Arbroath Vics start season with a draw

Having ended last season with a cup defeat away to Lochee United, Arbroath Vics began the new campaign with a Midlands League fixture away to the same opponents at the same venue on Saturday.
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Manager Eddie Gray named six new signings in his starting line-up. Former keeper, Jamie Watt was in goal, while there were also debuts for Morgan Smith and Jack Gribben (ex-Brechin Vics), Dale Riddell back from Forfar West End, Connor McFarlane (Arbroath CSC) and Ross Findlay (Arbroath HSFP).

The home side carved out the first opening eight minutes in when Liam McPake flighted a cross into the box from the left, but Logan Davie, stretching to reach it, could only direct his header well wide of the target.

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Jamie Watt then saved Vics with a great one-handed save, throwing up an arm to keep out a Logan Davie effort after the number eight had swapped passes with Ross Gallacher just inside the “D”.

Vics started the campaign with a draw.Vics started the campaign with a draw.
Vics started the campaign with a draw.

Vics were almost gifted a goal a minute later when a wayward goal-kick from Josh Gorton, intended for Greg Kirk, went straight to Connor McFarlane but the keeper redeemed himself by blocking the number seven’s shot.

Indeed, it was Vics who were to finish the half in the ascendency with Josh Chalmers and Scott Milne linking up to allow the former to power in a shot, which Josh Gorton was forced to dive across to his right to push round the post.

Vics had a great chance to take the lead in the 52nd minute but a minute later. they gave away possession midway inside their own half and Danny Cavanagh capitalised, taking the ball into the box in the inside right channel and playing it across the face of goal for Logan Davie to turn in from close range.

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Vics thought they had levelled in the 65th minute when Scott Milne ran on to pick his spot beyond Josh Gorton, but the far side linesman had his flag up and the “goal” was disallowed for offside.

Not long after, the match was held up for around 10 minutes when Lochee manager George Shields took ill in the home technical area and required medical attention before being taken to hospital.

On the resumption, Kevin Milne got on the end of a Calvin Colquhoun free-kick inside the box and wheeled round to fire off a shot, which looked net-bound until Jamie Watt dived across to his right to push it round the post for a corner.

Josh Chalmers then broke through the Lochee defence but was impeded just as he played the ball off to Connor McFarlane, who had a clear run into the box, but the referee pulled play back for the free-kick and Josh Chalmers sent the resultant award over the bar.

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In the 83rd minute, Vics got their reward when they got back on level terms. Josh Chalmers sent the ball through the Lochee defence for Connor MacFarlane to run on to and he did enough to stab it beyond the outrushing Josh Gorton to see it find the net.

With five minutes left, a Morgan Smith free-kick dropped deep inside the Lochee box, and in the congested area, Aaron Stephen just couldn’t get enough purchase on his shot