Second half slump costs United as they fall to Dee

A poor second half performance from Ellon United cost them dearly when they lost 4-1 away to Banks o’ Dee in the Grill League Cup on Saturday.

United competed well in the first half against a physically strong Dee side and went ahead in the 16th minute.

The visitors were then denied a penalty to give them a chance to add to their lead. United struggled to deal with the bounce of the ball on the synthetic surface and conceded a soft equaliser just before half time.

Ellon fell away in the second period and lost a second in the 70th minute before two late goals gave the Aberdeen side a convincing win.

United set up a scoring chance in the opening minute, but Lenny Johnson’s attempt flew well over. Three minutes later, Grant Thomson fed Jordan Morrice on the left, but his final shot went wide. Banks o’Dee responded with a long-range shot which failed to trouble Callum Steer in the Ellon goal.

United snatched the lead when the home defence failed to deal with a long kick out from Steer with Morrice latching on to the ball and hitting the byeline before firing over a wicked cross which was turned past keeper Smith by a home defender.

A good spell of United pressure midway through the half saw them force a series of corners but the pressure was relieved when Grant Thomson’s shot flew over the bar. Ellon were caught out by a quick Dee break but were saved when Alexander shot wide from a good position.

Dee were gifted an equaliser seven minutes before the interval when the United defence failed to deal with the bounce of a speculative long ball and former Ellon skipper, Ross Forsyth, took advantage to score with a simple lob over the stranded keeper. Ellon were cut open in the 43rd minute but Horne’s finishing touch deserted him.

Dee opened much the stronger after the interval, but were guilty of failing to build on several promising opportunities.

The home side did manage to cash in out of nothing in the 70th minute when an overhead, hooked cross from the right was collected by Biscup, all on his own, and he was left with a simple finish to put the home side ahead.

United made a change in the 72nd minute with Matty Bremner replacing Chris Craib in midfield, then four muinutes later made a double change with Ryan Stewart and Callum Tremaine replacing the front two of Neil Erskine and Lenny Johnson.

Dee were unable to make any further headway until the game moved into stoppage time when a catalogue of defensive errors gifted the hosts goals in the 91st and 93rd minute.

Ellon United: Steer, Millsom, Johnston, Whelan, Craig (Bremner), Allsop, Annand, Thomson, Johnson (Tremaine), Erskine (Stewart), Kidd, Rozanski.

Banks o’ Dee: Smith, Pressley, Stewart, Allan, Ritchie, Winton, Alexander, Forsyth, Horne, Cruickshank, Biscup, Jack, McCall, Forbes, Reid, Stark.

United are at home on Saturday with Buckie Rovers the visitors in the last match in their Grill League section. The kick-off at the Meadows is 2pm.