Below-par Banchory well beaten in Banff

A trip to Banff was not the best day for most of the Banchory players to produce a below par performance. But that does not detract from newly promoted Deveronside’s win which they thoroughly deserved.

The home side were first to show early on with a free kick into the six yard box forcing Danny Ross to head clear for a corner.

Jindrich Biskup seemed to have beaten the offside trap minutes later but the linesman thought otherwise and Deveronside were let off the hook. A low cross into the Saints box was met first time but fired well over and then Biskup burst through the home defence only to be crowded out.

After a fairly even opening 20 minutes the Banff side took the lead when Darren Reid was beaten to the ball and the square ball found a Side player unmarked for an easy goal.

This spurred Deveronside on and they had another couple of half chances before increasing their lead on 26 minutes. A shot was blocked by the Saints defence and deflected out right and the wingers cross-cum-shot was parried by Irvine into his own net at the near post.

A Biskup flick to Craig Simpson found the lively midfielder in the box but he was crowded out by the home defence and then a Ben McGregor low cross found no Banchory player supporting.

Deveronside continued to threat down the Banchory right and two more corners continued the pressure.

When Banchory did force forward, there were too many loose balls and when a chance did come Biskup’s shot was a weak effort from 20 yards.

Into the second half with the worst possible start, when the home side increased their lead within three minutes.

The referee had been protecting the home centre forward all day. He adjudged Steve Thompson’s challenge for a high ball as a foul and from the free kick the centre forward headed across goal for an unmarked colleague to send a looping header over Irvine’s head and into the net.

Manager Sandy Carrol made immediate changes with Murray Buchan replacing Steve Thompson and Danny Ross being replaced by Steve Gray. But on 58 minutes it was 4-0.

Darren Reid’s clearance out wide left was picked up and from the square ball a Deveronside player was unmarked to score at the back post.

Despite this setback, the Banchory players found their confidence with the change in personnel, as Jack Henderson came on for Jack Presly.

Biskup found Simpson with a neat pass only for the midfielder’s shot to be blocked for a corner. Andy Close should have at least got the ball on target, but he blazed well over from a good position at the back post.

However, Saints did pull a goal back with ten minutes remaining when Biskup was pulled back just inside the box and Close squeezed the ball into the bottom left corner from the penalty spot.

Banchory continued to force the play with Biskup prominent, but guilty at the same time of not laying off at the right time.

In the end it was too little too late for Banchory, so it will back to the drawing board for next week’s PMAC Superleague match at home to Ellon United, kick off 2.00pm.

Banchory St Ternan: Chris Irvine, Darren Reid, Josh Robertson, Steve Thompson (Murray Buchan), Dean Leith, Danny Ross (Steve Gray), Andy Close, Jack Presly (Jack Henderson), Jindrich Biskup, Ben McGregor, Craig Simpson. Subs: Craig Graham, Andy Smith.