ELLON United’s 1-0 home win against Stonehaven at The Meadows last weekend was enough to ensure their Super league status, and avoid being involved in the play-off, as they cannot be caught by Longside, with both sides having only one game left.
Ryan Petrie had once again to rearrange his defence, with Mark Lawson suspended, but Chris Allsop able to return from injury to take his place at the centre of the United back four alongside Scott Clark. The home side had also to make changes up front, with Martin Foy unavailable and Keith Reid breaking down in the pre-match warm up.
Stonehaven opened with the blustery wind at their backs, and an early Gray shot forced a fine save from Ross Buchanan who turned the ball behind for a corner.
United hit back with Ryan Petrie, just unable to convert a cross from Ross Forsyth. Stonehaven broke straight up the field, but the move ended with Shand shooting wide.
Two minutes later, Ross Forsyth fed Ryan Petrie whose shot also went wide. United kept up the pressure, with Chris Huggins breaking on the right. Niall Corser met the cross first time, but his shot flew over. Stonehaven responded through Shand, but again the striker was unable to hit the target.
Neill Irvine came to United’s rescue fourteen minutes into the second half with a goal line clearance.
The home side almost snatched a 69th minute lead when Niall Corser’s diving header from a Ryan Petrie free kick flashed just wide of the upright.
United had a real let off two minutes later when Stonehaven’s Buchanan met a long throw in, only to see his header come back off his namesake’s bar.
Chris Craib came close for United with an 85th minute drive which just cleared the bar, but the home side did grab the vital opener three minutes later.
Niall Corser’s free kick cannoned off the defensive wall, but for the second game running Keith Walker pounced on the loose ball to drill it into the far corner.
United’s joy was short lived, however, when Stonehaven attacked from the restart and were awarded a penalty, but a great diving save from Ross Buchanan to keep out Shand’s kick ensured United’s top division status as they played down the remaining stoppage time.
United completed their league program next Saturday with a home game against Banchory St Ternan. KO at The Meadows, 2.30pm.
The winning numbers in this week’s United Lucky Six Draw were 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14 and with no one picking the full set, the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1000 with the selection 6 from 20.
The winners of the £10 consolation prizes were Lorraine, c/o Billy and D Lawrence.
ELLON UTD: Buchanzan, Irvine, Craib, Corser, Allsop, Clark, Huggins, Forsyth (Johnson), Edmond (Willox), Petrie (Chalmers). Subs: McKeitch, K Reid, Ord.
STONEHAVEN: M Smith, Low, Mathieson, Gray, Reid, Cameron, Will, Shand, Patterson, Robertson, Buchanan. Subs: Glass, J Smith, MacGregor, Cruikshank, Baxter, Bryant.