Echt left stunned by last gasp goal

Echt hosted the students in this Premier Division fixture knowing full well that anything less than the three points would almost certainly extinguish any lingering thoughts emerging as outside challengers for the title.

There was ittle to choose between the sides in the early exchanges although the visitors did look the slightly more menacing up front.

In 8 minutes Uni’s Meyrick played a long free kick into the Echt box and a visiting head glanced it just wide of Paul Bennett’s right hand post.

Following a good exchange of passes, Uni’s Reid, under pressure, failed to hit target. Echt swept upfield and Ian Leith stretched the Uni defence left side and laid off for MacLeod to test Ryan.

A forceful right touchline burst and driven cross by Edwards had Echt on the backfoot again but Alan Daun came across goal to head for a corner.

From the resultant flag kick the ball was cleared to the edge of the Echt box and Edwards’ netbound effort produced a Leith goal-line clearance.

Still hemmed back, Echt were happy to see a Reid 18 yrad shot flash marginally high and wide after some great footwork by defender Smith to set up the chance.

Echt were first to threaten early second half, McDonald wormed his way along the Uni bye-line and was about to cutback to Wood when a Uni foot conceded what turned out to be a fruitless corner.

P Bennett dived low to his left to push away the first Uni second period threat and the visitors had Echt defending three corners in quick succession and from the third delivery, Higgins rose unchallenged, close in, to power home a headed opener in 53 minutes.

A Kieran Graham 20 yard drive was deflected wide of target in 62 minutes and Ryan did well to get to punched clearance on Martin McGillivray’s corner kick delivery from a crowded goalmouth.

After a fine attacking build up involving Damingoez and Edwards, Christmas lofted an 18 yard effort, that beat P Bennett to clip the top of the Echt crossbar and pass over.

Echt withdrew Graham and V Roger came on in 70 minutes and soon after Andy Davidson was replaced by Marc Lawrence.

Echt were now looking likely to get back on level terms and did so in 81minutes.

McDonald played a ball wide right to Leith who in cutting inside towards the junction of the Uni box was brought down and Wood’s free was spilled by Ryan and bundled over the line by MacLeod for 1-1.

MacLeod jinked his way infield from a Leith throw-in with three minutes left and toe poked Echt’s final threat over the top.

Uni then combined down their right side and a low cross left Lawrence to fire home and deny Echt their share of the spoils.

The defeat leaves Echt in seventh position in the Premier Division, 17 points behind the leaders Woodside having played three games fewer.

Echt: P.Bennett, Daun, Graham, A Davidson, Aberdein, Cooper, MacLeod, McGillivray, McDonald, Leith, Wood. Subs: V Roger, Lawrence, E Robertson, Peck, L Milne.