Ellon United were knocked out of The Scottish Junior Cup when they lost 2 – 0 away to Fife side Thornton Hibs in their first round tie last weekend.
United just edged the overall play in the first half but were unable to penetrate a strong home defence in a search for an opening goal.
Ellon worked a short corner in the 20th minute with Steven Main’ s shot forcing keeper Linton to make a good save in turning the ball away for a corner.
Eight minutes later it was Morgan Cook’s turn to come to Ellon’s rescue with an excellent brave save to deny Hibs when through one on one on the keeper.
It was Thornton who actually got their noses in front in the 38th minute when the home side broke with United expecting an offsides decision which never came.
In United’s ensuing efforts to get the ball clear the referee awarded a penalty with Keatings making absolutely no mistake from the spot to give Hibs the lead.
United were finding things hard going against the home defence but still had everything to play for although another fine save from Cook saw him claw away a shot which was heading for the postage stamp corner.
The visitors made their initial change in the when Steven Main took an ankle knock and was replaced by Scott Firth.
The home side doubled their lead out of nothing in the 76th minute.
United were awarded a free kick which was swung into the box but keeper Linton took full command to collect the ball on the edge of his area and send a long clearance upfield which found McNab and his trickery worked himself the space to fire home from from the edge of the United box.
Ross Gibbon suffered a foot knock two minutes later with David Coutts joining the fray in his place but taking up a forward roll and it almost paid off when he met a corner but his header was off target.
United’s final change in the 80th minute saw Jack Goodwin return to action for the closing stages in place of Fraser Gill.
Try as they might, Ellon were unable to make any headway against the home side so were forced to return home with nothing to show for their efforts.
United are yet again on cup business next Saturday and things do not get any easier as Stonehaven are their visitors to The Meadows for a first round tie in The Dominos Pizza North Regional Cup.
That match is scheduled for a 2:00 pm kick off.
United return to league duties on Saturday, October 7 when they welcome Dufftown to the Meadows in the Superleague.