Ellon edge into cup second round with narrow win

Ellon's Grant Thomson gets the praise after netting the opening goal against Stonehaven.
Ellon's Grant Thomson gets the praise after netting the opening goal against Stonehaven.

Ellon United edged into the second round of the GA Engineering Inter Regional Cup with a 2-1 win over a much-changed Stonehaven side at the Meadows on Saturday.

United held the advantage in the first half and went ahead in the 17th minute but were caught out on the break in the 32nd minute with Stonehaven grabbing the equaliser.

Ellon regained the lead before the visitors were reduced to ten men about midway through the second half. The numbers were evened up when Ellon’s Matty Bremner saw red for a second caution.

United opened on the front foot and in the seventh minute Scott Whelan released Jordan Morrice whose cross was met by Lenny Johnson, but his effort was parried by keeper Capstiki for a corner.

Four minutes later a cross from Matty Bremner came back off the face of the bar with the keeper scrambling across his goal.

Stonehaven’s Taylor was proving a handful and when he broke forward on the quarter hour mark it took a timely challenge from Whelan to break up the attack at the expense of a corner, which flew across the box without anyone getting a touch.

Ellon opened the scoring two minutes later when Grant Thomson worked a neat one-two with Morrice to move forward and shoot home low into the bottom corner.

The home side looked to have the game under control for the next fifteen minutes without putting the Stonehaven goal under any great pressure, but were completely caught out in the counter in the 32nd minute.

A penetrating run by Johnson saw him break forward and find his strike partner Callum Tremaine whose first-time shot was well held by Capstiki. From his clearance Taylor shrugged off his marker and made good ground before cutting the ball inside to Wilson to fire home the equaliser.

United’s Johnson failed to appear for the second half with Ryan Stewart taking his place in the home attack. Thomson came close to adding his second in the 52nd minute but his parting shot flew just wide.

United conceded a silly free kick with a rash challenge and the ball was squared to Shand whose shot was deflected for a corner.

Four minutes later Callum Steer came to United’s rescue with a fine save at the feet of Taylor who had again run clear.

The keeper picked out Blair Johnston with his throw-out and he strode forward to release Tremaine whose shot was parried behind by Capstiki for a corner.

Ellon regained the lead in the 65th minute with Morrice breaking down the left and finding Stewart who scored with a deft flick beyond the advancing keeper.

Stonehaven found themselves reduced to ten men when their goalscorer, Wilson, was red carded in an incident which also saw United’s Bremner cautioned.

With 70 minutes gone, a reckless challenge in the slippery conditions led to a Stonehaven free-kick which allowed them to push forward but the home defence stood firm.

Ellon made a second change a minute later with Neil Erskine replacing Tremaine. The home side were reduced to ten men in the 84th minute when Brmener picked up a red card for a second booking.

The closing minutes could have gone either way until United settled down and carved out two openings with Morrice first finding the side netting and then being denied by a fine stop by Capstiki.

Ellon United: Steer, Bremner, Johnston, Whelan, Leahy, Reid, Annand, Thomson, Johnson (Stewart), Tremaine (Erskine), Morrice, Carib.

Stonehaven: Capstiki, Goate, Matheison, Pyper, Shand, Sinclair, Moorhouse, Davidson, Wilson, Workman, Taylor, Sulkevious, Low.

United are on their travels on Saturday with a trip to Banchory St Ternan on league business. Kick-off is 2pm.