Ellon United’s matches against Dyce usually turn-out to be tight affairs and Saturday’s fixture was no exception.
In atrocious conditions, Dyce ran out 3-2 winners at Ian Mair Park to go top of the table.
The Aberdeen side had the edge in the first half, but United had the better of the second period.
Things looked to be swinging Ellon’s way at 2-2 and with the home side reduced to ten men, but their experience showed and they grabbed the vital third goal with 15 minutes left.
With Grant Thomson added to the injury lust, and Paul Leahy unavailable, United were again forced to ring the changes. Ryan Rozanski and Chris Craib were available to come into midfield with Calum Annand moving back to a defensive role.
It was Dyce who opened on the front foot only to be caught in the fourth minute. Callum Tremaine beat his marker and found Ryan Stewart who cut inside and squared to Craib who steadied himself before beating Buchanan with a low shot at the former United keeper’s left hand post.
Dyce hit back to force a corner with the ball cleared off the line, then in the 13th minute Morrison shot over.
Ellon were punished in the 16th minute when Dyce were allowed to play the ball around on the edge of the United box, setting up Stewart with the space to pick his spot.
Tremaine did well to beat the towering home central defence to a cross from Blair Jiohnston, only to see his header flash over the bar.
Dyce took the lead when McNamee moved on to a long kick out from Buchanan and ran on to shoot home.
Annand was unable to appear for the second half with Lenny Johnston coming into a midfield role and Rozanski moving into defence.
Ellon were again quick out of the scoring blocks after the break with a 49th minute equaliser. Johnston held the ball up before releasing Rozanski on the overlap and his fine cross was finished off by Stewart.
Dyce were reduced to ten men over the last period when substitute Burke was punished for a challenge in midfield. It was difficult to judge what had happened from the sideline, but the referee was well positioned and had no hesitation in producing a red card.
United were now creating half chances without being able to apply a telling touch and they were caught in the 75th minute when Dyce broke and got behind the defence to square the ball for Gordon to net the winner.
Neil Erskine replaced Craig as Ellon tried to get back level, but they were unable to breach the home defence again.
Ellon United: Buckley, Annand (Johnston), Whelan, Reid, Millsom, Rozanski, Craib (Erskine), Stwaet, Tremaine, Morrice, Kwiatkowski.
Dyce: Buchanan, Thomson, Dolan, Stewart, Douglas, Steel, Brownhill, M Bartlett, McNameee, Giordon, S Morrison, S Bartlett, Ealton, Burke, A Morrison, Coyle.
Ellon have a home match on Saturday when East End visit The Meadows. The game kicks off at 2pm.