Ellon returned to league duty with a tough fixture versus Beacon Rangers at the Meadows.
Ellon manager Willox was forced into a couple of changes with Wilson and Birnie coming in for Sutherland and Dempster in the heart of the back three.
Again he had a strong bench to choose from with the experienced Finnie able to cover most positions on the park.
A fairly evenly contested first half saw a dour midfield struggle marred by the sending off of Martin Buchan after just 25 minutes for a two footed challenge on Stinson. If the referee had taken a stronger hand with some earlier challenges then this sending off may not have happened. But as it was, going down to 10 men seemed to galvanise the home side with More inspiring all around him with a battling performance.
Early on, Slesser broke from the back for Ellon and set off on a rampaging run to release Smith but the move petered out. Beacon had to make an early change as an injury forced McClure out of the game to be replaced by Mackay. This did not affect them too much and a clever ball from Crombie released Scott but Dickinson held on in a crowded penalty area.
Smith for Ellon was finding it difficult to make an impression in a towsy affair, but his almost telepathic understanding with Bain was always likely to bring Ellon a chance or two.
Ellon started the second period brightly as Bain won a corner which Longmuir took. The ball was cleared to Barrett who hit a decent strike just over. But with just 3 minutes of the half gone the visitors took the lead when Scott was allowed to run into the box past a static Ellon defence and slot home.
It did not take Ellon long to get back on terms when, 4 minutes later, a clever ball from Smith released Bain who retained his composure to fire the home side level. This really set the home team alight as Bain went on a mission to put the home side in front. First he had a lofted effort which just went past the far post and then he met a Longmuir cross but his effort was saved,
With 30 minutes to go, Ellon were forced into a substitution due to an injury to Smith. Knight came on up front and what a change it proved to be.
A long ball from Dickinson found Thomson who played a clever ball to Bain. Knight met the resultant cross with a glancing header to send the home support into raptures.
With 9 minutes left Finnie replaced the tireless Bain as Ellon looked to see the game out but it was not to be as sub Mackay hit a great half volley from 20 yards to give Dickinson no chance with what was virtually the last kick of the game.
Ellon battled bravely with 10 men after the sending off against a physical Beacon side. They came so close to a much needed victory but it was not to be. Dougie More had one of his best performances in an Ellon shirt as he fought hard in the middle of the park.
After losing a man, Ellon would have probably settled for a draw but to come within a minute of winning was hard to take. But if the squad show the same level of commitment and endeavour in every game then league results will come.
Man of the Match: Ellon : Ryan Birnie; Beacon Rangers : Gavin Walker
Ellon: Ellon: Dickinson, Wilson, Buchan, Birnie, Slesser, More, Longmuir, Barrett, Bain, Smith, Thomson. Subs : Nicol, Knight, Finnie, Morrison, Taylor.