An extremely frustrating all-round performance from Ellon United saw them squander three points in a 3-2 home defeat by Dufftown on Saturday.
At times United defended poorly, were weak and careless in midfield and lacked composure up front and the fact that they showed flashes of good play made things all the more annoying.
The home side could well have gone in with a commanding lead at the interval only to find themselves 1–0 down. In the second period Ellon gifted their visitors two goals and although they did manage to pull two back they have only themselves to blame for surrendering the points.
A sixth minute shot by Lenny Johnson flew wide but Dufftown went in front five minutes later when a headed clearance fell to Main who curled his shot from the edge of the box into the top corner.
United responded with keeper McIntosh making a fine save from Lenny Johnson. The ball broke out to Dean McDonald whose shot was deflected for a corner.
Scott McLeod met the cross but his header was cleared off the line. United continued to waste chances but at the same time they had to be watchful to avoid falling further behind.
Ellon made an early change at the start of the second half with Tito Silva replacing Neil Erskine but with only three minutes of the second half gone United conceded a second goal out of nothing.
A poor pass in midfield gifted Dufftown the ball and allowed them to break forward with United posted missing to present McLaren with a simple scoring opportunity.
Stung into action, Ellon pulled a goal back two minutes later through a fine header from McDonald and almost squared things only to see Martin Crisp’s effort crash back off the bar.
United’s slipshod tendencies crept in again in the 59th minute and once again it was the sloppy way in which they conceded possession which could have proved costly but this time when Dufftown broke their shot cannoned back off the far post.
Ellon made a double change in the 61st minute - Greig and Matthew Tewnion replacing McDonald and Steven Benzie.
Three minutes later the home side gifted Dufftown their third goal when yet more careless play in the middle of the park and a lack of cover allowed the visitors to break.
Wood’s effort from distance looked to have been covered but somehow the ball found the bottom corner.
Once again United’s reply was incisive. Excellent build up play lead to the ball being fed out to James Wilson whose dangerous cross was headed home by Lenny Johnson.
United continued to create chances to draw level but were unable to cash in on any of their openings and were left to rue what might have been.
Ellon United: McKinnon, Tremaine, Steven Benzie (Tewnion), Craib, Tait, Crisp, Wilson (McLeod), McDonald (Greig), Erskine (Silva), Johnson, Marshall, Blair.
Dufftown: S McIntosh, Robertson, Wood, Mackie, Bowie, Tippings, McLaren, Main, Grant, Conolly, Mitchell, S McIntosh, Stables, Reid, Harris, Ogg.
United get a break from league duty on Saturday for their second round tie in the Scottish Junior Cup against St Rochs at the Meadows. St Rochs are based in the Provanmill area of Glasgow and currently sit in second spot in the Central District First Division of the West Region.
They won the national trophy back in season 1921/22 and warmed up for their trip north with a 3–1 league win against Maryhill. As it is a Scottish Cup tie the match kicks off at the later time of 2.30pm.
It will take a much improved performance from United if they are to try and match their visitors.
Meanwhile, the winning numbers in United’s Lucky Six Draw were 1, 5, 13, 14, 16 and 17. With no one picking the full set the next jackpot will be £1300 with the selection 6 from 17.
Consolation winner was Mo.