Ellon United’s 3–2 home win over Banchory St Ternan at the Meadows on Saturday took them to the 10-point mark for their opening six league games and again improved on last season’s corresponding fixture when they only managed to draw.
Although Ellon edged the first half and had the chances to take more than their 1–0 lead into the interval, they did look
vulnerable on the counter-attack and might well have been punished by more clinical opposition.
Banchory equalised from a corner in the 57th minute only for United to go back in front five minutes later.
St Ternan took advantage of a fortunate deflection to draw level again but United were not to be denied all three points and snatched the lead for the final time in the 86th minute. The win puts United second in the table behind Stonehaven.
United opened brightly but it was Banchory who might have taken an early lead when the home defence failed to cut out a long ball which found Buglass in the clear but he shot wide.
Ellon went in front in the 10th minute when Steven Benzie and Craig Marshall combined to set Aiden Greig off down the left and his cross was turned home by Neil Erskine.
Five minutes later it was St Ternan who broke forward but Callum Tremaine was on hand to clear the final cross.
The visitors’ goal came under siege for a spell with Lenny Johnson and Dean McDonald having efforts blocked before the ball eventually went behind for a corner.
Erskine found Johnson on the right but his progress was halted by a free kick. The ball was knocked into the danger area with the
Banchory defence again managing to block the ball which landed out for another corner.
The visitors hit back to force a corner of their own which was headed over Warren Robertson’s bar.
Martin Crisp released Johnson on the right and he put the visitors under pressure with a run and cross only for United’s efforts to be blocked again at the expense of a corner.
At the other end, Banchory forced another dangerous corner but failed to get their header on target with most of United’s first half problems coming from corners and free kicks thrown into the home goal area.
Ellon almost got their second half off to a good start. Benzie worked his way up the right and his deep cross was collected by Erskine who shot wide then a cross on the run from Greig came back off Berton’s bar with the keeper beaten.
Two minutes later the scores were level. United conceded a soft corner with central defender Robertson moving forward to head home at the back post.
Ellon made a double change in the 62nd minute with Chris Craib and Scott McLeod replacing Marshall and Erskine.
The home side regained their advantage when McDonald collected the ball and beat his marker before cutting it back into the path of Matthew Tewnion to fire the home side back in front.
United were unable to hold on to their lead for long when an attempted clearance was blocked and broke kindly into the path of former United striker Dev Kennedy- Colvert who neatly dispatched the ball into the bottom corner.
The closing twenty minutes of the second period were far too open for either side’s comfort with both teams having their moments but passing up any chances until United finally struck in the 86th minute, Benzie moving in to head home a long throw in from McLeod. United were then able to control the closing stages and comfortably hold out to collect another three valuable points.
Ellon United: Robertson, Tremaine, Tewnion, Steven Benzie, Coutts, Crisp, Johnson, Marshall (Craib), McDonald, Erskine (McLeod), Greig, Wood, Blair, McKinnon.
Banchory St Ternan: Berton, Flaherty, Tubby, Mitchell, Robertson, Bruce, Buglass, Christie, Henderson, Kennedy Colvert, Travers, Smith, Gilmour, Findlay, Rogie, Buchan.
United get a break from league business on Saturday. They have an away tie in the first round of the GA Engineering Inter Regional Cup but travel to face Hermes for the third time this season.
The Bridge of Don outfit were certainly among the goals at the weekend eventually winning 6–5 away to FC Stoneywood and United will certainly have to be much tighter all over the field if they are to avoid conceding goals.