McBookie Championship



VICS suffered their first league defeat on the road in over 10 months as they crashed to Paul Lovering’s Benburb at New Tinto Park on Saturday.

Whitletts had been undefeated in the league away since last December when they went down to a Saltcoats side then managed by boss George Grierson but they were second best to a Benburb team flying high in the promotion race.

Whitletts were first to threaten but Adam Forsyth couldn’t get enough onto the ball to turn it past Bens keeper Ryan McWilliams.

The pace of the Bens forward line, influenced by former Airdrie and St Johnstone winger Willie McLaren, was causing Vics problems and they threatened to break through on a number of occasions but a Josh Meechan header from a corner-kick was the best they could muster early on.

Forsyth tested the keeper again with a shot from a Callum Ogston pass which was parried by the keeper. It was an even game up to this point but in 33 minutes the home side made the breakthrough from the penalty spot. It looked a soft penalty as Bens forward Kyle Richford easily barged Darren McIntyre to get to the ball and as the Vics defender fell forward, Richford tripped over his leg and the referee pointed to the spot from which Ryan Livingston sent Martin Fraser the wrong way.

Richford had a fine effort saved by Fraser and then Ciaran Mulcahy saw his chipped effort come back off the face of the crossbar. However Vics who had the ball in the net right on half-time but Ewart’s effort was ruled out for an offside against Isaac Kerr.

In the opening minutes of the second half Vics should have equalised when from only a couple of yards out, the normally reliable Forsyth failed to connect fully with a Bobby Colligan cross with the goal at his mercy and they were made to pay for that miss in 50 minutes as Scott Jarvie curled a low shot past Fraser from the edge of the box.

Seven minutes later, a misjudgement by McIntyre allowed Ryan McCrone to easily roll the big defender and as Fraser raced from his line the wee midfielder calmly lifted the ball over him into the net.

Bens were playing full of confidence and on the hour, only an outstanding save from Fraser pushing a Mulcahy overheadkick onto the crossbar kept the scoreline at three.

The introduction of Jordan Boyd and Ross George gave Vics a boost and Boyd saw his shot clawed behind by McWilliams. Boyd again went close heading a George corner kick just over the bar but in the final minute of the 90 Bens completed the scoring with a scrappy fourth goal. A low cross took an awkward bounce off Ogston and substitute Ash Karenzi was on hand to fire home the loose ball.

Vics did look to have scored when a point blank effort at the back post by Forsyth crossed the line but the referee was blinded by the positioning of the goalkeeper who held the effort and no goal was awarded.

Bobby Colligan then saw his free-kick come back off the crossbar as Whitletts strove for the consolation but it didn’t materialse and Bens claimed all three points.

WHITLETTS VICTORIA: Fraser; Ogston, Brown, McIntyre (George 74) I Kerr, Millar, Colligan, L Kerr (Boyd 64) Forsyth, Donovan, Ewart (A Ker 83). Sub not used: Dorigo.