Nightmare start sees Saints lose

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Early season form seems to have deserted Banchory after another ordinary performance. Nerves and lack of confidence were obviously apparent as the Milton men went 3-0 down after 35 minutes.

In only the second minute a rash tackle gave away a free kick with Stoneywood’s Cromar curling a left foot shot over the wall and past an out of position Sim in Saints goal to give the home side the lead.

Sim then saved well from another curling shot minutes later.

A Stoneywood goal kick was knocked straight back by Ogston finding Stainer who’s lob shot went inches past the Stoneywood post.

Carrol then made a fine run beating three home defenders but his cross was just missed by Garrett.

Stoneywood were always looking the more likely to score though with their wide men always causing problems.

Their right winger skipped past Robertson to cross low and hard and although a home forward missed the ball in the 6 yard box Farmer was on hand at the back post to score with a diving header on 30 minutes.

Only five minutes later it was 3-0 for the home side when again a move down the Saints and a lack of tackling allowed another cross to be knocked home by Rintoul.

Down and out one would have thought but back came Banchory with two goals within a minute.

Stainer did well to win the ball on the byline finding CARROL with his cut back and the midfielder blasted high into the net.

Then Garrett’s tenacity won the ball down the right and from his run and cut back CARROL was once again on hand to blast high into the net from 6 yards on 43 minutes.

Expectations were high that Banchory would now take the second half by the scruff of the neck, but nothing materialised in a very disappointing 45 minutes. Gray came on for Scully and right from the start he injected some more fire to the Saints attack.

There was a penalty claim when Stainer seemed to be upended when he stretched for a ball but the referee probably quite rightly waved play on.

Skene saved the day when he was forced to clear with a diving header at the expense of a head knock.

With not much action to speak of, McRae replaced the booked Strachan with 25 minutes to go.

Garrett found himself clear on the right but his angled effort was scuffed past the post instead of hitting the target.

A Stoneywood free kick was blocked by Skene’s head, dropping just over the Saints bar.

Saints were not producing any real threat unlike the home team who were dangerous on both flanks.

A neat move down the left saw Farmer’s cross cum shot go inches past the Saints post. The injured Skene was replaced by Ferguson with 15 minutes remaining.

Morrison gave away a free kick and Sim did well saving at his near post. At the other end Pyper hit the Stoneywood side netting with an angled drive.

But the game was over when Stoneywood scored the decisive fourth late on. A long diagonal ball from right to left caught Ogston out of position to find Farmer free. He sent in an awkward cross-cum-shot that was totally misjudged by Sim in Saints goal and floated over his head into the far side netting.

Right on full time a Carrol corner was headed home by Saints STAINER but it was too little too late as the referee blew for full time at the kick off.

Banchory will have to find their confidence for this Saturday’s PMAC Superleague against Longside at Milton Park, kick off 2.30pm.

Team: Sim, Ogston, Robertson, Skene (Ferguson), Morrison, Pyper, Carrol, Strachan (McRae), Garrett, Stainer, Scully (Gray). Subs: Graham, Galashan, Rowett.