Dylan Griggs on fire, Arboath’s defence is terrified

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The S1 team had recorded a draw and a loss in their previous matches before beating Arbroath 9-2 at home.

The match got off to a good start for Mearns, with forward Dylan Griggs placing the ball over the keeper’s head to give his team an early lead.

A couple of close calls came for both teams, when Mearns striker Harry Woods turned on goal and rocketed a shot off the crossbar, and when Mearns keeper Duncan Nouwens pulled off an acrobatic save to keep a long shot from Arbroath out.

Griggs picked up his second, running down the right with pace and tucking the ball into the far left corner.

Griggs didn’t stop there, running onto another through ball, outpacing the defenders and smashing it home to bag a hat trick within 25 minutes.

Mearns were piling on the pressure; George Simpson fed through to Griggs who was denied by the Arbroath keeper. The resultant corner was cleared to the edge of the box, but found its way to striker Harry Woods who dinked it over the keeper’s head.

With five minutes left until half-time, Harry seemed intent on matching his teammate’s goal tally, scoring a low driven shot which the keeper couldn’t get down to quick enough and, only a couple of minutes later, cutting in from the left and beating several Arbroath defenders before taking a pop which curled its way into the roof of the net. Mearns were 6-0 up going at half-time.

Arbroath came out fighting at the start of the second half, forcing Mearns keeper Duncan Nouwens to make a strong save and causing a goal line scramble which ended in Arborath getting a goal back.

The Mearns management were rewarded for their tactical decision-making when Sean Dickie came on from the bench and skilfully put Mearns up 7-1.

Minutes later, Woods went on an extraordinary run from the halfway line, beating the majority of the Arbroath defence, before slotting it home to bag his fourth of the day.

The chances kept on coming; Jakub Gryla turned and had a shot on goal but the Arbroath keeper made a good save, before Harry Woods added to his tally with an impressive finish to make it 9-1.

Mearns had secured the victory, but it didn’t stop Arbroath scoring a final goal after their number five beat the tired legs of the Mearns defence and netted their second.

David Robertson, Mearns head coach, said: “For us to get a victory today was superb. The boys were terrific – they started really strongly and kept it up throughout and I can’t praise them highly enough.”