ELLON United ended their Juniors Superleague season with a 3-1 home win over Banchory St Ternan at the weekend.
It was a result which saw them leapfrog FC Stoneywood in the table with their 11 points haul off their final five fixtures, taking them eight points clear of Longside in the play off position.
Longside must now play Glentanar to determine the final place in the top division with the match pencilled in for The Meadows on Wednesday, June 1.
United had the wind at their backs in the first half, but it was Banchory who threatened first, with Shand working his way forward to find Horne, whose shot flew over.
United were forced into a change halfway through the opening period, when Scott Clark had to retire. Steve Gunn came on to replace the central defender and the visitors struck before the reorganised United back line had time to adjust, with Fettes taking advantage of hesitancy to latch on to a long through ball and fire Banchory into the lead.
Ellon drew level seven minutes later when Keith Walker moved clear only to be tripped by Salmon as he rounded the keeper.
The home side were awarded a penalty, with keeper Salmon possibly lucky to remain on the park as he only received a yellow card. Niall Corser stepped forward to drill home the spot kick.
United snatched the lead three minutes before the interval when Banchory were unable to get the ball clear from a corner and for the third game running Keith Walker pounced to put Ellon ahead.
Following the break, it took a fine save from Ross Buchanan to prevent Banchory from cashing in on a moment of slackness from the home side. the keeper managed to turn the ball away for a corner, which was wasted by the visitors.
United increased their lead in the 72nd. Keith Walker fed the ball to Chris Craib, whose inviting cross was nodded on by Martin Foy, with Matty Edmond moving in to head the ball beyond Salmon.
With neither side able to add to their tally in the final twenty minutes, United were able to celebrate a final win to end their playing season on a high note.
On the downside, however, Ryan Petrie had previously informed his players of his intention to stand down at the end of this season as he felt that the role of managing a team at Junior FA level was just a step too far at this stage in his football career.
United’s main aim at this stage was to maintain their Super League status and, thanks to Ryan, his support team and players, this was finally achieved with points to spare. United must now once again look for a management team.
An interested spectator at Saturday’s game was Jamie Buchan. The Hatton striker who was on loan to United from Peterhead suffered a bad knee injury early on in the season when playing for Peterhead in a Scottish Youth Cup match against Aberdeen.
He has now has his operation and is on the mend, but will obviously be out of action for some considerable time yet.
The winning numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six draw were 2, 3, 5, 13, 18 and 20 and with no one picking the full set, the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1000 with the selection 6 from 20. The winners of the £10 consolation prizes were M Watts and R Marshall.
Ellon United: Buchanan, Irvine, Craib, Corser, Allsop, Clark (Gunn), Johnson, Forsyth, Edmond, Walker (Willox), McKeitch (Foy). Subs: Chalmers, Huggins, K Reid, A Reid.
Banchory St Ternan: Salmon, Skene, Robertson, Galashan, Shand, Forbes, Mcrae, Fettes, Watt, Horne, Ritchie. Subs: Lawrence, Cruickshank, Fuller, McKenzie.