ELLON United edged into the third round of the Dominos Pizza North Regional Cup after emerging 3-1 winners in a penalty shoot-out against Banks O’ Dee at the Meadows on Saturday.
The sides were level at 2-2 at the end of regulation time. Dee dominated much of the first half and might well have added to their 18th minute goal but an equaliser within a minute of the restart brought United level. Ellon went ahead six minutes from time, but Dee pegged them back three minutes later.
The Aberdeen side pushed United back early on and should have done better in the 12th minute with a shot which was deflected for a corner, with the ball eventually forced clear.
United conceded a needless free kick in the 18th minute and paid a heavy price with Murray’s wicked inswinger finding the far corner.
The visitors were awraded another free kick in the 24th minute, but the United defence stood firm.
Ellon survived a couple of penalty shouts before giving away another unnecessary free kick on the half hour mark. This time Shand’s shot was blasted into the wall and Dee were unable to add to their first half lead.
United moved into the attack straight from the restart and forced a corner which was turned home by Mark Lawson to level matters. An ideal start to the second period.
Ellon almost took the leadsix minutes later through a free kick from Calum Annand which clipped the top of the bar.
A promising break by United cam to nothing when Ryan Stewart was left isolated and outnumbered by the Dee defence. It was the visitors’ turn to survive a home penalty appeal when Callum Dunbar appeared to be sent tumbling in the box.
United made a change in the 82 minute with Willie Mathers replacing Darren Bailey on the left, and the home side went ahead two minutes later from another corner with Callum Dunbar converting Mather’s cross.
Dee were reduced to ten men for the closing stages when Murray was red-carded in an incident which saw United’s Annan cautioned.
It was Dee who struc in the 88th minute when a diagonal free kick was kncoked back into the box and Winton timed his run to fire home the equaliser and sent the tie to penalty kicks.
Dee scored with the first penalty with Ryan Stewart squaring matters . Ellon keeper Callum Steer came into his own with excellent saves to keep out Dee’s next three penalties and Annand and Blair Johnston converted their kicks.
Ellon United: Steer, Millsom, Johnston, Tait, Reid, Lawson, Annand, Whelan, Stewart, Dunbar, Bailey (Mathers), Allsop, Johnson, Croll, Leahy.
Banks O’ Dee: Stark, Thomson, Turnbull, Cameron, Allan, Winton, Greig, Scaiffe, McCall, Shand, Murray, Lynch, Douglas, Morrison, Robinso, Forbes.
United return to league business on Saturday with a visit to Dyce. Having suffered a 5-1 defeat by Banks O’ Dee the previous week, Dyce bounced back with a comprehensive 5-1 cup victory over Hermes. The match has a 2pm kick off.