Depleted Saints hold on for victory

Saints boss Sandy Carrol was delighted to see his injury-hit side pick up an impressive away win at Longside who had put together a few good results in recent weeks.

Despite missing a number of players, Carrol felt Saints deserved to pick up the three points.

He said: “It was another good win for the lads against a stuffy Longside side I thought overall we edged it. We competed well all over the park and defended solidly as a unit.”

Longside were first out of the traps and forced Chris Irvine to clear with his feet in the first minute. The home side had most of the early pressure and it wasn’t until the 13th minute that Scott Garrett used his pace to break away and force the home keeper to save with his feet.

Banchory took the lead on 24 minutes when Chris Donald’s clearance from defence found Cammy GRAY who took a couple of strides and unleashed a terrific strike that came off the underside of the bar and into the Longside net.

There was controversy when Longside equalised from the penalty spot after Donald was adjudged to have held back the attacker after a scramble in the six yard box.

Garrett went close not long after when he shot inches past after good work from Campbell Watt and Stainer. However, Saints went back into the lead when Donald again found Gray who picked out STAINER for the centre forward to blast home from 8 yards on the half hour mark.

Both sides had a chance each before Longside equalised yet again when their centre forward was left to head home unchallenged with two minutes of the first half remaining.

Incredibly just a minute later Saints regained the lead when Gray was in the action again to set up Garrett to make it 3-2 from close range.

In the very first minute of the second half it could have been 4-2 Banchory but Garrett sliced high and wide from Alan McRae’s pass and then Watt headed weakly into the keeper arms from close range.

It was end-to-end stuff and something was bound to give. Watt’s shot past in a good position and then Josh Robertson had to make a fine block tackle with Irvine saving the rebound.

Longside were desperate to get another equaliser and they thought they had on 65 minutes but the goal was ruled offside without much complaint. A goalmouth scramble produced claims for a penalty from the home players but a handball decision would have been harsh.

On 70 minutes Pyper put Garrett in the clear but the top scorer fired his shot straight at the keeper.

There were further Longside claims for a penalty when Donald put a challenge in but the referee waved away all claims and awarded a corner.

At the other end Stainer found space down the right and from his low cross-cum-shot Garrett contrived to put the ball past the post from a couple of yards out and then the striker’s left foot angled effort trundled along the goal line with no-one there to pick up the pieces.

Longside had the last chance on 93 minutes but shot well past, which gave Banchory three valuable points to move them up one place into 7th position.

This Saturday (April 21) sees another trip to Buchan for a PMAC Superleage game against Maud at Pleasure Park, kick off 2.30pm. The following match is next Thursday (April 26) with a much shorter trip to Culter for another league match, kick off 6.45pm.

Saints: Chris Irvine, Darren Pyper, Josh Robertson, Chris Donald, Paul Smith, Alan McRae, Campbell Watt, Connor Forbes (Dalgarno), Richard Stainer, Scott Garrett, Cammy Gray. Subs: Grant Sim.