United out of cup despite remaining undefeated

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Ellon United met Maud in their qualifying section decider of the Grill League Cup at The Meadows last weekend with United having to win to progress.

In the proverbial game of two halves Maud were the stronger side in the first half with United the better outfit after the interval, so the final 1-1 result was about right, if no use to the home side.

Maud gave United absolutely no time to settle on the ball in the opening quarter of an hour.

Although the stronger side, the visitors lacked composure apart from the control shown by Ellon-based Grant Thomson in the Maud midfield but their strong running made up for it.

After Maud’s initial flurry a spell of concerted pressure by United almost paid dividends when Lenny Johnson had a shot blocked, Fyfe saved a Dean McDonald effort at the expense of a corner then Ross Gibbon shot wide.

Maud’s Grant Thomson switched the ball out wide to their left, with the final low cross going narrowly wide of the far post without a touch.

The visitors snatched the lead in the 34th minuter when a United defender completely misjudged a harmless looking through ball, allowing Sargent to run on to drive the ball home.

United squared matters from the penalty spot in the 64th minute with Lenny Johnson drilling the ball past Fyfe in the Maud goal.

Maud were reduced to ten men when Conway appeared to talk his way into a double caution.

Then Ellon found the net in the 73rd minute only for the goal to be chalked off.

United made their first change two minutes later with Hamish Burr coming on for Callum Tremaine before Fraser Gill replaced the injured Jack Tait.

Try as they might United just could not grab that all important second goal whilst at the same time they had always to be on the alert against their strong-running opponents, who continued to pose a threat on the counter.

United were obviously disappointed that for the second season running they have been unable to progress to the knockout stages of the Grill Cup despite being undefeated in the qualifying stage.

Ellon United travel to Stonehaven this Saturday for their second league game of the season.