Halliburton had gained three points last weekend when opponents, Turriff Thistle, scratched from the game, but it meant that Greg Young had to serve out a suspension at the weekend, as a walk over win does not count in those circumstances.
As well as Young there were another severn missing which left Halli very very short of players.
Sct Marlow, as always, was in goal behind a 4-1-4-1 formation that saw Mutch, Simpson who remained at sweeper, G.Fulton playing centre back and N.Duncan form the defence. Brown was situated in front of them with S.Jaques, Wilson, Webster & K.Jaques in the middle. Laing was up top. In reserve were Howieson, Andrews and Ellis. Taking into account the three points that will be awarded following the next AAFA disciplinary meeting for the Turriff walk over then Halliburton sat just one place and two points above Dee in the table.
Who ever won then could pull away from the other.
It was also Halli’s third encounter with Dee, having been soundly beaten in a cup match before beating them away from home in the league.
Wide man Hall terrorised Halli all afternoon and midfielder Boylan ws another excellent player.
Inside the opening two minutes, Halli were slack when two tackles were missed, initially by Brown then Simpson, which allowed Dee into the Halli area. When Sct Marlow came ou,t Dee had more than a decent shout for what looked like a stonewall penalty kick. The referee waved away appeals, the first of a number of controversial decisions.
K.Jaques made ground up the left and squared to Brown, he got a shot away but it struck Laing and, as the ball broke free, Dee raced into attack, a long range shot easily taken by the Halli keeper.
Boyland of Dee made a strong run forward but again Sct Marlow got down to save, then S.Jaques brilliantly read a short free kick from the opponents and nipped in to steel the ball away and up the line. Laing got onto it and, after holding it up, his shot was parried wide by Dee keeper Ross. S.Jaques collected and played it back to Brown, who curled in a cross which Webster headed just beyond the far post.
After 19 minutes it was 0-1 to Dee. Their best player, Hall, gathered wide left off a short free kick, he cut inside and hit a beauty which curled away from the keeper and in off the far post.
Halli were stunned and a second goal was gifted to Dee when a simple cross in from the left was weakly punched by Sct Marlow against an attacker and it fell neatly into the path of Kane who rolled it home 0-2.
The home keeper redeemed himself when he dived low to his right to turn a low shot round the post.
Nice play from Halli saw K.Jaques race onto a through-ball but the keeper was quickly off his line to boot to safety. From the throw-in, the ball fell to Webster who drilled a left-foot effort inches over the crossbar.
Halli felt they were still in this game, but knew that the next goal was all important. It was a super start then when they pulled one back in the 48th minute, Wilson won in the air to find S,Jaques, he held off his man, drove forward and rifled home from 18 yards 1-2.
Halli then went on the enjoy a purple patch and created two great chances within the next three minutes.
A long ball forward from Sct Marlow found S.Jaques who chipped the keeper but also the crossbar. Then Simpson did very well in defence to win, then clear up the line to S,Jaques, who slammed it inches wide of the post.
After 60 minutes, however, the pressure paid off. A ball was swung into the box and half cleared to Wilson. The midfielder has made better connections, but his miscue flew straight to Laing who controlled, turned and scored 2-2.
Dee immediately went on the offensive and Sct Marlow, in goal, again looked to have pulled a man down inside the box. Once more, play on was the shout. Miss of the match so far came in the 66th minuite when the ball landed at the feet of S.Jaques only three yards out, but he somehow hooked it over the crossbar.
Howieson, was introduced for Brown and then Laing surpassed the miss from S.Jaques when he raced clear only to fall over as he messed up his shot.
Tremendous defending from Simpson saw him make a great tackle to halt an attack. Hall turned inside to pick out a Dee forward in the box but he hit it high over the top.
Sct Marlow made a good save when he showed strong wrists to turn a piledriver free kick over the bar. With Dee now pressing Simpson made another superb challenge on Kane as he worked his way into the box, then Sct Marlow got down to turn a low shot round his near post.
Ellis replaced a cramping G.Fulton, with Mutch pulled into the middle to cover the rampaging Hall. Ellis went to full back. Halli then looked likely to score when K.Jaques went on a mazy run and drove his shot over the top, with a better option, perhaps a square ball.
In the 89th minute, a corner from the left for Dee was over hit and drifted out for a goal kick. However, Boyland jumped and headed it back into play and into the six-yard box, where the ball was smashed into the net. The referee let the goal stand ! 2-3. Halli were encircling the ref but to no avail. In 90 Halli won a free kick which was hung up into the Dee 6 yard box. Simpson appeared to have been pushed but not seen by the ref. Dee then raced up field for the sucker punch and poked in a fourth - 2-4.
Very unlucky for Halliburton who deserved at least a point. Only six games left now so maximum points must be their objective. Halliburtons MOM was awarded to Scott Marlow.
Dee Amateurs :- S.Ross : L.Cowe : Allan : G. Milne :N.Ross : Boylan : Masson : Leith : Kane : Wilson : Hall
Substitutes : - J.Cowe : Aitken : M.Milne Dee MOM Ryan Hall