Hermes clinched the PMAC Superleague title on Saturday with a 5-0 win over Ellon United at Uniconn Park - a defeat which leaves United firmly in the relegation zone.
Ellon’s new management team of Chris Allsop and Michael Cramp took over after the departure of Bruce Morrison last week and the manner of Saturday’s loss was all the more disappointing following the encouraging display at against Culter at the Meadows in midweek. United were unlucky to go down 2–1.
United`s Andy Anderson had a penalty saved before a another first half penalty was converted by Lenny Johnson to give Ellon a half-time lead.
Culter equalised in controversal fashion when they were allowed to play on with United expecting a free kick but the home side could have no complaints on the way they lost the second goal after being punished for weak defending at a corner which lead to Culter scrambling the ball home. United pressed for an equaliser right to the end but to no avail.
They faced a major challenge on Saturday in visiting a strong Hermes outfit who knew that a win would give them the league and their bid could not have got off to a better start.
The visitors found themselves a goal behind with less than two minutes played and it was entirely their own fault.
They conceded possession in the middle of the park and allowed the ball to be switched out wide and crossed to find a static defence standing watching as the home attacker moved in unchallenged to tap home.
Although United lacked any threat at least they held their own for the rest of the half despite their dreadful start.
United were forced into changes at the interval with Andy Anderson replacing Dev Kennedy-Colbert and Chris Craib returning from injury to replace Andy Smith.
Hermes second goal thirteen minutes into the second half was another defensive nightmare with a complete mix-up at the near post giving the champions another gifted tap in.
United’s final change saw Fraser Tait forced off to be replaced by Scott McLeod and before the dust had time to settle Ellon found themselves further behind when they failed to match Jack`s movement at a corner and the striker headed home.
Ellon had a great chance to peg the home side back in the 73rd minute when Callum Tremaine was taken down in the box but this time Lenny Johnson telegraphed his spot kick and allowed Sweeney to make a comfortable save.
To make matters even worse the keeper’s long clearance saw his opposite number and a defender leave the ball for the other to deal with as it ran harmlessly through with a Hermes striker running in to give the home team yet another simple goal.
United carved open the Hermes defence for once but Sweeney made a good block to deny Scott McLeod from close in with the goal at his mercy – definitely not United’s day.
Hermes again showed their visitors the route to goal when United were unable to prevent a good cross coming in and the home side rounded off the scoring with a powerful header.
Ellon United: Steer, Annand, Mathieson, Thomson, Tait (McLeod), Crisp, Johnson, Smith (Craib), Kennedy-Colbert (Anderson), Erskine, Tremaine, Greig, Watson.
Hermes: Sweeney, Nash, L Smith, Strachan, Winton, Cruickshank, Macklin, Stewart, Jack, Stevenson, Dawson, Fuller, Wilson, Pirie, Thomson, M Smith.
United were always going to be up against against a Hermes side whose physicality and mobility has seen them win the league but the way in which they lost was disappointing in that they conceded three of the worst possible goals and proceeded to pass up all of the few chances which came their way.
United play their last away match of the season on Saturday with their rescheduled trip to Stonehaven. United sadly lost one of their most loyal supporters with the death of Bill Johnstone on Sunday, April 19. BJ and some of his friends have supported United for years, in all weathers through thick and thin, and his presence and dry sense of humour has been sadly missed since he
had to go into hospital.
Meanwhile, the numbers in United`s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 1, 3, 4, 6, 11 and 12 and no one picked the full set. The next draw will be on Sunday, May 17 with the selection 6 from 20. The consolation prizewinner was Leslie Stephen.