ONCE more Ellon United should have returned with more to show for their efforts from their Grill League Cup trip to East End at the weekend.
In the end they had to settle for a 1-1 draw after getting off to a flying start, then squandering a host of chances playing down the slope in the second half.
United took a first minute lead when Ryan Stewart converted from the penalty spot after Lenny Johnson had been taken down by keeper McTavish.
Ellon failed to build on their good start and the home side began to cause the United defence problems as they took advantage of the slope. Kirkwood drove over from a free kick then with nearly 20 minutes gone, a Ross header from another free kick flew over the bar.
East End should have drawn level a minute later when Laing waltzed far too easily through the United rearguard only to knock the ball wide as Callum Steer moved off his line to close the striker down.
However, there was no escape four minutes later when P McKay moved clear on to a simple through ball and this time there was no mistake.
United broke upfield straight from the restart through Willie Mathers, but his final effort lacked the power to trouble keeper McTavish.
Ellon were forced into making a couple of changes in the 37th and 38th minutes with Scott Whelan replacing Calum Annand in midfield, and Chris Eadie coming on up front for Ryan Stewart.
United should have regained the lead five minutes after the interval when Mark Lawson moved forward to meet an excellent corner from Willie Mathers, only to send his header over the bar. Six minutes later another cross from Mathers set up a chance for Lenny Johnson whose effort was charged down and bobbled up into the keeper’s arms.
The home side had another escape within a minute when McTavish was caught stranded from his goal, but Chris Eadie’s chip drifted just wide.
Two minutes later Johnathon Millsom broke down the right and his cutback found Chris Eadie, but he tried to steady himself and the chance was lost.
Ellon made their last change in the 79th minute with Darren Bailey replacing Lenny Johnson. United continued to waste chances with Darren Bailey heading wide yet another Mathers corner, and Mark Lawson heading over from a Bailey corner as time ran out for the visitors.
Ellon United: Steer, Millsom, Johnston, Leahy, Lawson, Allsop, Annand (Whelan), Bremner, Stewart (Eadie), Johnson (Bailey), Mathers, Groate, Croll.