Ellon A.F.C. were knocked out of the North of Scotland on Saturday, beaten 3-2 by Insch in a second round tie at the Meadows.
This was the only local fixture to take place on a grass surface with other games being played on 3G surfaces at Kaimhill and Inverurie. A great testament to the quality of the groundsmanship at the facility.
Both teams were certainly not at full strength with each side missing several important players due to suspensions and work commitments. But Insch have been going well in the Premier Division and a hard encounter was anticipated.
Ellon started brightly with Bain and Thomson both having chances saved by keeper Wright.
Dickinson had to be on his mettle in the Ellon goal as he pulled off a great double save from Masson and Cameron.
The game was becoming a turgid midfield battle with neither team gaining the upper hand.
The first goal would be important and would either come from an individual mistake or piece of brilliance.
It was to prove to be the former as Dempster gave the ball away to the ever-dangerous Cameron and he played in Simpson who slotted home to put the visitors one up after 34 minutes.
Ellon had a great chance to level only minutes later but Bain’s effort was well held by Wright.
With the half almost at an end a great through ball by Simpson allowed Masson to take advantage of a static home defence to fire Insch two up.
But with the referee adding time on Ellon got themselves back into the game. Scott Morrison played a great ball through to Bain who put the home side right back into contention.
Half time 1-2
Right from the kick off Ellon were fired up and a long kick out by Dickinson found the prolific Bain through on the keeper and his deft lob found the top corner to level things up.
The home side replaced Murray with Ingram as the youngster tired due to not having played a lot of matches recently.
Cameron was causing the home defence no end of problems with his pace and direct running. Dickinson had a great save from a sidefoot effort and then had to watch as a header flashed past.
Ellon then gained the upper hand and chances were spurned by Bain, Morrison and Thomson. But it was Insch who went ahead with 20 to go as Cameron wriggled clear and although Dickinson got a hand to the striker’s effort the ball still went into the corner of the net.
Ellon reacted by replacing the tiring Morrison with Shaw but Insch were pressing for the goal that would finish the game and Dickinson had two great saves from Masson and Cameron.
Both Bain and Thomson had half chances to bring the home side level but Insch were always dangerous and Dickinson had to tip a fine effort from Jaffrey round the post.
Each side still had time to create more chances as players tired but neither could find the net with Dickinson in the Ellon goal again producing heroics to keep his side in it.
Full time 2-3
Over the piece Insch probably deserved their win with only Dickinson standing between them and further goals.
There was not much in it though and Ellon can feel aggrieved that they did not at least force a replay.
Chris Hamilton had an outstanding game in the middle of the park and Bain once more looked like the only scorer for the home side.
Insch’s Cameron was their best player but was inexplicably substituted much to his dismay.
Ellon’s next game will be at the Meadows on the 22nd December in a league game versus Halliburton. Kick off will be 13:30.
Meanwhile, with the fenced pitch at the Meadows failing a morning inspection due to surface water in some areas, Ellon United’s match against Maud was called off.
Only the Superleague games a5t Banks o’ Dee, Longside and Stonehaven survived the weather.
Having opted for a free date on Saturday, United’s next game is at home to Banks o’ Dee on Saturday, December 29, with a 1.30pm kick-off weather permitting.