Ellon United finally returned to action last week after a nine-week layoff but failed to really get into gear, eventually going down 2-0 in their league game away to Hermes. With the match finely poised at 0-0 after 39 minutes, United looked to be in trouble when Ross Forsyth was shown a red card for alleged abusive comments to one of the referee’s assistants. The numbers were evened up in the 45th minute when Hermes keeper Irvine was also red-carded for an off-the-ball incident. United were punished fior two sslack defensive lapses after the interval which saw the home side take a two-goal lead. Hermes might well have been reduced to nine men but went unpunished when one of their strikers swore at the other assistant referee, and to make matters worse, it was United who had to play out the closing stages with nine players when Mark Lawson was shown a second yellow card. The visitors were further aggrievd when the substitute home keeper appeared to escape unpunished for handling the ball outside his box.
Loan signing Euan Moffat took over in goal for united in place of the injured Ross Buchanan. Hermes were first to show with full-back Adams firing straight at the united keeper. On the quarter-hour mark, Ben Chapman’s cross picked out Ross Forsyth who turned his marker but his shot was blocked on the line and knocked behind for a corner. Hermes responded with a Wilson shot which was turned behind by Uuan Moffat. Wilson passed up a good opening six minutes later when he scooped the ball well over the bar.
United’s best spell of the first half saw Keith Reid break on the left. The striker cut the ball back to ross forsyth whose shot was blocked on the line and knocked behind for a corner. From the corner, the ball broke out to Mark Lawson whose effort also cleared off the line. United kept up the pressure with Ally Reid shooting over then David McKeitch released Keith Reid who broke clear but was denied by a fine stop by Irvine.
Hermes hit back but failed to cash in on a free kick when they were unable to direct a free header on target. United were reduced to 10 men in the 39th minute and could have found themselves a goal down a minute later but McKinstry was unable to convert a dangerous low cross.
Irvine made a fine save to keep out a shot from Ben chapman after the united full-back had linked up with Ally Reid to create the opening but
the Hermes keeper then blotted for unnecessarilyover reacting and his retaliation undid all of his good work. Hermes went ahead five minutes after the interval. United looked to have survived a defensive mix up but they then failed to clear their lines and presented Wilson with the easiest of openings Ally Reid came close to squaring matters when he collected a throw-in and turned his marker before curling a shot just beyond the far post. Ellon should then have equalised in the 69th minute when Keith Walker met a corner only to sende his header wide. The home side extended their advantage in the 77th minute when slack defending allowed them to get in a cross from the left, and poor marking gave substitute stuart a free header at the near post. United almost hit back straight away with duncan chlamers finding Chris Craib whose shot tested keeper Reid. A free kick commited by Mark Lawson was deemed bad enough to warrant a second caution for the united defender forcing the visitors to play out the remaining time with nine men but they stuck to their task with Niall Corser firming up the midfield and Euan Moffat euqal to anything that the home side could muster.
Ellon United: Moffat, Chapman, Craib, Gunn, Lawson, Corser, McIntosh, Forsyth K, Reid, A Reid, McKeitch, Subs: Chalmers, Walker, Paterson, Irvine, Annand, Allsop, Ord.
Hermes: Irvine, McKendrick, Adams, Freeland, Massie, Winton, Macklin, Hamilton, Wilson, Djahansouzi, McKinstry. Subs: Stuart, Dawson, Holt, Sinclair, Reid Campbell.
United have the chance to redeem themselves next Saturday away from the pressure of league duty when they play host to Stonehaven in a first-round tie of the North Regional Cup. The kick-off at the Meadows is at 2pm with the tie going straight to penalties if all square after regulation time.
The winning numbers in United’s weekly, Lucky Six Draw were: 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13 and with no one picking the full set, the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1,250 with the selection 6 from 15. The winners of the £10 consolation prizes were N Ironside, D Chalmers and E Wells.