With the weather finally relenting to allow Ellon United`s Dominos Pizza North Regional Cup tie against Glentanar at the Woodside Sports Centre to go ahead the visitors came out well on top to book their place in the 3rd round with a convincing 4 - 1 win.
United were quick out of the blocks with a three goal blast in the opening fourteen minutes putting them well in control. Ellon added a fourth goal after the interval before the home side managed to open their account and although the visitors had chances to increase their lead they would surely have been glad to accept a 4 - 1 win if offered to them before kick off. United`s player pool was again stretched but Craig Morrison made a welcome return from his injury spell.
United started very brightly with their First Division opponents put under pressure from the start and Ross Buchanan in the Ellon goal a virtual spectator in the early stages. United`s pressure paid off in the 9th minute. Craig Morrison was allowed to play on with the home side claiming for offsides. A fine save from keeper McLennan kept the United striker at bay at the expense of a corner in the first instance but the Ellon front man was not to be denied when he met Blair Johnston`s in swinging cross to head home the opening goal.
United doubled their lead within a minute when Ross Forsyth made a telling break on the left and crossed for Lewis Forbes to fire home number two. Four minutes later and United were three goals ahead when Niall Corser fed Darren Bailey who outsmarted his marker before crossing for Craig Morrison to grab his second goal of the afternoon.
It took until the 32nd minute before the home side were able to put United under any real threat but the Ellon defence finally managed to clear from an awkward free kick. Glentanar`s Munro sent a low shot just beyond Ross Buchanan`s far post on the stroke of half time.
United forced a corner in the opening minute of the 2nd half with McLennan preventing Ellon from getting off to a flier when he reacted well to smother Lewis Forbes` effort on the goal line. United moved 4 - 0 ahead eight minutes into the second period after more pressure forced a corner on their left. The home defence managed to half clear the cross but the ball fell to Niall Corser whose half volley into the top corner left the keeper helpless.
Glentanar managed to open their account in the 57th minute. A promising Ellon break came to nothing when they lost possession as they threatened to break clear and the visitors were caught on the counter attack with Sam Muirhead finishing off Askew`s cross.
United almost restored their four goal cushion two minutes later when Jamie McKinnon met a corner only to see his header crash back off the bar. With the lack of recent game time, United looked to freshen things up with Calum Annand replacing Greg Simpson in the 63rd minute. Three minutes later it was Ellon`s turn to be saved by the woodwork when they were unable to clear a long throw in into the goal area but the final header came back off the post and the danger was cleared.
United cut open the home defence in the 70th minute when neat work saw the ball fed to Ross Forsyth who played an excellent one/two with Lewis Forbes to put himself clear only to be denied by a fine block from McLennan
United made another change in the 72nd minute with Lenny Johnson coming on for Craig Morrison who had put in a good shift on his return on top of his two goal contribution. Ellon made their final change in the 79th minute to tighten up their midfield with Steve Gunn replacing Darren Bailey who had given his defenders a torrid afternoon. Keeper McLennan again came to Glentanar`s rescue with a fine save to prevent Lenny Johnson from finishing off a pass from Lewis Forbes after another incisive United attack
ELLON UNITED: Buchanan, Ralton, Johnston, Corser, McKinnon, Lawson, Simpson (Annand), Forsyth, Forbes, Morrison (Johnson), Bailey (Gunn).
GLENTANAR: McLennan, Dines, Morrison, Gray, Scott, Shanks, Munro, Antanisi, s. Muirhead, J. Muirhead, Askew. Subs: Adams, Rennie, Taft, Megginson, Knowles, Spalding, Abdessaden.
This was a very good overall performance from United with all departments working well but it will take a maximum effort from them next Saturday when Culter pay a visit to The Meadows on league business, kick off 2:00pm