Ellon United stung by league newcomers

Ellon United lost 3-1 at home to New Elgin on Saturday with the match hinging largely on a 20th minute incident which saw home keeper Callum Steer red-carded with the game level at 1-1.

A much-changed United line-up included new signing Mariuusz Kwiatkowski partnered with Paul Leahy and Lenny Johnson up front.

A frantic start to the match resulted in United grabbing the lead in the opening minute, only to be pegged back within 60 seconds.

Ellon attacked from the kick-off, breaking down the left with Jordan Morrice firing over a low cross which was turned home by Leahy.

Before United had time to draw breath, they found themselves level straight from the restart.

Shanks used all his experience to roll his marker and thread the ball through for Wilson, whose drive gave the United keeper no chance.

Kwiatkowski and Leahy combined to find Johnson out wide with his parting shot hitting the side net.

When New Elgin attacked down the left, Steer was quickly off his line to mop up, but his momentum took him outside his area, the ball struck his arm and he was shown the red card for being deemed to have denied the Moray side a goal-scoring opportunity. Johnson took over in goal.

Ellon were now really up against it, especially at set pieces and crosses, but they were able to contain the visitors and it took a fine save from Wilkinson to keep out a shot from Morrice at the cost of a corner, which was confidently gathered by the keeper.

The experienced New Elgin front line tried to intimidate Johnson in goal but he stuck bravely to his task.

C McKenzie attempted to beat Johnson with a lob at the start of the second half, but his effort cleared the bar.

There was no such relief for United in the 50th minute when a dangerous free kick into the box was volleyed home by Riddoch.

United responded with Leahy feeding Chris Craib whose effort cleared the far post.

Ellon made their first change in the 62nd minute with Neil Erskine replacing Kwiatkowski up front. The numbers were levelled out seven minutes later when goal scorer Wilson was sent off for language directed towards one of his own players.

United were now getting their fair share of the play but were always going to be vulnerable with no experienced keeper.

Johnson was caught out in the 81st minute when he tried to pick out one of his defenders when he would have been better to clear the ball. The pass was intercepted by Forde who promptly drove it home.

United’s final change saw Scott Whelan replace Craib but by then there was no way back for the home side.

Ellon United: Steer, Tait, Johnston, Thomson, Reid, Allsop, Johnson, Craib (Whelan), Kwiatkowski (Erskine), Leahy, Morrice, Tremaine, Brmener.

New Elgin: Wilkinson, G McKenzie, McGettrick, Sim, Stuart, C McKenzie, Munro, Riddoch, Wilson, Shanks, Connolly, S McKenzie, Milton, Forde.

Ellon are at home again on Saturday with FC Stoneywood the visitors to the Meadows. Kick-off is 2pm.