ELLON United have yet to be beaten this season in any of the North Region cup ties after regulation time with Saturday’s home Dominos Pizza North Regional Cup semi-final against Stonehaven finishing all square at 2-2.
But for the third time out of four United lost on penalties with the visitors going through 4-3 to face Maud in the final.
Ellon nearly snatched the lead in the opening minute when Jordan Morrice put pressure on keeper Smith following a Stonehaven pass-back leading to a corner which was met by Fraser Tait but his header was clawed behind.
The home side went in front in the 10th minute when Smith was unable to hold Morrice’s cross and Callum Dunbar turned the loose ball into the net.
Stonehaven responded with Forsyth shooting over, then a timely tackle by Calum Annand made sure that the visitors were unable to finish off a promising move. United were forced into a change in the 23rd minute with Ryan Stewart replacing the injured Paul Leahy.
Stonehaven were now beginning to apply pressure as the half wore on and caught out United in the dying seconds when Horne lost his marker and ran on to a through ball to drill home the equaliser.
An early second half corner saw Tait head over and the home midfielder blotted his copybook by receiving a second caution and a red card for a reckless challenge.
Ellon almost grabbed the lead in the 78th minute when Dunbar’s lob beat the keeper only to drop over the bar. United conceded a needless free kick two minutes later. Alexander picked up a loose ball from a set piece and fire it home past a couple of defenders from a tight angle.
United made their final change with Darren Bailey replacing defender Jonathon Millsom and they changed to threee at the back.
The change paid dividends with Bailey collecting the ball from the knock on off a long throw to find the net.
Stewart kept the scores level with two excellent saves to send the tie into a shoot-out.
United opened the penalties with Smith saving Ellon’s first effort, although it almost spun back to cross the line. Stonehaven scored with their first three penaties to take a 3-2 lead before both takers missed from the fourth attempts.
United scored with their fifth penalty, but striker Horne held his nerve to net the winner to put the visitors through 4-3.
Ellon United: Steer, Millson (Bailey), Johnston, Whelan, Reid, Allsop, Annand, Tait, Dunbar, Leahy (Stewart(Lawson), Morrice, Johnson.
Stonehaven: Smith, Low, Taylor, Croll, Shand, Sinclair, Murray, Forsyth, Horner, Alexander, Workman, Stewart, Pyper, Duncan, Arrowsmith, Watt.
Ellon face Stonehaven away in the league on Saturday.