Stainer strike seals victory

A wonder strike with 15 minutes to go by Saints centre forward Richard Stainer sealed all three points against the Dee, who had come from two behind to level the game early in the second half.

There was one change in the Banchory line-up with Campbell Watt away on holiday, Lewis Shand was moved up to midfield with Josh Robertson coming in at left back. Saints took the lead in the very first minute when a move down the left and cross saw Lewis Shand loop a header over the Dee keeper into the far corner of the net. The home side were causing all sorts of problems for the visitors.

But after a period of dominance, the Dee came back into the game and Derek McKenzie in the home goal made two great saves low to his right to prevent an equaliser. Mark Galashan almost scored an own goal with an attempted clearance but McKenzie was once again on hand to make a vital save.

With 15 minutes of the first half remaining, two goals appeared in the space of two minutes. First Saints increased their lead when Shand made a forcing run down the left and squared to Scott Garrett who had the easy job of tapping in from close range. Banks O’ Dee looked deflated but the Saints defence allowed the ever dangerous David Booth too much room and the striker turned to shoot low past McKenzie to reduce the deficit to one.

The early period of the second half was definitely Banks O’ Dee’s strongest part of the game and they went close with a header that went just over the bar. But on 53 minutes they equalised when two Saints defenders failed to clear allowing Booth to score his second of the day.

Alan Fuller replaced Marc Lawrence at this stage and it wasn’t long before Banchory regained the lead on 63 minutes. Stainer’s persistence won him the ball and as he wriggled past two defenders on the left side of the box, he was scythed down, allowing penalty taker Keith Horne to hammer home the third goal.

Dee were not finished though and a deflected shot was expertly tipped over the bar by Saints’ McKenzie, and at the other end the Dee keeper also tipped over the bar from a Stainer lob.

Lewis Shand had done so much running on the day in his new midfield role, that he picked up a slight strain and was replaced by Alan Forbes on 70 minutes. Horne should have scored a fourth when he intercepted the Dee keeper’s pass to one of his defenders, but his attempt went weakly past the post.

Yet another injury for Saints as Allan Ogston hobbled off with 15 minutes remaining, to be replaced by the effervescent Gary Cruickshank. And almost immediately the fourth, and goal of the season, was scored to secure the points for Saints. Keith Horne won a corner and took it himself sending over a hard driving cross that was met as sweet as you like by Richard Stainer to volley an unstoppable shot past the Dee goalkeeper.

Mark Galashan was lucky for a second time when his attempted clearance came off his own goal post and scrambled away on 82 minutes.

The ever industrious Alan McRae went close with a 15 yard shot but it was cleared on the goal line by a Dee defender.

Right on time the visitors went close, but by that time the game was won, with Saints deserving their 4-2 win which lifts them up one place in the Superleague but with plenty of games in hand to progress up the table from their current 10th place.

This Saturday (April 2), Banchory St Ternan travel to the Aberdeen Sports Village for a Superleague match against Lewis United, kick off 2.30pm.

Team: Derek McKenzie, Allan Ogston (Gary Cruickshank), Josh Robertson, Michael Skene, Mark Galashan, Marc Lawrence (Alan Fuller), Keith Horne, Alan McRae, Richard Stainer, Scott Garrett, Lewis Shand (Alan Forbes). Subs not used: Ross Salmon.