Banchory’s winning run 
smashed by Banks O’Dee 5-0

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Spain Park has never been a happy hunting ground for Banchory and, despite a very promising opening 10 minutes, this was a very disappointing performance.

Losing an early goal did not help, but there was a distinct lack of confidence with some woeful passing and half-hearted tackling. The surface at Spain Park certainly is an advantage to the home side.

In only the second minute, Saints were unlucky not to take the lead when a Danny Casey free kick found Jack Henderson, and his header across the six-yard box found Fraser Mackie at the back post but his headed attempt came off the top of the bar and out for a goal kick. Straight from the kick, Banks O’Dee broke up the park and, with some good inter-passing, finished off with a powerful strike to make it 1-0.

A Ben McGregor 25-yard free kick was touched onto the bar by the Dee keeper and dropped for Mackie to shoot from close range for what seemed a certain goal but the ball hit the keeper and went out for a corner off the bar. From the corner, Henderson’s net-bound effort was blocked a couple of yards of the Dee goal line. Dee once again broke away and went close with a low shot, before Banchory did the same with Henderson putting Mackie clear only for the Dee keeper to make a fine low save.

The game changed when a Darren Reid attempted clearance rebounded off the Dee centre half on the half-way line, leaving him a clear run to round Kevin Stewart to make it 2-0.

Stewart then saved the day from a close-range shot with a second minutes later from a 20-yard effort. A corner for the home side followed with a low header shaving the post.

Saints were up against it now after their fine start and were finding it difficult to make any headway.

The pace of the game dropped for a while and it was not until the 30-minute mark when the home side had their next chance. A header from a corner came off the post with Josh Robertson then blocking the rebound.

Seven minutes later, the post came to Banchory’s rescue. It was hoped ,after these let offs, that the score could be kept at 2-0 up to half time, but with five minutes remaining Danny Casey was adjudged to have fouled just outside the box with the low free kick being palmed away by Stewart at full length only for a Dee player to hit the loose ball into the roof of the net from close range. Robbie Casey was replaced by Sam McGregor shortly after.

The second half was only nine minutes old when Dee scored their fourth after a free kick was met by a Dee player at the back post for him to slide the ball into the net.

Things were not looking good at this point and a further change was made when Ryan Whelan replaced Mike Clayton.

The game went through a period of stalemate but things fired up after 66 minutes when Mackie, shielding the ball near his own corner flag, got into a shoving match with a Dee player and it was a bit surprising when the referee gave a straight red card to the Banchory player and no action against the homester. A minute later it was 5-0 when ex-Saints striker Biskup volleyed home the fifth from a free kick.

Things did not look good with 23 minutes left, down to 10 men it was expected that the flood gates might open. But despite being under constant pressure, particularly down the flanks, and making no real headway toward the Dee box, the Banchory players did not capitulate and worked hard to keep their goal intact.

Near the end, Dee should have scored again but a 20-yard effort was well off target.

Then, on the 89th minute, Saints had the last chance when a Henderson header went over the bar when, perhaps, Whelan had the better opportunity behind him.

Team: Kevin Stewart, Jack Mitchell, Mike Clayton (Ryan Whelan), Darren Reid, Josh Robertson, Danny Casey, Robbie Casey (Sam McGregor), Stuart Rogie, Jack Henderson, Fraser Mackie, Ben McGregor. Subs: Scott Davie, Grant Christie, Blair McIntosh.

This Saturday is the Scottish Junior Cup second round and the draw gave Banchory an away tie against Portgordon Victoria at Buckie.

However, Portgordon have given up ground rights due to their facilities at Buckie not up to standard. So the game will be played at Milton Park with a 2.30pm kick off.