North End halt Ellon United’s cup adventure

Ellon United's Neil Erskine takes the shot that would turn into the team's only goal of the match against Dundee North End
Ellon United's Neil Erskine takes the shot that would turn into the team's only goal of the match against Dundee North End

Ellon United`s GA Engineering Inter Regional Cup adventure ended last weekend when they lost 3 – 1 to Dundee North End at The Meadows in their quarter final tie.

Injuries and holidays meant that United were forced to change things around and with Jonathon Millsom injured and Fraser Tait on holiday they had to play a new central defensive pairing of Matty Bremner and Shaun Robertson.

The omens looked good when the home side raced into an early lead but an own goal with just over half an hour played brought the visitors all square although they had been able to use their distinct height advantage to make life awkward for United at set pieces.

Another unfortunate own goal following a fine initial North End strike put the visitors ahead eleven minutes into the second half before the visitors scored in the 80th minute to settle matters.

United took only three minutes to take the lead when Lenny Johnson released Neil Erskine on the right and he cut inside to beat the keeper at his far post.

North End began to force their way into the game with their pacey front men causing a problem as well as the threat from their tall defenders coming forward for set pieces.

A quick break saw United keeper Callum Steer forced to turn the ball behind for a corner and the home defence had to deal with the threat from a number of corners.

Ironically it was a low cross in the 33rd minute which lead to the North End equaliser.

The home side were unable to force the ball cleanly away with Aiden Greig finally turning the ball into his own net.

North End got their noses in front in the 56th minute, Reece Ritchie looked to have been out of luck when his shot hit Callum Steer`s bar but in bouncing out the ball hit the back of the United keeper and spun agonisingly back over his line to give the visitors the lead.

United made a change in the 65th minute with Scott McLeod replacing Aiden Greig. Ellon were just managing to handle the North End front men and the home side looked to have snatched an equaliser when Chris Craib met a cross from Calum Annand only to see his header tipped behind by the North End keeper for a corner.

United had a stroke of luck when a North End header from a corner came back off the near post but their relief was short lived when McCabe ran through to shoot home with the home side looking for an offsides` flag.

Callum Tremaine replaced Lenny Johnson over the closing ten minutes as the home side looked in vain for another goal.

United return to the all important business of searching for league points next Saturday with a crucial home match against Hall Russell United.

United will hope to keep up their 100 per cent record against the Denmore side this season as the teams are locked on the same points with both desperately in need of a win.