Banchory show battling spirit

Banchory returned to league action after a three week lay-off due to the recent cold weather and faced the league leaders in what turned out to be an entertaining game.

On a cold, windy afternoon Banchory started the game playing into the strong wind and they struggled to get the ball out of their own half.

After 15 minutes, however, Banchory counter attacked and some neat play between Gilbert and Rooney saw the latter send a great pass which Tully ran onto to slot calmly past the onrushing keeper to give Banchory the lead.

Within a minute of the restart Portlethen came close to equalising but the final effort went wide.

Portlethen continued to dominate the ball and Banchory found it hard to keep possession but they were unlucky not to extend their lead through Gilbert.

After 40 minutes Portlethen levelled the score and was probably deserved based on their possession. The left winger beat Lloyd and Chalmers to send in a cross for the number 9 to head past Davidson.

Banchory started the second half with the wind behind them and with the instruction to press the opposition in their own half they managed to keep Portlethen on the back foot for the first 10 minutes. The away side, however, continued to look threatening on the counter attack with the pace of the forwards causing Banchory all sorts of problems in defence.

In the 60th minute Portlethen took the lead when a claim for offside was waved away. The striker had his initial shot superbly saved by Davidson but the rebound fell kindly to him and he slotted the ball into the net.

This gave Banchory a jolt and they got themselves back level within 10 minutes when some good pressing resulted in a corner, which Rooney floated over for MacGregor to send his header into the back of the net and give Banchory an equaliser.

Portlethen continued to dominate possession and Davidson was called on to make a couple of good saves.

With 15 minutes to go Banchory won a free kick on the right some 30 yards out. Lloyd stepped up to take it and his free kick sailed over the keeper and into the top corner of the net.

Banchory were on their last legs for the last 10 minutes and this told as they struggled to press the opposition and gave up more and more of the ball but Portlethen failed to capitalise until Banchory protested an opposition throw in and Portlethen broke up field to equalise which thenresulted in two Banchory players being booked for their protests.

The result was fair based on the possession the league leaders had against bottom of the table Banchory, however the home team felt like they had done enough hard work to sneak a win, and if they can continue this fighting spirit for the last 10 games you never know survival may not be out of their reach.

Banchory: Davidson, Lloyd, Juan, Brand, John Smith, MacGregor, Rooney, Gilbert, Meldrum, Tully and Chalmers.

Subs: Norton, Dewar and Lawrence.