Neave’s triple tri­umph

De­ter­mined fight­back gives Blair a de­served vic­tory over Ar­broath

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Ogilvy Park, the home of Ar­broath Vics, has rarely proved a happy hunt­ing ground for Blair­gowrie in re­cent sea­sons.

How­ever, a de­ter­mined se­cond-half fight­back gave Blair a de­served and wel­come vic­tory.

Blair started brightly with­out re­ally threat­en­ing the Vics’ goal.

How­ever, af­ter 15 min­utes, Gary Ax­wor­thy played an in­tel­li­gent pass through to Dar­ren Neave who opened the scor­ing with a del­i­cate fin­ish.

Mark Brash’s side looked com­fort­able at this stage, but they soon lost two car­bon­copy goals to go be­hind at the in­ter­val.

On both oc­ca­sions pos­ses­sion was cheaply sur­ren­dered and Ar­broath coun­ter­at­tacked swiftly to ex­pose a short-handed Blair de­fence.

These set­backs led to a loss of rhythm for Blair, up against it at half-time.

Grad­u­ally Blair­gowrie re­asserted them­selves af­ter the break and put pres­sure on the home de­fence.

The equaliser came on the hour mark when an Ax­wor­thy cor­ner was headed across goal by James Simp­son to Neave, whose vi­cious net-bound vol­ley from 18 yards found the goal via a de­flec­tion.

Blair con­tin­ued on top and Matty Adam came close on three oc­ca­sions in quick suc­ces­sion. Twice ven­omous vol­leys were ac­ro­bat­i­cally tipped over by the home ‘keeper and then from an Ax­wor­thy cross, Adam’s header smacked off the up­right and bounced to safety.

There was a scare for Blair im­me­di­ately af­ter this when a home striker headed over from a good po­si­tion, but Blair soon re­turned to the of­fen­sive.

Rudi Brown had been a thorn in the home de­fence’s side all af­ter­noon, win­ning count­less free-kicks, and it was no sur­prise when he won a penalty for Blair with 10 min­utes left.

Af­ter a lengthy spell of treat­ment for Blair winger Brown, Neave com­pleted his hat- trick in ex­pert fash­ion from the penalty spot.

In the 87thminute Stephen Find­lay, on for Brown, con­tin­ued to tor­ment the left flank Ar­broath’s de­fence to set up Ax­wor­thy who scored with a fierce drive from close range, much to the de­light of the trav­el­ling sup­port.

Blair­gowrie: O’Brien, Reilly, MacNaughton, Mil­lar, Simp­son, R. Brown, Ax­wor­thy, Plen­der­leith, Adam, Chris­ti­son, Neave. Subs used: Find­lay, Scott.

This Satur­day, Blair­gowrie travel to Fox­hall Park to play Coupar An­gus in a North League derby match. It’s a 2.30pm kick-off.

Blair­gowrie will play North Re­gion Su­per League side Her­mes in the se­cond round of the Scot­tish Ju­nior Cup on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 28.

Any sup­port­ers wish­ing to travel with the team should con­tact Mike Coyle on 07504 650475.

Mean­while, this week’s berry-pick­ers weigh-in num­bers were 2, 14, 15 and 17.

There were no win­ners, mean­ing the prize money next week will be £1100.

Score­sheet Gary Ax­wor­thy

Tre­ble Dar­ren Neave

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