Ellon United`s first home game of the new season resulted in a 2 – 0 win for Stonehaven which sees the Glenury outfit go to the top of the qualifying section of the Grill League Cup after the opening two games.
The United defence coped confidently with Stonehaven in the first half with the visitors unable to make any impression on Mike McKinnon`s goal. It was a completely different story at the other end with a series of narrow misses and fine saves from keeper Stark preventing United from cashing in on their pressure. Stonehaven`s good fortune looked to have run out at last ten minutes before the interval when Stark was beaten hands down by a great shot from Callum Tremaine only for the ball to crash off the underside of the bar and eventually bounce down and out before being forced clear with everything happening so quickly that no one could tell whether the ball had crossed the line.
A dramatic start to the second half saw United pass up a great chance with Stonehaven responding through a shot which flew wide. The visitors then went ahead against the run of play only a minute later with their first really penetrating break with former United striker Jason Coyle on hand to apply the final touch. The goal saw Stonehaven gain confidence without causing too much trouble and Stark was soon called on again to to come to their rescue.
United continued to cause the visitors problems from crosses and corners but were unable to direct several headers on target.
United fought unsuccessfully for the equaliser but had a let off in the 84th minute when a looping header came back off the face of the bar and then the home side were caught out on the break two minutes later with Jason Coyle again the man to apply the finish.
After their midweek game against Aberdeen University at Hillhead, United open their league campaign with a home match next Saturday when Sunnybank are their visitors to The Meadows, kick off 2:00pm.