Maryhill 1 - 7 Blantyre Victoria
Scorers: Maryhill - Gavin Naismith (54'); Blantyre - Aaron Black (4', 73', 89'), Ross Caldwell (21'), Garry Campbell (42'), Graham Wallace OG (45'), Jake Hughes (61')
Blantyre travelled to Maryhill as both sides prepared for their final fixture of the 2018/19 season. Vics were coming off their recent promotion, after winning seven games on the trot including winning away to both Shotts and champions Gartcairn. Maryhill were not on the best form going into the match, losing three games in a row, with their last victory coming in Wishaw in mid-April.
Blantyre were immediately on the front foot, dominating possession in the opening minutes. In the fourth minute, Ross Caldwell, with his back to the defence, curled a ball to the wide area. Lewis MacDonald picked it up and drove into the box, and continued all the way to the by-line before cutting the ball across the face of goal. Aaron Black was waiting about a yard out from goal and the winger hd the simple job of knocking the ball into the back of the net to give Blantyre the opener.
Shortly afterwards, it was the turn of the Vics' left-winger Lewis MacDonald, who had driven into the box before pulling the ball back onto his right foot. His effort propelled into the air before curling just wide.
21 minutes in, Ross Caldwell - fresh off his brace at Shotts a week previous - was slipped through by Con Boyle. The centre-forward dinked the ball past Maryhill's keeper, Graham Wallace, to double Blantyre's lead.
In the 42nd minute the ball fell to Vics' Ross McKechnie on the right flank, who then whipped in a ball into the area. Wallace looked certain to get his hands on the ball, but the Maryhill keeper spilled it and Garry Campbell was there and ready to pounce. The captain knocked it in from close range to extend the Vics lead to 3 - 0.
Just a minute before the end of the half, Caldwell drilled a ball into the goalmouth area from edge of the box. Lewis MacDonald was driving in from the opposite wing towards the back post, but Wallace looked certain to clear the danger before the Vics winger could get a shot off. The problems for the Maryhill keeper, however, just got worse as accidentally palmed the ball into his own net.
Straight after the restart, Maryhill were immediately looking to pull a goal back. A few minutes into the half Maryhill's No.10 was beyond the Vics defence with only the keeper to beat. Dean Trainor pulled off a brilliant save, which deflected off of the attacker and went out for a goal-kick.
In the 54th minute, the hosts did manage a goal. After the ball was cleared by Craig Kerr, it fell to the Maryhill captain, Gavin Naismith, who launched a powerful strike which rippled in the back of the Vics net. Jake Hughes then entered the match for Blantyre instantly afterwards.
The Vics centre-forward only took five minutes to get his name on the scoresheet. Aaron Black curled in a terrific ball into a dangerous area. Hughes got a touch onto the ball and sent it comfortably past the keeper.
73 minutes on the clock and Aaron Black got his second goal of the match. He performed a solo run from the right wing, leaving Maryhill's defenders sprawling to get back. When one-on-one with the keeper, he dummied a shot sending Wallace to the ground opening up the target, before confidently making it 6 - 1.
Black was pushing for his hat-trick. With nine minutes left, he came close to getting it. A right-footed shot from the centre of the box was blocked by a Maryhill defender. This was swiftly followed by Lewis MacDonald's effort, which was also blocked.
Approaching the end of the match, Keirin Coleman crossed a ball across the deck towards Jake Hughes. The striker squandered his chance to join Dale Jones in becoming the Vics top goalscorer as his close-range effort was denied by the keeper's outstretched leg. The ball then came to MacDonald, before dinking it up to Aaron Black. The young winger topped his day off in style as he turned and hooked the ball over his shoulder with an overhead-kick. The ball dipped into the top corner and in doing so securing a Man of the Match Award for himself.