9-man Amateurs go down fighting at Denmore

Nicolls Amateurs 4 - Ellon Amateurs 0

ELLON AFC were on their travels again to Denmore to take on high flying Nicolls in a game where even just a point was a must for the away side. Ellon reverted to a 3-5-2 formation with Dickinson returning in goals and Mark Urquhart making his first start after impressing on his substitute appearance last week.

In ideal conditions for football, Nicolls set off on the front foot right from the get-go, with centre forward Ord particularly prominent. The number 9 passed up a couple of early chances as first he fired wide, then Dickinson made a good save as he smothered the striker’s 8 yard effort.

Nicolls were to create even more chances as McNamara was beginning to run the midfield and he played a neat one two which allowed him in on goal but again Dickinson was on hand to save.

An inauspicious indication of how the game was to turn out followed, as Young of Nicolls and Hamilton were booked in separate incidents for what can best be described as fairly innocuous challenges.

Ellon created their first chance as Dempster played in Smith but his shot went over the bar.

With 22 minutes gone, the dynamics of the game changed dramatically as Bain was given a straight red card for what looked like no more than a strong challenge. This really was something Ellon could have done without as they struggled to get a foothold for the rest of the game’s duration.

With McNamara controlling the midfield, and Ellon down to 10 men, Nicolls continued to dominate the pitch, and Sharp fired a header into the roof of the net from a corner to give the home side a deserved lead.

At half time, the score was 1-0 Nicolls.

Right at the start of the second half, Ellon carved out their best chance of the whole game. A barnstorming run by Thomson was cut short as he was fouled 25 yards out. Dempster flighted in a great free kick, and Hamilton’s glancing headed effort struck the outside of the post but sailed away to safety.

However, six minutes into the half, Nicolls doubled their advantage as a cross from Storey found Murray lurking 10 yards out. The striker controlled well, and volleyed home with the Ellon

defence comprehensively flat footed.

Four minutes later, the game was effectively over as a contest, as the home side made their numerical advantage tell as Ord side footed home after being played in by a clever ball from McNamara.

Ellon rung the changes as Cumming and McShea replaced Smith and Hamilton with 30 minutes of the half still to go.

This was to no avail, however, as Nicolls substitute Ramsay latched on to a cross and stabbed home from 5 yards to really seal the win for the home side.

Slesser replaced Birnie with 10 minutes left, as manager Willox tried to give the players a run out. Thomson then set off on one of his trademark runs as he covered almost 70 yards leaving defenders in his wake, and got into the box. However, his final effort was well held by keeper Webster.

The game ended on a sour note for the visitors as McShea got a second yellow for his reaction to a bad challenge which left Ellon with 9 men for the last 5 minutes of the match.

At full time, the final score was 4-0 to Nicolls Amateurs.

This match comes as another reverse for the Ellon Amateurs, which has doomed them to bottom spot in the league.

Nonetheless, they do have some games in hand.

Nicolls were well on top for most of the game, but Ellon never stopped battling with good performances from Urquhart, Thomson and Wilson.

Getting some points on the board is now imperative for the team in the coming weeks if relegation is to be avoided.

The side needs to consider that points will be hard to come by unless they can can keep 11 men on the park.

The Denmore match was probably spoiled by overly officious refereeing, which affected both sides. As a commentator, you really have to ask if there is a place for refereeing by the book in the amateur game.

Ellon’s next match is a league encounter at the Meadows which sees them pitched against Kaimhill United on the March 3.

Kick off at 14:00.

Teams:

Ellon:

Dickinson, Hamilton, Wilson, Birnie, Sutherland, Urquhart, Longmuir, Dempster, Bain, Smith, Thomson

Subs: Morrison, Cumming, Slesser, Finnie, McShea

Man of the Match -

Ellon : Mark Urquhart

Nicolls : Kevin McNamara