A toothless performance from Ellon United saw them eventually lose 2-0 away to Maud at the weekend.
United dominated play for the first hour but had no cutting edge and failed to get the better of the home defence.
With United unable to get their noses in front, the game hinged on a penalty decision to Maud on the hour mark.
Ellon defenders were furious at the decision but let their feelings get the better of them and two cautions were dished out by the referee.
United changed their formation in the last 15 minutes to try and get back on level terms, but the game was evenly balanced at that stage and it was Maud who added a second five minutes from time.
United looked to have taken an early lead when Craig Morrison took advantage of a slip by keeper Barbaour in the second minute only for play to be pulled back for offside.
United continued to threaten with Niall Corser meeting a corner but his near post header flew wide.
Maud hit back with Noble trying a chip on the turn but Ross Buchanan was able to gather the ball comfortably.
A minute later the United keeper was penalised just outside the box, but the free kick was wasted.
Craig Morrison forced a corner for United in the 10th minute but the cross was dealt with by the Maud defence and the ball forced clear.
Two minutes later Lewis Forbes met a cross from Blair Johnston only for his header to fly over the bar.
United continued to have the bulk of the first half possession but their final ball let them down too often, or the home defenders were able to cut out final crosses.
United introduced Lenny Johnson for Greg Simpson as the teams returned for the second half.
A run from the Ellon youngster forced a corner in the 51st minute then three minutes later he charged down an attempted clearance and found Lewis Forbes who threaded the ball into the path of Craig Morrison, but he shot well over.
The crucial penalty in the 60th minute changed the complexion of the game. After the dust had settled Luke Barbour made no mistake with a clinical finish from the spot.
United brought on Fraser Tait for Calum Annand in the 75th minute, changing their formation in an effort to get back on terms.
Walker shot over from a good position for the home side before Ellon made their final change with Jamie McKinnon replacing Blair Johnston.
Neither side really looked like adding to the scoreline until the 85th minute when Luke Barbour managed to get behind the United defence to the byline.
Ellon were unable to clear the cross and, with the ball bouncing about, it finally fell to Noble with the goal at his mercy.
United came close to snatching a consolation goal when Mark Lawson met a corner from Darren Bailey, but his header went behind off the top of the bar.
Ellon United: Buchanan, Annand (Tait), Johnston (McKinnon), Corser, Ralton, Lawson, Simpson (Johnson), Bailey, Forbes, Morrison, Craib.
Maud: J. Barbour, Simpson, Hall, Arthur, Gray, Reid, L. Barbour, Walker, Willox, Ritchie, Noble, Calrk, Hendry. Fraser, Rae, Gatt.
Following the five goals they rattled in the previous week, Saturday’s lack of firepower from Ellon United was very disappointing. In that game Ellon eased past Sunnybank in a McBookie McLeman Cup tie to set up a semi-final clash with championship-chasing Hermes.
United have their last home league game of the season on Saturday when Lewis United visit the Meadows. The kick-off will be at 2pm.
The winning numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
With no one picking the full set, the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1,450, with the selection 6 from 12.
The consolation prize winners were M. Chalmers and G. Cator.