Whitletts Back To Winning Ways After 4-1 Lugar Victory

Lugar Boswell Thistle 1 Whitletts Victoria 4

Report by John Dalton

Whitletts maintained their promotion push with this victory over a well organised Lugar side at Rosebank Park. Managerless Lugar had Secretary Lachlan Millar taking charge of the side that defended well in numbers and depth before finally succumbing to a Vics side that always looked in charge of the proceedings.

In the opening moments it was all Whitletts as they forced a series of corners in the opening minutes with Danny Cunningham going close with a header. Sean Ewart had a shot from 20 yards parried by Lugar keeper Ronnie Davis. Ewart then turned provider with a low cross that bounced off the unmarked Tony Balfour at the back post and slipped wide.

It seemed only a matter of time before Vics would open the scoring although they were given a reminder of Lugar’s threat midway through the first half when a speculative drive from distance by Jackson Stevenson went just over Ally McInnes’ crossbar. Whitletts broke upfield and Balfour’s drive was parried by Davis who clawed the ball to safety just before Craig Harvey could pounce.

It was still Vics doing all of the pressing, although Lewis Gardner brought a fine save out of McInnes when he turned a 25 yards drive round the post. Lugar two banks of defenders were leaving little space for Vics to exploit. Niall Kennedy went close more than once from distance, Ross Campbell saw his attempt headed over his own bar by Grant Kelly while from the resulting corner Josh Sloan headed narrowly over.

Davis tipped a thunderbolt of a drive from Kennedy over the bar before Whitletts finally made the breakthrough with seven minutes of the half remaining. Chris Black bulldozed his way past three challenges into the box before playing a neat one-two and firing high into the net off the underside of the cross bar. It was no more than Vics deserved and Kennedy again went close to doubling their advantage with the last action of the first half, heading over from a corner kick.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Vics going 2-0 up nine minutes after the restart. It came from a Harvey corner kick from which Davis saved a Balfour drive and as the penalty box action more resembled a game of pinball with Balfour, Cameron, Ewart and Black all having attempts at goal blocked before Ewart finally fired home from twelve yards for his first goal of the season.

Whitletts continued to press forward and Balfour saw his drive saved by Davis and a Kennedy header was cleared off the line at the back post as the visitors sought to seal the points. A Balfour drive from the edge of the area drifted just past the angle and Ewart’s 40 yard effort went just over. But with eight minutes remaining, Vics were stunned as the home side pulled a goal back. From a long kick out by Davis, former Vics striker Steven McCarrison lobbed the ball over the advancing McInnes into the net.

It looked like Whitletts could be in for a nervy closing eight minutes or so but any fears were quickly dispelled as they went 3-1 ahead just a minute later. From Ross Campbell’s low cross from the left, Harvey was on hand to fire home at the back post.

With three minutes remaining Balfour saw his close range effort come back off the bar as he got on the end of Ewart’s cross but within a minute the striker did find the net, beating a defender to a through ball and forcing the ball past Davis before following up to fire into the empty net.

A fine performance from Vics who stuck to their principles of playing football throughout the game and set themselves up nicely for the visit of Muirkirk to Dam Park next Saturday

Lugar: Davis, Boyd, Lowe, Kelly, Muir, Crolley, Gardner, Baird (J. Malone 58), McFarlane, Stevenson (G. Malone 67), Birrell (McCarrison 45). Subs Unused: Hannah, Hart.

Whitletts: McInnes, Anderson (Mathieson 64), Campbell, Sloan, Cunningham, Ewart, Harvey, Black (L. Kerr 73), Cameron, Kennedy (Boyd 64), Balfour. Subs Unused: McFall, Dorigo.

Referee: Liam Gallagher.

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