This GA Engineering Inter Region Cup tie was switched to the RAF Kinloss base where the wide open spaces and lack of atmosphere gave the game a strange feeling. In fact the only spectators on a fine sunny and warm day were the five Banchory supporters, a dog and the four Saints committee members. The scoreline suggests dominance and indeed it was, with the home team fortunate not to concede another eight.
Banchory were on the front foot immediately and should have taken the lead on 2 minutes when Richard Stainer back heeled to Watt but the midfielder shot a foot over the bar from a good position. It was then Shaun Carrol’s turn to blast high over from a Scott Garrett cross and this was due to the attentions of the Lossie keeper who went down injured and needed a few minutes attention before he resumed.
Ten minutes in and a fine move by Josh Robertson down the left saw the left back’s cross met by the head of Stainer but the Banchory centre forward headed past an open goal. Stainer and Garrett combined with the latter just failing to latch onto his striking partners through ball as Saints turned up the heat. Garrett then shot past the post with the RAF goalie scrambling and this forced the home keeper to leave the field with a bad ankle injury that he had sustained earlier. The replacement keeper had to pick the ball out of the net almost immediately but Garrett’s strike was chalked off due to Alan McRae being offside.
Stainer and Garrett both had chances to open the scoring before new keeper Chris Irvine, signed from Hermes earlier in the week, touched the ball for the first time after 18 minutes. But it was a mistake by the deputy home keeper that gifted Saints the first goal as he attempted a pass to a defender that found Garrett who gratefully stroked the ball into an empty net on 22 minutes. A Pyper/Garrett move went close before the inevitable second goal arrived. Garrett’s challenge forced the keeper to attempt a clearance but the ball bounced off the Banchory striker into the net on 28 minutes.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 when Garrett became the provider finding Stainer with his low cross and the centre neatly flicked the ball into the net at the near post, but sustaining an injury in the process needing treatment but managing to continue.
On 38 minutes it was 4-0 when McRae’s run and neat pass found Stainer who flicked the ball to Garrett to give the wee striker his hat trick. But within a minute RAF surprised even themselves when from an innocuous low cross the ball hit Michael Skene deflecting the ball past Irvine and trickled over the line.
Carrol then wasted a great chance when he blasted well over from 8 yards out. Continuing the series of missed chances, Stainer headed onto the bar from a free kick and then the centre volleyed past from a Watt cross right on half time. 4-1 at half time but it could and should have been a lot more with a little bit of luck.
Carrol opened the second half with a drilled angled drive from 25 yards that the home keeper deflected past for a corner. The home number five was easily the best RAF player and he carved out an opportunity for the airmen, but Irvine made an easy save. On 50 minutes Garrett headed Watt’s cross onto a post but a minute later Watt made it 5-1 after combining well with Carrol.
Garrett who had been booked in the first half for kicking the ball away in frustration, was replaced by Connor Scully 10 minutes into the second half. Stainer wasn’t having much luck on the hard uneven surface and twice he just failed to connect properly with his shots to get the ball on target. Mark Galashan who had come up for a corner had a gilt edged chance to make it six but his rushed shot went inches past the post. But Substitute Scully managed to make it six when he beat the offside trap to slot past the advancing keeper on 62 minutes.
Scully was then the provider two minutes later, as he found space on the left, laid the ball of to Darren Pyper who smashed a terrific controlled shot into the net off the bar. It was all Saints now with every move tearing RAF apart.
The scoring was complete on 82 minutes when Stainer got his deserved second with an easy header form a Carrol corner.
All in all, this was a better performance and just the type of game manager Sandy Carrol wanted to get the team back on winning ways.
He said: “Another good performance from the lads on Saturday. I shuffled the pack a bit from the previous week with both Chris Irvine and Nicky Ferguson making their debuts and both playing well.
“We looked a bit more solid at the back which so far this season has proved to be a bit of an Achilles heel. We go into the game against Foress Thistle on Saturday with a full squad and if we play to our full potential I am sure we will get our first win in the league, the lads deserve it.”
The next two Saturdays are back to League business with home games against Forres Thistle on Saturday 10th and Ellon United on Saturday 17th September, both are 2.30pm kick off.
Team: Irvine, Pyper, Robertson, Skene, Galashan, Ferguson (Cruickshank), Carrol, McRae, Garrett (Scully), Stainer, Watt. Subs: Sim
Saturday 3rd September’s Lucky Numbers were: 6, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15.
there were no winners and the Jackpot for next week will be £2,900. £25 Lucky Dips were: Denise Robertson, Bucksburn and Judit Anderson, Aboyne.