With only thirteen fit players available, Ellon United were forced to shuffle their pack again for their trip to Culter on Saturday.
At least United were managed to put out a more balanced team with players in more accustomed positions, but despite a spirited display by their inexperienced squad they were forced to concede defeat, eventually going down 3–1.
Culter played down the slope in the first half and despite some early home pressure it was home keeper Reid who was forced into action with a save to deny Callum Tremaine after Calum Annand and Aiden Greig had linked up to set up the opening.
Culter continued to threaten without breaking down the United defence and in the 19th minute Reid was forced into action again from an Aiden Greig shot after neat build up play between Jack Sim and Dev Kennedy–Colbert.
Two minutes later a shot from Michael Taylor hit the side netting although Callum Steer in the United goal looked to have the shot covered.
Reid saved from Lenny Johnson in the 28th minute but two minutes later Culter opened the scoring when Michael Taylor out- muscled his marker and broke to cross for substitute Smith to score from close in.
An excellent tackle prevented Dev Kennedy–Colbert from running clear after a neat one-two with Jack Sim almost put the United striker clean through.
To make matters worse, Culter knocked the ball forward and although Steer did well to make the initial save, Shaun Taylor was on hand to force home the loose ball to give the home side a 2–0 lead at the interval.
United made a change eight minutes into the second half with Lewis McCauley returning after his lengthy spell to replace Greig in midfield.
Ellon found themselves three down when Leith found himself in the right position to meet a cross from the left and his header flew into the net.
United were forced into a second change in the 64th minute when Jonathon Millsom was injured and was replaced by Grant Anderson at the heart of the defence.
Ellon refused to lie down and were rewarded for their efforts in the 78th minute when Johnson worked his way clear down the right and fired in a dangerous low cross which was knocked out to Scott McLeod, who fired home from the edge of the box. United had the home side rocking for a spell but were unable to grab a second goal to really put them under more pressure.
ELLON UNITED: Steer, Annand, Craib, Sim, Scully, Millsom (Grant Anderson), Tremaine, McLeod, Kennedy – Colbert, Johnson, Greig (McCauley).
CULTER: Reid, McArthur, Milne, Thomson, Heads, Cromar, M. Taylor, S. Taylor, Youngson, McKimmie, Leith, Shand, Smith, Presly, Smyth, Thomson.
United travel to Stonehaven on Saturday. Following their recent disappointments they should be boosted by their positive overall performance against the vastly more experienced Culter with keeper Steer putting in an outstanding display setting the example for all those in front of him. The match kicks off at the earlier time of 1.30pm.