United fight back to clinch impressive draw

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ELLON United salvaged a precious league point with a 3-3 draw against Dyce at The Meadows last weekend.

United looked to have presented their visitors with a victory by giving away three slack goals, but fought back from 3-1 down to snatch a 91st minute equaliser.

United opened briskly with Ally Reid meeting a cross from Matty Edmond, but his header was easily held by keeper Barney.

Dyce moved straight up field but their promising attack came to nothing when Scully’s cross drifted behind. Dyce’s McNamee shot wide with United responding with a break down the right, which was broken up at the expense of a corner.

The home side tried to work a short corner, but the final cross was poor and was easily cut out, allowing Dyce to break quickly. The Ellon defence was unable to deal with the final deep cross with Booth’s back post header dropping over the line.

Ellon were soon back on level terms. Keith Walker beat his marker on the by-line, only to be fouled in the box as he worked his way in. Barney managed to parry Martin Foy’s spot kick, but Chris Craib reacted quickest, following up to finish off.

United were forced to change their attacking formation when injuries to Martin Foy and Ally Reid saw them replaced by Keith Reid and Lenny Johnson.

United got off to a poor start after the break. The home side gave away a soft free kick within two minutes of the restart, and when the ball was flighted into the danger area, no one picked Thoirs, who drifted in unchallenged to put Dyce back in front.

Ellon were caught out again seven minutes later, and for a second time they were punished for carelessness for an Ellon short corner which was cleared straight up the field and switched to McNamee, left with a simple finish from the resulting low cross.

United were thrown a lifeline 13 minutes from the end. Keith Reid burst past his marker, only to be pulled back in the box. The incident was spotted by the assistant referee who signalled for a penalty. After the dust had settled, Niall Corser strode forward to drill home the spot kick.

Ellon refused to give up, and almost won another penalty when Duncan Chalmers was caught as he pushed the ball past keeper Barney. The United striker managed to keep his feet, but was forced too wide to get a shot on goal himself and the Dyce defence managed to recover to deal with the cross.

The home side were rewarded for their efforts a minute into stoppage time when the Dyce defence were unable to force the ball clear under pressure, with Keith Walker pouncing to fire home the equaliser.

United’s late equaliser reflected their fitness and fighting spirit, particularly after having to change things early on as a result of two substitutions, and the result was all the more important in view of other results on the day.

Ellon face a big game this Saturday at The Meadows when Fraserburgh United are their visitors, kick-off 2pm.

The winning numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 9, 10, 16, 17, 18 and 19 and with no one picking the full set, the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1,000 with the selection 6 from 20.

The winners of the £10 consolation prizes were E Hocking, N Stephen and M Lawrence.

Ellon United: Moffat, Irvine, Craib, Corser, Gunn, Clark, Walker, Forsyth, Foy (K Reid), A Reid (Johnson), Edmond (Chalmers). Subs: Chapman, McKeitch, Allsop, Ord.