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You are in: Scottish Junior Football Association > News and Events > SJFA News

Whitletts Vics : Match Report

Monday, 22 July 2019


Scores in pre-season matches don’t matter. Pre-season is all about getting players fit and match fit. It’s about the performance, both individual and as a team. It’s about attitude and desire. Sadly, particularly in the second half, all of those qualities were missing from a Vics’ side that was second best to the Premiership newboys Glencairn.

Rutherglen were the better team from the kick off. Players were fitter and had more desire. In the first period Whitletts matched them and had their chances to go in front but overall the scoreline reflects Glencairn’s superiority.

Glens were on the front foot from the off and they almost opened the scoring in the 6th minute after Jorden Leyden and Jason McKay overpowered Morgan Brown in a 2:1 situation and although McKay managed to get the ball past Martyn Barclay at his front post, Brown recovered to clear the ball off the line despite Glens’ protests that the ball had gone over.

Gavin Lachlan was denied by Barclay but Vics’ were holding firm and should have taken the lead in the 18th minute when Glens’ keeper Gary Whyte misjudged a cross ball which struck Robert Patterson, falling kindly for Sean Ewart but with the goal at his mercy he curled his shot just over the crossbar.

Two minutes later Gary Smith struck the post with a shot while for Vics, Blair Anderson, making a welcome return after a long term injury, found himself through on goal but seemed to get caught in two minds and could only shoot tamely at the keeper.

Anthony Fraser had a shot from distance that flew over but Vics were dealt a blow in the 37th minute when new signing Michael Reilly had to go off injured and was replaced by Thomas Donovan.

But just when it looked like the sides would go in level at the break, Glens’ made the breakthrough. Barclay could only flap a McKay cross into the path of Smith who drilled the ball home from 10 yards.

Glens’ rejuvenated their side at half time with five substitutions and in the second period they took Vics apart. Five minutes after the restart Leyden curled a free kick from a central position 20 yards out into the corner of the net. Vics heads went down and even then there was a sense of how many.

Nine minutes later it was 3-0. Gavin Lachlan getting a touch onto a low shot to direct it past Barclay who had already committed himself to the original cross.

Vics response came within two minutes. David Cunningham rising unchallenged to head home a Louis Kerr free kick.

Kyle Chrystal went close with a drive from 35 yards that flew just over while at the other end Louis Kerr went agonisingly close with a free kick from 20 yards. Had that gone in the outcome may well have been different but an error by Barclay in the 71st minute saw the keeper parry a cross straight onto the head of Liam Gormley to head home from inside the six yard box.

Vics almost got a second with a great move down the left and from Robert Patterson’s cross, Donovan’s diving header from six yards somehow struck the diving keepers feet and spun over the bar.

But in the main it was Rutherglen who always looked threatening going forward and with seven minutes left they completed the scoring. With the Vics defence all at sea, Dale Simeon broke into the box and played it to Leyden at the edge of the area. He lifted the ball back in the direction from where it came and Simeon had all the time in the world to pick his spot and beat Barclay with a low angled drive across goal.

A bad afternoon at the office for Vics and not the level of performance that manager Peter Leonard will put up with with the new season just around the corner. The season may not have started but already some players will need to have a long hard look at themselves to see if they have the passion and the desire to perform for the Club in the season ahead.

Rutherglen Glencairn
1. Whyte 2. Gebbie (Chrystal HT) 3. Miller 4. Donaldson (Gebbie 71) 5. S.Kerr 6. Fraser (McGuire HT) 7. Mackie (Simeon HT) 8. Leyden 9. Smith (Gormley HT) 10. Lachlan 11. McKay (McRonnie HT)
Sub (not used) GK. McLellan

Whitletts Victoria
1. Barclay 2. Findlay 3. Brown 4. Walsh 5. I.Kerr 6. Millar 7. Anderson (L.Kerr 52) 8. Cunningham 9. Reilly (Donovan 37) 10. Patterson 11. Ewart
Subs (not used) 14. Bembo 16. A.Kerr

Referee: Richard Murray




Vics claimed third place in the James Glen Memorial Trophy tournament, which was won by the hosts Kilbirnie Ladeside, after a second half mauling of Johnstone Burgh u21’s at Valefield.

Louis Kerr led the scoring charts with a hat trick as Vics erased the memory of the heavy defeat 24 hours earlier to Rutherglen Glencairn with a second half goal blitz that saw them hit six in that period – and it could have been even more!

But the scoreline does not reflect a first half when although Vics went in with an interval lead, the Burgh youngsters were more than a match for Vics, playing some good football and taking advantage of some not too clever defending from the Dam Park side.

Whitletts were missing eight of their squad, Michael Reilly, Robert Patterson, Jordan Baird, Callum Ogston, Stewart Davidson, Morgan Brown, Craig Reid and Jordan Boyd for this match through injury, illness and work commitments and drafted in two recruits from the clubs’ amateur side in Bobby Hay and Brandon Salotti.

Vics started strongly and after only four minutes it took a goal line clearance to deny Isaac Kerr the opener with a header from a Louis Kerr corner. But six minutes later it was Louis who gave Whitletts the lead. Thomas Donovan and David Cunningham combined with the later picking out Kerr in acres of space to pick his spot past the keeper.

But to their credit Johnstone Burgh fought back. Dan McColgan had to be alert to save a shot from the centre forward as he bore in on goal and moments later a deep run from midfield saw a Burgh player take the ball round McColgan but Isaac Kerr got back to clear the goal bound attempt at the front post.

That was the last action the Vics captain was to see as he became the latest player to succumb to injury and was replaced by Bobby Hay. The change in formation didn’t help Vics as Burgh exposed the gaps at the back but not before they found themselves two down midway through the half. Donovan played the ball into the path of Sean Ewart who’s thunderbolt from 22 yards caught a slight deflection on its way into the net.

But within five minutes Burgh exposed the Vics defence with a through ball that Paul Millar failed to cut out and McGriffen ran clear to fire past McColgan.

Whitletts were looking suspect at the back but a terrible mix up between the Burgh keeper and central defender in the 38th minute saw Donovan take full advantage to prod the ball home to make it 3-1.

But still Johnstone Burgh were threatening and they got their reward right on half time. Vics keeper McColgan misjudged a deep corner kick to the back post and Dean Patrick was left unmarked to fire home.

Brandon Salotti made his introduction at half time, replacing Sean Ewart and he made an immediate impact as he played a neat one-two with Donovan down the left which Donovan slotted home in the 49th minute.

Burgh were still threatening and when a chance fell to McGriffen the striker took too long allowing Millar to recover but Vics were now taking a real grip on the game.

Donovan saw his drive from 22 yards touched round the post by the keeper while at the other end McColgan had to react quickly off his line to block a shot as Patrick bore in on goal.

David Cunningham should have got his name on the scoresheet when with only the keeper to beat he nonchalantly tried to chip the ball over the keeper who did well to get his hands on the ball to turn it round the post.

But Vics now had a grip on the proceedings and in the 59th minute Eva Bembo got his name on the scoresheet as he rolled the ball past the keeper after Blair Anderson won the ball in midway inside the Burgh half.

Four minutes later it was 6-2. From a free kick 25 yards out, the young Burgh keeper got his positioning all wrong and Louis Kerr calmly passed the ball into the net.

Kerr should have had his hat trick moments later when set up by Donovan but fired wide while the young Burgh keeper redeemed himself with a fine save from a Cunningham header from six yards out. But from the resulting corner, despite saving Calum Walsh’s header, Martin Findlay hammered the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.

Salotti was playing well and when he won the ball in midfield, Donovan played in Bembo who’s neat flick over the top picked out Kerr who took a touch before completing his hat trick.

McColgan wasn’t a spectator though and had to be alert to block a shot at his near post from the Burgh striker but Vics were rampant and the keeper did well to deny Donovan his hat trick after the striker had nipped the ball off a defender. Anderson tried his luck from 20 yards just past the angle while Bembo’s header flashed wide from a Donovan free kick.

At the other end McColgan made a fine save at full stretch to deny Patrick as second but with two minutes left Anderson completed the scoring as he raced onto a through ball to lift the ball over the advancing keeper into the net.

With the pre-season matches now over, focus turns to the start of the new season next Saturday when Vics entertain local rivals Annbank at Dam Park in the League Cup

Whitletts Victoria
1. McColgan 2. Findlay 3. Millar 4. Walsh 5. I.Kerr (Hay 18) 6. Cunningham 7. Anderson 8. L. Kerr 9. Bembo 10.Donovan 11. Ewart (Salotti HT)
Subs (not used) 12. A.Kerr 13. Barclay


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