United battle hard against Hive but finish emptyhanded

Lenny Johnson was in lively form against Stonehaven.
Lenny Johnson was in lively form against Stonehaven.

A single goal midway through the second half denied Ellon United the chance of taking anything from their league match at Stonehaven on Saturday as the home side kept up their pressure for the top spot with a 1–0 win.

United had an early penalty shout waived aside when Lenny Johnson appeared to be taken down in the box.

Stonehaven were given an opening from a free kick on the edge of the Ellon box but the chance was wasted.

Four minutes later a dangerous cross from Johnson was cleared for an Ellon corner. McWilliam turned his marker at a throw-in but the Stonehaven striker’s low shot went wide.

The home side were awarded a soft-looking free kick in the 31st minute. The ball broke kindly for McWilliam whose first time effort was off target.

United responded with Martin Crisp firing the ball over. United were forced into a change in the 40th minute with Matthew Tewnion replacing Ally Blair.

Ellon were first to show after the break and it took a fine stop from keeper Stark to keep out Jason Coyle after Johnson had found the striker.

The home keeper was soon back in action in turning a Johnson corner behind off the bar. Minutes later it was United keeper Warren Robertson’s turn to deny the home side with a brave stop.

The visitors’ goal then managed to somehow escape following some frantic action at a corner before the ball was eventually forced clear.

Stonehaven broke the deadlock a minute later when Cormack met a cross from the right to score with a spectacular, if somewhat lucky looking, shot which he appeared to mishit, the ball spinning horribly over Warren Robertson and into the top corner.

United made their second change with Tito Silva replacing Johnson before making their final change by introducing Callum Tremaine up front for Jason Coyle but the visitors were unable to force themselves back on terms.

Teams:

Ellon United: Robertson, Blair (Tewnion), K Benzie, Craib, Millsom, Crisp, Wilson, S Benzie, Coyle (Tremaine), Marshall, Johnson (Silva), Greig, Coutts.

Stnehaven: Stark, Schmid, McTavish, Pyper, S Reid, Shand, McWilliam, Robertson, Wyness, Cormack, Armstrong, Smith, J Reid, Cook, Scully, Taylor.

Life does not get any easier for Ellon on Saturday with Banks o’ Dee their visitors to the Meadows. The league leaders will be smarting after their home defeat by Hermes at the weekend which greatly helped Stonehaven’s cause. Kick-off is 2pm.