East Craigie v Dundee Violet
McBookie.com North Premier League (16/11/2019)
(Report submitted by East Craigie)
Reporter: Stephen Durcan (East Craigie)
EAST CRAIGIE v DUNDEE VIOLET
A short hop, skip and a jump brought Violet to Craigie Park for this top three Dundee derby. Seven wins out of seven at home for East Craigie against a side with an impressive return of five victories out of seven on their travels. A run of four wins in the last five league outings had propelled Violet up the table whilst the hosts, before this game, had won eight consecutive matches and found the net a jaw-dropping 43 times.
Following several days of frost and a fair amount of rain the surface was soft and sticky. Definitely one for the mudlarks. East Craigie made two changes to the side which beat Forfar Albion a fortnight earlier....Sean Reekie and Jordan Conway replacing James Malone and Conan Howett in the starting eleven.
With a steady drizzle both sides immediately struggled to find their feet on the testing surface. The hosts enjoyed the bulk of the early possession but could only muster a couple of harmless free-kicks which troubled neither defence nor keeper. On the quarter hour Reekie was robbed by Derek Johnston during a Craigie forward move and the nippy striker bolted upfield, managed a cross, which was cleared amid panic stations in the home defence.
The Shipbuilders responded with Adam Brown's high punt being readily claimed by keeper Fraser Burnett following a fine ball from Finlay Baird.
On 28 minutes Violet's Sean Tucker was played through on goal with just keeper Iain Ross to beat but the Craigie no.1 pulled off a stunning save to push his shot out for a corner. This defence-splitting move was replayed five minutes later and it brought the opening goal. Johnston played a perfect ball through to TUCKER who this time made no mistake in placing beyond the outstretched keeper.
They say it only takes a minute and it certainly did as East Craigie responded in the most perfect way....George Johnston holding the ball up well in his usual style then slipping a pass for the unmarked RORY FAULKNER to strike firmly home from just yards out. Johnston was then floored and Baird steered the resulting free-kick towards the top corner but Burnett leapt high to claim.
The home side were now in the ascendancy with the tireless Johnston feeding the ball into the path of Faulkner who turned on a sixpence and watched his shot spin wide of the post. The Violet strike duo still proved troublesome though as a free-kick slipped out of the arms of keeper Ross and, in a moment of defensive panic, the ball was somehow cleared amid a sea of kicking legs.
East Craigie took the lead two minutes before the break when Johnston's corner dropped at the feet of FRASER MACLEOD and his deft shot clipped a defender on it's way into the net.
HALF-TIME: East Craigie 2 Dundee Violet 1
Within five minutes of the restart the hosts went 3-1 up with FAULKNER grabbing his second after nipping through defence and driving low and precise. On the hour mark Calum Kinnear swung a corner kick to the far post and Lawrie Mitchell nodded the ball into the path of James Connelly but his rasping shot was deflected wide of Ross's near post.
Determined play from Craigie's Johnston saw him find MacLeod in space and he unselfishly played the ball to Baird, but keeper Burnett was quick to react to block the effort. On 71 minutes the hosts won a free-kick 20-yards out which Andrew McDonald, with great accuracy, almost planted under the crossbar but Burnett, ever-alert, managed to push to safety. Another home free-kick from the 18-yard line by Johnston was also saved by the active visiting keeper.
The Craigie points were sealed on 83 minutes when a tenacious MACLEOD battled his way into space and steered home to the jubilation of the home bench and the home support. The Shipbuilders forced a flurry of late corners before one final effort fell to substitute Euan McIlvenny in injury time but his shot was deflected wide.
FINAL SCORE: East Craigie 4 Dundee Violet 1
EAST CRAIGIE: Ross, Reekie (McIlvenny 83), Paterson, McDonald, Brannan, Baird (Moran 85), Brown, Conway, Faulkner, Johnston, MacLeod. UNUSED: Howett, Christie, Malone.
DUNDEE VIOLET: Burnett, Bannon (McWilliam 75), C. Kinnear, Connelly, Garden, Ogg, Mitchell, R. Kinnear (Kelly 71), Tucker, Johnston, Ross. UNUSED: Glennie, Edgar, Smith.