League leaders Hermes were the visitors at Milton Park on Saturday, looking to maintain their 100% league record, but left with nothing when Scott Garrett popped up to score late on in the game.
Banchory’s new signing Scott Burke slotted in at centre half replacing the injured Mike Skene, with Richard Stainer making a start after missing three games with an ankle injury.
Hermes forced the early pressure winning a corner and then Josh Robertson blocked a cross at the expense of another flag kick.
A Hermes pass back forced Sweeney to juggle the ball and clear but only as far as Shaun Carrol twenty five yards but and his volley went well past. Carrol then forced Sweeney to make a low save after Watt laid the ball off to him.
On 13 minutes Hermes took the lead when a cross was not met by the Saints defence and from a lay off to the edge of the box Robertson beat Irvine with a magnificent strike.
But two minutes later the scores were level. Richard Stainer took a short corner to Campbell Watt who’s in-swinging cross was met by Carrol to head home into the roof of the net.
Banchory upped the pace and Stainer just failed to reach a low cross from Garrett in the six yard box with the ball running inches past the far post. Garrett then forced Sweeney to touch the ball past for a fruitless corner.
At this stage the visitors were reduced to long balls up the park which the Saints defence were coping well with, but in a good move up the right a low cross was fired across the six yard box that everyone missed.
On 25 minutes in a similar move Robertson headed past at the back post when it seemed easier to score.
From a Roberston cross, Mark Galashan almost scored an own goal when he sliced his attempted clearance just past the post.
Alan McRae got Saints going again with a slick pass to Garrett who skinned the left back with his angled strike being parried by Sweeney only as far as Stainer but the striker’s effort from a few yards out was blocked and cleared on 36 minutes.
Two minutes later the home side took the lead. Carrol pinged a great cross field pass to Garret and as he beat the left back once again he was chopped down inside the box.
Stainer stepped up to score in off the right hand post. Banchory remained the more likely to score and forced two further corner before half time.
Into the second half and Hermes were determined to get back on level terms. A scramble in the home box was eventually cleared followed by two corners and from the second Chris Courage was left all alone ten yards out to receive the cross and side foot the ball into the net to make the scores level after 49 minutes.
The visitors kept up the pressure and when Saints keeper Irvine dropped a cross at the feet of Robertson the Hermes forward should have scored but he hit the post, with the ball coming back off Irvine and then cleared.
Hermes were creating chances and there was bad news for Saints when centre half Burke had to go off forcing Stainer to come back from centre forward, with Connor Scully coming on up front.
Galashan needlessly handled the ball just outside the box creating more pressure but the free kick was easily dealt with.
With five minutes remaining of normal time Allan Ogston won the ball on the halfway line and laid off to Carrol. The midfielder swung in a cross that deceived the Hermes defence leaving Garrett to control at the back post and side foot home from an acute angle.
Banchory St Ternan manager Sandy Carrol is hoping his side can build on the win and is delighted to have a near full-strength squad for this weekend.
He said: “It was another good performance from the lads on Saturday against a very good Hermes team.
“We will now look forward to the league game away to Stonehaven this weekend. We welcome Jake Strachan and Michael Skene back to bolster our squad and it gives me a a very welcome selection headache.”
The match against Stonehaven at Glenury Park kicks off at 2.30pm.