United hit Stoney ground in cup exit

FC Stoneywood 2 - 0 Ellon United

Ellon United went out in the first round of the GA Engineering Inter Regional Cup when they lost out away to FC Stoneywood last weekend.

Injuries, illness and unavailability through work and other commitments on top of two suspensions left United with only eleven fit players for the tie, including new signing Fraser Tait. The former Formartine United midfielder has just returned from college and came into the midfield to replace the injured Niall Corser. He manfully played his part before his lack of games caught up with him and he tired to be replaced by Blair Johnston, who himself had only made the bench after having spent some days in his sick bed. With too many players forced to play in unfamiliar roles the visitors lacked any flow to their play for long spells and eventually paid the price, although the turning point of the opening goal proved controversial.

Most of the opening action was in the direction of the Ellon goal. McKechnie lost his marker to meet a long cross in the 7th minute but sent a weak header straight at Ross Buchanan. The United keeper was back in action within a minute as Skinner was allowed to make ground far too easily, before sending in his shot which was comfortably dealt with. United finally hit back to force a corner with Mark Lawson heading Greg Simpson`s cross back across goal but the ball went harmlessly beyond the far post with no Ellon shirts attacking the ball.

The United goal survived a real scramble in the 13th minute with the ball eventually knocked behind for a corner, which was cleared first time. Five minutes later, a careless pass out of defence was pounced on but the parting shot again failed to test Ross Buchanan. United began to show more threat and some neat approach work up their left saw the ball fed to Greg Simpson whose cut back was forced away at the expense of a corner.

Stoneywood`s Stevenson attempted a dramatic overhead effort which went way wide, with Ellon responding through Ross Forsyth who made space out wide to get in his cross which was just fractionally high for Fraser Tait, who had made up the ground to get into the goalmouth only for his header to go high. The half ended with Greg Simpson firing a shot wide.

The stalemate was broken fifteen minutes into the second half. Ellon were unable to prevent the ball getting into their box and although the home side looked to be well offside, particularly Stevenson who got the final touch right in front of the United goal, Referee Milne who had no Assistants on the day allowed the goal to stand despite all the visitors` protests. The scoring was wrapped up ten minutes later when United were caught out pushing forward in search of an equaliser, allowing the experienced Farmer to break clear and his cut back was finished off by McKechnie.

ELLON UNITED: Buchanan, Lawson, Craib, Gunn, Allsop, Irvine, Annand (Chalmers), Forsyth, Johnson, Tait (Johnston), Simpson.

FC STONEYWOOD: Gibson, Lamb, Metelski, Strachan, Anderson, Rintoul, McKechnie, Cromar, Skinner, Stevenson, Farmer, Choumon, Clark, Marwick.