Saints open new season with win in the Grill League Cup

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Parkvale were the visitors on Tuesday evening for the opening game of the season in this Grill League Cup Section 2 encounter and the Division One outfit provided stiff opposition and were unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the points.

Strip Sponsor Matthew Merchant was on hand to present the new strip to Club President John Watson. After a few years playing in black, Saints are back to their original colours of blue and white for the main strip with the change colours red and white. This is Matt’s third season of sponsorship and the club wish to thank him for his continued support.

Saints’ top scorer last season Scott Garrett went close in the opening minutes but Parkvale settled quickly and had a good chance themselves soon after.

But it was Saints who scored on 8 minutes when Shaun Carrol sent in a curling cross from the left for Garrett to bullet a header past the Vale keeper. The visitors began to trouble Saints with the long ball and on a few occasions the home defence looked a bit shaky. A wonderful move down the left involving Campbell Watt and Carrol set up Garrett but the striker’s shot went inches past the far post.

The little No. 10 for Parkvale was causing problems, finding plenty of space and was certainly their playmaker. Saints should have increased their lead when Garrett’s cross found Carrol free in the box but his header went well wide of an open goal. At this point Banchory were creating the better chances but always had to be wary of the Parkvale breakaway.

It was from one of these that the visitors had an opportunity to equalise when Gary Cruickshank brought down a Vale player just inside the box, but the resultant penalty was skied well over the bar on 38 minutes.

Three minutes into the second half new signing Jake Strachan scored his first goal for Banchory when he collected a pass inside from Watt and deceived the Vale keeper with a low shot into the corner of the net to make it 2-0. This should have spurred Saints on but instead the visitors started to dominate long spells of the second half.

Grant Sim saved on a one-to-one and then on 55 minutes Vale pulled one back when the centre half was left all alone in the box from a cross, controlled the ball turned and fired the ball past Sim to reduce the leeway.

It was almost 3-1 however when three shots in one move were all blocked in the six yard box, Garrett, Strachan and Cammy Gray all being denied.

Corners and free kicks were not being defended well by Saints and on a couple of occasions were lucky to escape chances at the back post. A goal bound Vale shot was blocked by one of their own players as full time drew close, but their luck was out on the night leaving Banchory to collect the three points.