Errors and indiscipline mean an action replay for Vics in Scottish

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MISSING a penalty and having your goalkeeper invite the referee to show him the red card are not recipes for success, and so it proved for Newcraighall Leith Vics in the Scottish Amateur Cup.

MISSING a penalty and having your goalkeeper invite the referee to show him the red card are not recipes for success, and so it proved for Newcraighall Leith Vics in the Scottish Amateur Cup.

They even managed to chuck away a 2-1 lead with three minutes remaining in this second-round clash with Whitson Star at Newcraighall Park.

The teams will replay at Wardie Playing Fields on Saturday and Vics coach, Graeme MacDonald, conceded: “It was a typical amateur affair. No team was really on top and it was probably a fair result.”

After going behind early on, it took Vics until the 56th minute before they finally pulled level and then MacDonald watched on as his goalkeeper, Graham O’Brien, was sent off for abusive language towards the referee.

Red mist descended on O’Brien after 64 minutes. He reacted badly to a seemingly innocuous collision with Star striker John Hall, and vented his frustrations towards the referee, who sent him off. Defender Andy Dailly took over the goalkeeping responsibilities for the remainder of the match.

The ten men mustered a lead however, which also had the positive effect of restoring parity in the playing staff.

With 12 minutes remaining, Scott Thomson, who had earlier been booked for a trip which led to the missed penalty, cleared the ball high into the air and Vics’ Davie Turnbull rose to head the ball over the goal-line. Thomson was furious, claiming the ball had crossed the line for a corner, and he picked up a second yellow card, and a ticket for an early bath, for dissent.

Job done, MacDonald might have thought, but not so.

Star pushed for an equaliser and it finally came with three minutes to spare. Graeme Finnan’s low cross found Gordon Wilson whose shot was deflected into the net off the leg of Vics defender Ross Alexander.

Steven Shanley, Star assistant manager, said: “The sending-offs changed the game. Overall, a draw was a fair result. We’re looking forward to the replay.”

Vics had the first scoring opportunity after six minutes when Turnbull was on the end of a through ball but his shot went wide of the left post.

After a quarter of an hour, Star took the lead. A long throw by Dean Cunningham from the left touchline was not dealt with by the Vics defence and Blair Cormac headed in at the far post from two yards.

Vics kept pushing for an equaliser and, after 28 minutes, Paul Armstrong shot narrowly wide to the right of the goal from the edge of the penalty area. Turnbull had another chance in the 33rd minute but his half-volley from inside the penalty area flew past the left post.

Four minutes later, Vics won a penalty when Alexander played a pass to Armstrong, who was 16 yards from goal, and Thomson earned his first yellow card by tripping him. Armstrong took the kick and powered a shot towards the left of the goal, but Star goalkeeper Scott Walker was equal to it and managed to tip the ball over the bar.

Vics continued to put pressure the Star defence at the start of the second half and, in the 46th minute, Stuart McLaughlin’s shot was blocked by Ally Graham, in the left side of the penalty area. Star might have doubled their lead after 50 minutes when Robbie Laird’s cross from the left by-line found Chris Gordon, but his low shot was saved by O’Brien.

Two minutes later, Vics full back Alexander tested Walker with a long-range free-kick. His low shot from 30 yards was tipped wide of the right post by the Star custodian.

Vics grabbed an equaliser after 56 minutes. Craig MacManus played a low cross from the right to Armstrong in the left of the penalty area and his powerful shot from eight yards flew into the bottom left corner of the net.

Newcraighall Leith Vics: Graham O’Brien, Ross Alexander, Paul Waugh, Kevin Smith, Craig MacManus, Gary Burns, Mark Burns, Andy Dailly, Davie Turnbull, Paul Armstrong, Stuart McLaughlin, David Milne, Darren Burns, Chris Morrison, Frankie Arthur, John Daly.

Whitson Star: Scott Walker, Alistair Anderson, Scott Thomson, Mike Riley, Mike Garries, Dean Cunningham, John Hall, Robbie Laird, Chris Gordon, Blair Cormac, Ally Graham, Gordon Wilson, David Garries, Graeme Finnan, Neil Ferrier, Willie Minton.