WITH both Ellon and Newmachar involved in the battle to avoid the drop, this was definitely viewed as a six pointer by both teams. Manager Moir decided to go with a more experienced and resilient team with a view to being more direct. Steven Morris returned after a couple of seasons away. Terry Johnston and Fraser Thomson got their first start of the season. With only three players left from the previous week, the changes were certainly radical but necessary.
The home side started brightly, with Johnston and Thomson combining well on the left. It was from a foul on Johnston after only 5 minutes that Ellon took the lead. Taylor played a long ball into the box, which was knocked by Thornton. The ball fell kindly 8 yards out to Murray, who met the ball sweetly to volley home, although keeper Johnston should have done better.
Thornton was causing problems both with his aerial ability and his long throw. It was from one of these throws that Johnston shot narrowly past. He also won an aerial battle in the box, but young Thomson could not convert. Kevin Anderson was prominent on his return for Ellon as his pace carried him clear of the away defence, only for his crosses to find no takers.
Fraser Thomson then had a good chance to open his account for Ellon but his well struck effort was blocked. Morris was using his experience to good effect in defence for Ellon, and he will be a useful addition to the side at this stage of the season. At half time, the score stood at 1-0 to Ellon.
Ellon started the second period very tentatively, and were pegged back just five minutes into the half when a slight pull by Morris was spotted by the referee and he awarded a penalty to Newmachar. Pirie stepped up to send McLaren the wrong way.
The away side took confidence from this goal and pressed forward, with Campbell delivering a great low cross which was missed by everyone. With only 10 minutes of the half gone Ellon had to replace injured keeper McLaren with Cumming. He certainly proved his worth, with a fine double save to keep Ellon level.
Ellon replaced the tiring McShea with Wilson as they looked to get back in front. With 22 minutes of the game left Ellon once more took the lead when Thomson squared to Murray, whose shot was fumbled by Johnston and Anderson was on hand to stab home. This settled the homesters nerves for a period.
Newmachar had a great chance to level again when Neil Campbell was left free inside the box, but he put his header over. Hamilton was introduced with 10 left to see if Ellon could polish off the opposition once and for all. However, the goal that sealed it came from an unexpected source, with Lee Morrison scoring with five minutes left. Nobody can remember his last goal, but he could not have picked a better time to open his account for Ellon as he side-footed home from the edge of the box.
Ellon: McLaren, Morrison, Johnston, Taylor, Morris, Taylor, Murray, McShea, Dempster, Thornton, Anderson, Thomson. Subs : Cumming, Wilson, Hamilton, McGill, Knox
Newmachar United: Johnston, Nicol, Christain Campbell, Cunningham, Neil Campbell, Farquhar, Pirie, Adam, Lornie, Burns, Hedley. Subs : Jamie Ogg, Robert Will, Marc Ogg
Man of the Match - Ellon: Adam Wilson; Newmachar: David Hedley
Ellon played much better in a very important fixture. A more physical and experienced team certainly did the business. This win has seen Ellon jump four places in the league, and may well kick start a revival which will guarantee their league one status for next season.