Ellon fightback stuns Hermes

Hermes keeper Sweeney is beaten by a looping header for Ellon's first goal.
Hermes keeper Sweeney is beaten by a looping header for Ellon's first goal.

Ellon United battled back from two down to share the points with champions Hermes at the Meadows on Saturday.

Keeper Callum Steer was the home hero saving a stoppage time penalty.

Ellon faced a strong Hermes side in their opening league fixture of the New Year.

The visitors opened on the front foot but it was United who came close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute when Paul Leahy nodded a free kick from Scott Whelan into the path of Mark Lawson whose shot went past the post.

Neat work out wide from Hermes resulted in P Cruickshank cutting inside his marker only to send his shot wide.

United found themselves in trouble a minute later. An attempted clearance flew up in the air and as the home defence struggled to force the ball clear the visitors were awarded a soft penalty for hand ball.

Callum Steer managed to block I Cruickshank’s spot kick, but Robertson was quickest to react to net the rebound.

Hermes won a free kick in the 10th minute with Robertson getting above the Ellon defence to meet the cross but headed well over.

The visitors were dominating the outfield play at this stage without troubling Steer’s goal but in the 18th minute United were caught when they were unable to cut out a cross from the right which fell to Wilson and he promptly drilled the ball into the far corner to add to Hermes’ lead.

United had the chance to reduce the leeway in the 23rd minute but Leahy was unable to make good contact and his effort failed to trouble keeper Sweeney.

Despite Hermes still being the stronger, Ellon were able to create the better chances and Mark Lawson was just off target with a header from a corner to keep the scoreline at 2-0 at the break.

United made their first change seven minutes into the second half with Willie Mathers replacing Jordan Morrice on the left. Ten minutes later determined play by Ryan Stewart won the United striker a half chance but his shot went just wide although the keeper appeared to have it covered.

Play switched to the other end from the kick out and a headed clearance fell kindly to Smith, but the Hermes defender’s shot went way over the bar.

United made a second change with Callum Dunbar entering the fray up front and the withdrawal of defender Johnathon Millsom, with the home side changing their defensive line up to three at the back.

Ellon were thrown a lifeline in the 74th minute when Mark Lawson again rose well to meet a free kick and send his looping header into the top corner although the keeper should have done better.

United squared matters in the 82nd minute when a cross from Calum Annand was headed back into the danger area and Dunbar nipped in to head home.

With the game into stoppage time Hermes were awarded another penalty but this time Steer’s save was blasted over the bar.

Ellon travel to face Deveronside in the league on Saturday. Kick off 1.30pm.