Ellon puts wind up Halli

Ellon AFC returned to league duty with a fixture versus Halliburton who, although behind Ellon in the league, had only played eight games compared to Ellon’s 13. This was an important fixture for both sides.

Despite rainy and windy conditions the pitch was perfectly playable and in fact this was the only game played in the whole of the Aberdeenshire AFA.

Ellon started the game playing with the wind at their backs and looked as though they meant business right from the off. Hamilton sent an effort wide just before Cumming nearly made an error in the Ellon goal as he waited for the ball to roll into the box but the wind held it up. Luckily Laird was on hand to clear the danger.

The home side continued to press the advantage of the elements as Irvine hit the bar, a Thomson cross caused panic in the away defence, and a powerful run by Wilson saw the defender release Urquhart whose shot was held by Marlow.

10 minutes in, Ellon went ahead as Wilson rampaged down the left and sent in a speculative effort which caught the wind.

This setback seemed to galvanise Halliburton, as Fulton fired a shot past then Laing broke clear only for Cumming to save bravely at his feet. Laird had to be alert as he cleared a sidefoot effort from Simpson off the line.

Ellon continued to press for a second, shots by Dempster and Laid going wide. Barrett had a great chance with five minutes of the half remaining as his pace took him clear of Jacques, but keeper Marlow blocked his effort and was on hand again to save from Urquhart as he followed up.

From the resultant corner Young cleared an Urquhart header, but just before the half time whistle Ellon got their just rewards.

Wilson ran into the opposition box only to be unceremoniously upended by Jacques. Urquhart stepped up to confidently send the ball wide of Marlow and send the home side in at half time two up.

Having played the first half with the wind at their back, it was to be seen whether two goals would be enough of a lead to see Ellon through but fans and management alike need not have worried. Thomson weaved his way into the box only to be tripped by the hapless McDonald to give Ellon their second penalty. Urquhart sent the keeper the wrong way to bag his second.

Ellon were taking the opposition apart now, and Halliburton were beginning to look dispirited.

Good interplay by Barrett and Thomson saw the latter try to chip the keeper but his cheeky effort went just past.

Ellon’s fourth was not far, though, as seven minutes into the half a great ball by Laird found Dempster out wide and his square ball found Urquhart who joyfully netted his hat-trick.

The home side were starting to run amok as Urquhart had another two efforts stopped by Marlow.

A moment of madness from Cumming in the Ellon goal gifted the visitors a consolation as he inexplicably passed the ball to Fulton and the striker wasted no time scoring.

This did not deter Ellon as they forged forward and it was Thomson who go their fifth. A typical mazy run from the winger saw him weave his way into the box and pass the ball into the net.

Ellon’s Hamilton was replaced by Niall Murray after suffering his customary head knock with 15 to go.

Barrett found himself one on one with Marlow after a searing break by the diminutive striker but again he failed to finish. As conditions took their toll, managers Booth and Anderson freshened things up with McShea, G Morrison and S Morrison replacing Shaw, Slesser and Irvine.

With five minutes left, Murray scored a great goal as he met a dipping cross from Barrett at the back post and volleyed into the net with great technical ability.

Taylor replaced Barrett with minutes left as Ellon saw the game out.

A great display by the home side in difficult conditions. A tremendous hat-trick by Urquhart playing in a less than customary role up front was the highlight of the game but all players gave 100% in the wind and rain.

This win gives Ellon 21 points and elevates them to third the league.

Man of the match - Ellon: Mark Urquhart.