McBookie Championship



UPON reflection both sides will be content with a point given the way this match progress but both could also point to factors in the game in which they could have claimed all three points.

For Vics, who fought back from a goal down and played 70 minutes with 10 men, they would probably have bitten your hand off for a point at that time, but will feel aggrieved that their 10 men couldn’t hold out.

Craigmark started the stronger of the two sides, with Marc Dyer pulling the strings in midfield and Scott Dempster harrying the Vics' back line.

In only two minutes, Dyer raced clear only to be denied by a fine save from Martin Fraser. Vics had barely crossed the halfway line when with just 10 minutes gone, they fell behind. Ali Boyle whipped in a free-kick that the Vics defence left for Dempster to power a back post header past Fraser from close range.

Craigmark were having all the play as Whitletts struggled to find any rhythm. They looked to have a justifiable claim for a penalty waved aside by referee Jamie Shepherd when Raymond Buchanan went down in the box at a corner and almost immediately they were dealt a severe blow when Graeme Barbour was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Grant Bolton.

Ten men, a goal down and still to register a shot in anger, it looked as if it wasn’t going to be Vics' afternoon.

But the red card gave the hosts the jolt they were needing. Jordan Boyd tested Robbi Wilson in the ‘Mark goal from distance and in 23 minutes, Whitletts were level. A deep cross from new signing Bobby Colligan picked out Callum Ogston and his header across goal found the net to give the youngster his first Vics league goal.

On the half hour, Vics turned the game on its head when Louis Kerr fired a free-kick high past Wilson from 22 yards.

Thomas Donovan tried his luck from distance while Dyer saw his shot turned round the post by Fraser but in the main Whitletts had the visitors pinned back. In 44 minutes, they further increased their advantage. A moment to forget for young Wilson in the Craigmark goal as his attempted clearance fell straight at the feet of Adam Forsyth at the edge of the box and the Vics hitman calmly rolled the ball home.

Craigmark re-grouped at half time and Dyer was instrumental in the visitors' fightback. His clever chip over the top set up Jordan Barr, who was denied by a fine saved from Fraser who turned the shot over the bar.

The introduction of Bryce Reid for Stephen McKay who looked to have dislocated his elbow in a fall, breathed new life into the visitors and in 69 minutes they reduced the leeway. A deep corner-kick was misjudged by Fraser and from a tight angle McCubbin’s shot found the back of the net.

It was game on again and when young Andy Kerr failed to cut out a Dyer through ball, Fraser Lamont was denied by the Whitletts keeper who blocked his effort. Not to be denied however, with 13 minutes remaining Craigmark equalised. As Craigmark worked the ball across the edge of the penalty area, there was a suspicion of handball by Demspter but as he laid the ball off to Dyer, the midfielder calmly fired home an angled drive

With five minutes remaining Whitletts had a second appeal for a penalty waved aside after Forsyth was clearly barged from behind ion the penalty.

WHITLETTS VICTORIA: Fraser; Colligan, Ogston (AKerr 65) McIntyre (Mullen 27) Millar, Buchanan, L Kerr, Boyd, Forsyth, Barbour, Donovan (George 72). Subs (not used) Condon,l Dempsey

CRAIGMARK BURNTONIANS: Wilson; S McKay (Reid 61) Whittaker, Bolton, R.McKay, Boyle, Lamont, Dyer, Dempster. Barr, McCubbin (McCambly 75). Subs (not used) Dawson, Thirtle.