Ellon United kicked off the new season with a 2-1 win over Hall Russell United in their Grill League Cup qualifying section at the Meadows on Saturday.
United were left with a player shortage due to injury, work and holiday commitments but had Tony Buckley once again as an able stand-in for the injured Callum Steer in goal. Callum Tremaine was back from holiday to take a place on the bench.
The home side were forced into an early change after only 15 minutes with Tremaine replacing the injured Jack Sim, but the striker made a real impact by giving them the lead in the 33rd minute with a well-executed finish.
Tremaine, who finished leading scorer last season, added his second six minutes into the second half when he collected a through ball from Grant Thomson and ran on to slot the ball low past the helpless Carroll in the Russell goal.
Ellon blotted their copybook in the 60th minute when they lost possession in midfield and were punished by a fine break up the visitors’ right with Mackie setting up Whitfield for a simple finish.
With the home defence marshalled by Chris Allsop and Jonathon Millsom at their heart copying with any pressure, Ellon were able to see out time to pick up the opening points.
Ellon United: Buckley, Annand, Craib, Thomson, Millsom, Allsop, Greig, Sim (Tremaine), Erskine, McLeod, Robertson.
Hall Russell United: Carroll, Davidson, Forbes, Hay, Mackie, Mearns, Mines, Morgan, Whitfield, Macynish, Reid, Simpson, Spink, Tait.
Ellon travel to Banchory St Ternan on Saturday for their opening league match of the season.