WITH the weather finally relenting, Ellon United managed to return to action last weekend, with a 2-0 win against Dyce in their McBookies.com McLeman Cuo tie at The Meadows. The visitors held a slight advantage in the first half without making a breakthrough as United barely gave them a glimpse of the goal. It was United’s turn to have the slight advantage after the interval, and they were able to make Dyce pay with two strikes to advance to the next round.
Dyce pushed forward at the start, with Callum Steer parrying a free kick from Neish behind for a corner. Three minutes later, Matty Bremner threaded a good ball through the middle, but keeper Burr was alert and moved quickly off his line to clear the danger. Despite Dyce edging the possession, it was United who came close to opening the scoring in the 18th minute. Jordan Morrice skipped past his marker and swung in a cross which was met by Ryan Stewart, whose first time shot was blocked. Dyce hit back through Neish, with his effort blocked at the expense of a corner.
With 26 minutes on the clock, Ryan Stewart weaved his way through the middle before slipping the ball out wide to Jordan Morrice, but his shot was also charged down. Dyce were awarded a free kick ten minutes before the interval, with Callum Steer saving from Neish under pressure at his back post. The final goalmouth action of the half saw Mark Lawson’s header from a free kick drift wide.
Dyce forced a corner in the opening minute of the second half. The cross was headed clear by Fraser Tait, but broke out to Webster, whose shot flew well wide. United began to show more and more of an attacking threat as the half wore on. Calum Annand moved on to a good cross, but instead of putting his lace through the ball, he tried to place his effort which drifted wide of the top corner.
United made their first change in the 67th minute with Callum Dunbar replacing Fraser Tait. United had the ball in the net within two minutes, only for Mark Lawson’s header to be disallowed despite the home side’s protests. Ellon did open up the scoring in the 73rd minute, though, when Calum Annand’s shot bounced awkwardly in front of the diving Burr and found the far corner. Good approach work by United up their left flank put Blair Johnston through, but his parting shot flew wide. Ellon made their second change in the 76th minute with Lenny Johnson replacing Ryan Stewart up front to team with Callum Dunbar. Several promising United efforts were spoiled with the home side being caught offsides. Burr was forced to turn a deep hanging cross round his post for a corner, then Callum Dunbar put the visiting defence under pressure with a good run which saw Burr turn his shot behind for another corner. Dyce managed to deal with the first cross at the expense of another corner, but were unable to force the second corner clear with Lenny Johnson pounding to fire United into a two goal lead in the 85th minute.
United made their final change with Josh Lamberty replacing Jordan Morrice on the left as the home side saw out the final minutes.
United: Steer, Bremner, Johnston, Tait (Dunbar), Reid, Lawson, Annand, Whelan, Stewart (Johnson), Leahy, Morrice (Lamberty), Allsop.
Dyce: Burr, Webster, Forsyth, Ralton, Steel, Kwiatowski, Duff, M Bartlett, S Bartlett, Neish, McNamee, Buza, Reid.
This turned out to be the usual close United/Dyce encounter, but United worked hard to keep their sheet clean when called upon, and were able to grab the goals that mattered. United have a big league match next Saturday when theyu travel to face Longside and United will really have to be on their toes against a Longside team who will be in confident mood after their impressive 5-0 cup win over Deveronvale last weekend. The match kicks off at 2pm.
The winning numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 2, 6, 12, 14, 15 and 17 and with no one picking the full set, the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1150 with the selection 6 from 17. The consolation prize winner was J Ellis.