Ellon win secures Division 1 future
Ellon Amateurs travelled to Maryculter to play Glendale in search of the victory and three points which would guarantee their continued survival in Division 1.
After a great victory in mid-week against promotion chasing Stoneywood, the mood in the Ellon camp was good.
That good feeling was to get even better after just a few seconds into the game.
From Glendale’s kick-off, the ball went directly to Ellon’s Chris Hamilton. The striker then played a great diagonal ball to Longmuir, who took no time in rifling what was an unstoppable strike past keeper Walker to put the visitors one up.
A quick goal to settle early nerves was just what Ellon needed. However, Glendale were determined to show that they were not just there to make up the numbers.
The home side responded as firstly Kilminster headed over from a corner, before flying winger Stewart had a great run, only to see his shot being well held by Dickinson.
Craig Smith of Ellon was getting more into the game as the half progressed. One of his well-directed corners caused panic in the Glendale defence, before the ball was scrambled off the line and away to relative safety. The respite was brief, however, as Smith then turned sharply away from his marker to fire in an effort which just went past.
Another great through ball by Hamilton, who was having a field day in the middle of the park, released Bain.
The Ellon man ran in on goal, only to see his chipped attempt come back off the bar and be cleared to safety.
However, Ellon were not to be denied the comfort of a second goal. Smith again bamboozled two defenders and tried an audacious curling left foot effort. It went into the proverbial postage stamp via the inside of the post with Glendale keeper Walker left helpless.
Even at two down, Glendale remained a dangerous prospect, with the knowledge that a single goal would get them right back into the game.
Oag went close as he ran past a couple of Ellon players and closed in on goal. Nevertheless, Dickinson was more than equal to the midfielder’s effort from seven yards.
The speedy Stewart, who had caused Ellon defender Morrison a lot of trouble throughout the half, once again set off down the wing. However, both Smith and Birnie picked up yellow cards for attempting to halt his progress unfairly.
Stewart was certainly causing Ellon problems. Manager Booth responded, and in a bid to to try and shore up the left side of his defence, he brought on the more experienced Slesser for Morrison to see if he would be able to deal more effectively with Stewart.
Ellon started the second period in search of the third goal which would seal the game for them.
An early effort saw Dempster play a great through ball to Bain. However, the striker was off target with his finish.
Glendale continued to threaten, however, and Ellon were lucky not to concede as Slesser popped up on the line to clear and keep the two goal advantage intact.
Wilson also came to the visitors rescue with a great last ditch challenge on Taylor. Dickinson was the next to perform heroics for Ellon as he saved from Potter and then was alert enough to also clear the rebound.
Ellon very nearly managed to score a third when a wicked inswinging corner from Smith hit the post. The rebound broke to Hamilton who could only manage to direct the rebound past the post.
Glendale looked to up their efforts as the game neared its end. Stewart again left the Ellon defence in tatters with his pace but Dickinson saved bravely at his feet.
Taylor then met a McConnachie cross with his head. However, the Glendale man could only watch as his effort sailed just past the upright.
A great run by Slesser down the left almost led to a third for the visitors. He sent in a cross which was met by Dempster. However, the Ellon man’s effort again hit the post.
With the final whistle looming, Ellon then looked to run down the clock by making substitutions, which saw Taylor replacing Longmuir and Sutherland coming onto the field in place of second goalscorer Smith.
The 0-2 final score represented a great away result for Ellon. However, most importantly for everyone associated with the club, the result also makes sure that they will retain their Division 1 status for next season.
With the nucleus of a good squad at his disposal, manager Booth will doubtless be looking to build for a promotion push next season and to leave the many trials and tribulations of season 2011-2012 well behind.
Man of the match: Ellon - Ryan Birnie. Glendale - Callum Stewart
Ellon: Dickinson, McShea, Morrison, Urquhart, Wilson, Birnie, Longmuir. Hamilton, Bain, Dempster, Smith
Substitutes: Cumming, Taylor, Slesser, Sutherland.