Daniel Reid and Calvin Wood won the Premier Division points for Arbroath High School FPS as visitors Morgan FPS made a late charge in search of a share of the spoils.
The competitive campaign and return to Premier League action produced a venue change. With the local High School pitches inaccessible after 12 noon for the foreseeable future, the FPS were forced to play out at Friockheim, which was unfamiliar territory for the squad in green and yellow. However, the pitch was in decent nick and the sun was shining as Arbroath were buzzing to get started and hopefully kick the new campaign off in correct fashion.
With LYONS,S.SMITH ,MCKAY and SATCHEL all missing from last week’s friendly at Dundee North End, this was an opportunity for a few lads to step up and take the opportunity presented to them by the manager. The back four was slightly changed as D. SMITH replaced S.SMITH in the centre back position, while REID got the nod to step in and make up the midfield three alongside R.SWAN and M.SWAN. The attacking force was made up by WOOD, who took his place wide left, MILNE the out and out striker and, after coming off the bench and scoring last week with a stand out performance, NAIRN bought himself a start wide right.
The game itself, as you could imagine, started at a very fast and frantic pace with both teams clearly wanting to stomp their mark on this season from the first whistle. Morgan put some pressure on the FPS defence early doors and forced a couple of good but routine for keeper LYALL.
Soon the FPS adrenaline started to level out and some nice pieces of interchanging football were on show and but for a very well organised Morgan defence ,who played the offside trap very well, the FPS may have created more chances in the first 45 minutes.
After a few words from the FPS Manager, the players started to take care of the ball better and not squander possession so easily. The FPS started the second half very well and on 55 minutes REID picked up a cleared ball outside the area and curled a delicious side footed shot which kissed the post on its way into the side of the net putting the home team 1-0 up. This goal spurred Morgan on and they came at the FPS again pressing all over the park.
The next goal came when the FPS won a throw-in deep inside Morgan’s half and quick thinking from NAIRN sent an overlapping FERRIER into the corner. He lifted a high ball towards the back post which was met by a Morgan player only to clear it as far as a progression. WOOD made no mistake rifling a half volley beyond the helpless Morgan keeper.
For the next 20 minutes it became a ding-dong battle in the middle of the park with tackles flying in as Morgan tried to pull a goal back. They did when a deep cross was not dealt with on the line and feel kindly for a tap in. The goal raised Morgan’s confidence and Arbroath dropped a level. With FERRIER being replaced by NICOL and SIME on for D SMITH, the homesters found themselves stuck on the edge of their own penalty area struggling to find an out ball to relieve some pressure. Another two further substitutes for the home team saw HOLMES replace REID and NAIRN make way for HARDIE. Morgan came close again with a driven cross from the right, which flashed across goal, glanced LYALL’s post and out for a goal kick.
However, the FPS managed to dig deep and with some outstanding hold up play from MILNE alongside dogged defending, Arbroath came away with all three points. Well deserved on the day.
PHOTOGRAPHS by Kind Permission of DARREN WILSON