Dons youngsters edge Saints in final pre-season match

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The Milton Park pitch was in perfect condition for Banchory’s third and final pre-season match last Saturday, however there was a comment from one of the refereeing officials regarding damage to the Crathes end penalty spot.

Groundsman Ally Sharp had to make some quick repairs on Saturday morning after youngsters had kicked a hole out of the pitch adjacent to the spot the night before.

The game started and finished in bright sunshine and the football on display was was the same with both sides playing the game at a fast pace.

Saints started brightly, forcing the Aberdeen youngsters back for the first few minutes, but it was Aberdeen who had the first chance on five minutes with Grant Sim in the home goal having to make a good save.

But three minutes later the young Dons took the lead with a move down the left with the resultant cross being volleyed home by the centre forward.

It looked as though the Dons would take command after that good spell, Saints came back at them and after a couple of chances went a begging, the equaliser came on 15 minutes when Scott Garrett broke down the right for his cross to be knocked home by Jake Strachan.

This was the prompt for Banchory to take control of the game with Garrett and Richard Stainer going close before Strachan scored with a tremendous strike from 30 yards from another Garrett cross on 25 minutes.

Seven minutes later it was 3-1 to Saints when Stainer picked up a pass, neatly juggling the ball into position before firing low past the Aberdeen keeper. But

five minutes before half time the visitors reduced the leeway with a well taken volley.

It seemed that the Dons management had a few words to say at half time as within

five minutes of the restart the scores were level, and 5 minutes later it was 4-3 to Aberdeen when a cross from the right was headed home unchallenged.

But this fast moving game saw the goals come thick and fast as well. On 60 minutes it was 4-4 when a Mark Galashan left foot strike found the net.

On 66 minutes a terrible mix up between between keeper Sim and sweeper Gary Cruickshank allowed Aberdeen to score a simple goal that turned out to be the winner.

The remainder of the game was played at a slightly less hectic pace and with the Dons youngsters appearing to be capable of running all day, the Banchory players began to wilt slightly but were still up to the challenge with a couple of blocks and clearances off the line.

Banchory St Ternan: Grant Sim, Nicky Ferguson, Josh Robertson, Gary Cruickshank, Mark Galashan, Darren Pyper, Shaun Carrol, Jake Strachan, Scott Garrett, Marek Madle, Richard Stainer, Campbell Watt, Cammy Gray, Rickie Moir, Adam Morrison, Craig Graham, Andy Close.