Ellon AFC were at Kemnay for the second time in three weeks, but this time on Scottish cup duty. The home side had obviously been recruiting in the intervening period as they fielded a much changed team.
Managers Booth and Anderson had a strong squad at their disposal with good options on the bench. Regular midfielder Hamilton had to settle for a place on the bench after his ankle injury the previous week. Experience was the name of the game at fullback, as McShea and Finnie filled the berths.
Kemnay started quickly as McMinn broke free from his defence duties to fire a cross which was met by Allan, but he put his effort wide.
Laird misplaced a pass at the back and his subsequent saving challenge looked for all the world a foul but referee Middleton waved play on.
A long ball by Dickinson was flicked by Bain to his strike partner Slesser, but his shot went well wide.
Bain then made a great chance for himself as he latched on to a clever header from Dempster to out pace Rhind and fire just wide of the far post from an acute angle.
But Ellon did not have to wait much longer to take the lead as Slesser collected a throw in wide on the right and fed the marauding McShea who delivered a great cross first time to the front post area. Dempster shook off his marker and met the ball on the volley score after 22 minutes of the game.
Six minutes later and Dempster struck again as Bain flicked on to McShea, who was raiding forward at every opportunity, and he again fired in a great cross allowing the midfielder to sidefoot in his second.
But Kemnay still had a fair majority of the play and it was the ever dangerous Ingram who set up Webster for a header but Dickinson held on well in the Ellon goal.
Ellon’s third was not far away and it was no surprise that it was the prolific Bain who grabbed it. A good ball from Robertson found the striker with plenty left to do but he beat two defenders and calmly slid the ball past Lorimer.
There looked no way back for the home side, but they found a way courtesy of referee Middleton who inexplicably awarded a back pass against Wilson as he made a last ditch tackle. The only person who thought this was the correct decision was the referee.
As a result, this gave Kemnay a direct free kick 12 yards out. Adam stepped from the back to fire an unstoppable effort into the net.
This gave the home side a foothold which they never looked like getting from open play.
Ellon started the second period on the front foot, no doubt looking to put the game to bed early.
Another good ball released Bain but this time the striker could not convert. At the other end Ingram again played in a great ball which found no takers but the number six was finding space on Ellon’s right.
Ellon had a great chance to bag their fourth as Robertson played in a wonderful ball which was met at the back post by Slesser but Lorimer looked sharp to block it. Shaw followed up but the keeper was back on his feet and held his shot.
After 16 minutes of the half there was a nasty collision between Laird and Rhind which saw both defenders temporarily leave the field. Ellon never really organised themselves with Laird missing and a long ball through the heart of Ellon’s defence was picked up by Webster who ran on to lob Dickinson from the edge of the box. This goal put the game back in the melting pot but Ellon were up to the challenge as a Bain cross found Scott Morrison at the back stick and he was left with a simple tap to restore the away side’s two goal advantage.
Four minutes later Ellon went further ahead as Shaw won a header which found Bain, who rounded the keeper to notch Ellon’s fifth.
As Ellon looked to see the game out Barrett and Longmuir replaced Morrison and Robertson with 20 minutes left.
10 minutes from the end Hamilton went on for Bain and Taylor replaced Slesser who had put in a tremendous shift up front. The changes may have disturbed the rhythm of the away side and Kemnay snatched a third from the spot as the referee spotted an infringement in the box. Substitute Campbell strode up to send Dickinson the wrong way.
With only seconds left Taylor fashioned a chance for himself but from a tight angle his effort rolled agonisingly past.
With Kemnay fielding a changed side this proved a more difficult encounter than previously.
Martin Slesser worked tirelessly up front and literally ran his legs off, departing with cramp.
This win enters Ellon into the third round of the Scottish Amateur Cup and at that stage the draw is Scotland-wide so a good chance of an entertaining journey to the central belt to pit wits with the so-called elite of the amateur game.
Ellon: Dickinson, McShea, Finnie, Shaw, Laird, Wilson, Scott Morrison, Dempster, Bain, Slesser, Robertson. Subs : Longmuir, Urquhart, Taylor, Hamilton, Barrett