physical contest that had marked most of the first half with Scone and Arbroath hitting each other on the counter attack without either managing to make a clean break. That was until the 38th minute when Craig Mitchell collected a loose ball just outside his own box and broke forward to the halfway line before releasing Njie on the right, he cut the ball back to Mackay and when his deep cross came to the back post, Gary Fergus, making a welcome return to the side after 3 months on the sidelines with injury, saw his first time effort crash back of the left hand upright.
The hosts had the final effort of the first half when Walker broke down the right before crossing the ball into the centre, Warren teed the ball up for Chalmers but his effort from outside the area lacked power and was easily collected by Winton.
Scone forced the first effort of the second half when Njie got on the end of a Sinclair cross from the left but his header went wide of goal.
Scone’s top scorer was perhaps too keen to score against his former club and on occasion didn’t show his usual excellent composure in front of goal. This was seen a few minutes later when a Gary Fergus cross from the left was laid off by Mills but Njie, with only Sean Fergus for company in front of goal, pulled his shot well wide of goal.
Mills went close moments later with a header from a Sinclair cross that went wide of target however despite dominating the early stages of the second half Scone couldn’t turn this dominance into goals and were almost to pay just before the hour mark when Arbroath created a good attack that saw Gillespie collect a ball from Warren on the right and move towards Scone’s goal and fire a goalbound effort from just outside the box that Winton did well to turn over the bar.
Arbroath were next to threaten when Warren slipped the ball forward to Walker in space but after moving goalwards he dragged his effort past the post.
The action returned to the other end of the pitch and after Sinclair took a throw in on the left to Mills his return ball to Njie saw the Scone striker produce a good save from Whitton at his front post.
Tempers were beginning to fray in the match with some inconsistent refereeing frustrating the Scone players and Mitchell was pick up the game’s first booking after 75 minutes.
Arbroath were to create their final chance of the game after 78 minutes when Gillespie intercepted a Sean Fergus pass inside his own half before sprinting up the left wing towards the Scone goal. Moffat showed fantastic pace to catch up with the Vics man and force him to turn the ball back to Wilson but his effort was well over the bar.
Scone were to be reduced to 10 men after 80 minutes when Mitchell received a second yellow card after allegedly complaining about a refereeing decision and was followed into the book by Sean Fergus though at one stage it appeared the referee was reducing Scone’s onfield tally by two as he accidentally flashed a red card at the Scone midfielder before producing yellow.
Scone were to face more frustration as the match drew to a close when Whitworth received a caution for a challenge on Sturrock. It appeared that the players had accidentally collided after Whitworth had played the ball but Sturrock was left apparently injured on the ground. The referee showed Whitworth the yellow card and this was Sturrock’s cue to jump straight to his feet and jog across the pitch in one of the most miraculous recoveries seen on a football pitch for a long time!
Scone had dominated play for most of the second half without showing the cutting edge they’ve displayed of late and with luck going against them with the big calls it looked like it was going to be two dropped points in today’s match until their fortunes changed momentarily with the match in added time.
Even at this point however Scone appeared to receive an unlucky refereeing decision as Vics’ Gray scythed down Moffat to the left of the Arbroath box. It looked a straight red card for dangerous play but the referee merely cautioned the Vics defender. However Moffat had the last word as the free kick was swung into the box by MacKenzie and with Whitworth rising at the front post to flick the ball on to the onside Moffat at the back post, the Scone substitute made no mistake to volley home and put the Jags back in front with 92 played.
There was still more time for another talking point in the game however. A ball into the Scone box saw Laing fouled as Walker tried a risky overhead kick.
Laing had gone to ground after receiving Walker’s boot to his chest but what happened next was bizarre to say the least. Gray then decided to pick Laing off the ground, Laing reacted, perhaps understandably, in anger and collided with Gray which saw Gray trip over Laing’s leg as the Scone skipper threw off the grip of his opposite number.
Rather than giving Gray a second caution for unsportingly grabbing an injured player off the ground the referee decided that Laing had been guilty of violent conduct and produced a red card.
Thankfully the 9 men of Scone were able to hold out for the remaining minutes and despite playing below par and not receiving the rub of the green when it came to decisions were able to claim their fifth straight win.
***** UPDATE – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 14 2017 *****
Following an appeal to the SJFA East Region’s Disciplinary Committee, Willie Laing’s red card for violent conduct was overturned and has now been deleted from the match statistics.
|Ogilvy Park, Arbroath|