Vics Share Points With Thistle In Eight Goal Thriller

Whitletts Victoria 4 Dalry Thistle 4


Report by John Dalton

Dalry Thistle received the Ayrshire District League trophy at Dam Park but needed a late, late equaliser to get a draw against ten-man Vics in what was an enthralling encounter and a fantastic advert for junior football.

Vics applauded Dalry onto the park in recognition of their league championship success but on paper there was nothing to play for in this game. The result wouldn’t alter the league position although Dalry were looking to finish the season on a high with a win as Champions while Vics were looking to keep up the momentum going into the promotion play-offs and the two biggest games the Club will have played in a decade.

This game was a cracker. Dalry showed they meant business early on and were playing some good football but it was the home side who had the first attempt in anger on goal after Adam Forsyth robbed Gareth Turner to set up Graeme Barbour at the edge of the box, but his left foot drive slipped just wide.

Then when Barbour fired an angled low cross into the danger zone it took the intervention of Lewis Kirkwood to clear the danger behind before Forsyth could pounce. From the resulting corner, Forsyth headed over.

It was clear that there were always going to be goals in this game and the opener came in the 17th minute. Sean Ewart did superbly down the left and from his whipped in cross, Barbour got in front of Thistle keeper Marc Fisher and as the ball broke free he fired high into the net.

Kyle Cummings went close for the Jags when he curled a free kick just wide and then it took a goal line clearance from Ewart to block a close-range effort from Ian Cashmore after Vics failed to clear the danger from a corner but within seconds the visitors were level.

From fully 30 yards out, Keiran McLaughlin fired a spectacular free kick high into the net, giving young keeper Louis Kerr no chance.

Vics response was swift and within seconds a Ewart cross picked out Forsyth at the back post but his netbound header struck a Thistle defender and went wide. And within two minutes they were behind after Kerr hesitated for a split second in coming for a long ball and when he made his move collided with Greg Morrison inside the box which saw referee Paul Shepherd point to the spot. Cashmore took the responsibility as always and calmly fired past the young keeper from 12 yards.

The young Kerr made a fine save to prevent Vics falling further behind with a great reaction save at his near post after an attempted Raymond Buchanan clearance cannoned off Andrew Brown, forcing Kerr to react.

Dalry were on top and Morrison was unlucky with volley from the edge of the box as the visitors lead 2-1 at the interval.

And within a minute of the restart they increased their advantage. As keeper Louis Kerr elected to punch a ball that he should have taken in hand, the ball only broke to orison at the edge of the box who set up Cashmore to sweep home his second of the afternoon from close range. The impressive Kyle Cumming went close to increasing the lead further as his effort slipped wide.

At this stage it was looking ominous for Vics and in the past they may well have capitulated but not now! Back they came and in the 58th minute they were given the opportunity to reduce the leeway from the penalty spot after Jordan Boyd went down under a clumsy challenge from Brown. Issac Kerr stepped forward to send Fisher the wrong way.

And five minutes later they were level. Craig Fisher broke forward from midfield and from 25 yards out unleased a superb shot that beat his brother Marc in the Dalry goal. A fantastic strike and one that I’m sure Craig will mention in few times in family discussions in years to come!

It was game on and now it was Vics back in control of the proceedings and in the 71st minute they took the lead for the second time in the game. This time Sean Ewart robbed a Jags defender inside his own area and drilled the ball past Fisher with an angled drive.

It had been a complete turnaround and Vics were hungry for more. As Forsyth broke clear Fisher got an outstretch arm onto the ball which took a lot of pace of the netbound attempt allowing Chris McGowan to get back to clear the danger. The Ross George was inches away from getting on the end of a Ewart cross but Fisher punched clear.

With the game deep into injury time, Vics looked to be holding out for all three points but they were reduced to ten men in the 92nd minute when Issac Kerr mistimed a challenge on Lewis Collins and Referee Shepherd show him a straight red card.

But there was still time for the visitors to get an equaliser. From the resulting free kick, keeper Kerr came to punch but didn’t connect properly and the ball broke kindly for Lewis Kirkwood’s looping back post header to evade the desperate attempts from Blair Anderson to clear and creep just below the crossbar to level the scores.

At the end of the game the visitors were presented with the Ayrshire District League championship trophy, the spectators witnessed a cracking game of football for their £5 entrance and now Vics must go and prepare for the two biggest games they’ve played in the past ten years against Maryhill for a place in next seasons’ new Championship.

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