Ellon United made an excellent recovery from the bitter disappointment of their trip to Bridge of Don Thistle with a fighting, well-balanced 3–2 home win over an experienced Dyce team who are sitting comfortably in the top three in the league.
Saturday’s win proved all the more important after FC Stoneywood crushed Culter and Banchory St Ternan turned over Maud.
United showed far more skill and spirit than in their Bridge of Don outing and took the lead in the seventh minute when a cross from the right was headed back into the danger area to Martin Crisp who had stayed upfield to be in place to knock the ball home.
Ellon’s lead was shortlived, however, with the visitors grabbing a controversial equaliser within five minutes.
The ball looked to have gone out for a home throw-in only to be awarded to Dyce and when the ball fell to Mark Bartlet, his shot found the bottom corner thanks to a wicked deflection.
Dyce went ahead five minutes later when Bryan Duglowski’s header from a corner was ruled to have crossed the line before it was cleared.
The rest of the half proved very even before United equalised four minutes before the interval. James Wilson’s free kick was cleared for an Ellon corner and when the cross was knocked out it fell to Crisp who turned and drilled the ball past keeper Nicky Horne to put the sides level at the break.
United had to make an early second half change with David Coutts replacing Matthew Tewnion alongside Martin Crisp at the centre of the defence after Matthew had failed to run off a nasty first half knock.
Callum Tremaine looked to have got clear only to be pulled back for offside but he had the last say in the in the 64th minute when a free kick was headed on and the Ellon striker nipped in to score.
United made a double change midway through the half with Jason Coyle and Lenny Johnson coming on for Calum Tremaine and Tito Silva.
The home side suffered a scare when Steven Benzie was forced to go off following a collision.
Dyce were able to make an immediate substitution with United forced to play a spell with 10 men before the midfielder was fortunately able to return after treatment.
Both sides had chances to add to their score but both keepers and defences stood firm and were able to keep their opposition at bay leaving United to collect a welcome if hard-earned three points.
Ellon United: Robertson, Blair, S Benzie, Craib, Tewnion (Coutts), Crisp, Wilson, K Benzie, Tremaine (Coyle), Marshall, Silva (Johnson), Greig, McLeod.
This was an excellent all-round display by United against a very strong and experienced side with everyone playing their part.
United’s provisional fixture against Hermes due for Saturday has been cancelled following their fine Scottish Cup win last weekend, which means that the Aberdeen side now have to play their next round tie.
United’s next game will certainly be no easier when Banks o’ Dee are due to visit the Meadows on February 20.
Meanwhile, the numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 5, 6, 8, 16, 17 and 19 and with no one picking the full set, the jackpot for the next draw will be £1000 with the selection 6 from 20.
The consolation prize winner was S O’Donnell.