Wood’s hat trick gives Echt win

Echt travelled to near neighbours Blackburn for the first ever Premier Division clash between the two, the hosts having gained promotion from Division 1 East as runners up at the end of last season.

The game had an action packed opening to it with play flying from one end to the other and as early as the third minute the home number 7 rattled the Echt crossbar with a great strike from just outside the box.

Greg Kane then fired an angular right side effort across the face of the home goal and wide of far post. Echt keeper Lewis Milne tipped a netbound free kick over his bar and seconds later had to push away another fierce strike from the Blackburn number 10.

In 10 mins it was the Blackburn right back’s turn to hit a fine 20 yard effort just over the top.

Paul Presslie sent Kane free down the left in 15 mins and after cutting inside, the young striker’s low near post effort was instinctively blocked by the home keeper’s right foot.

Again the action moved to the Echt end and the visitors conceded a couple of corners, following the second the home striker’s delivery was headed back across goal and just wide.

It was, however, not all one way traffic and Echt’s central defender Scott Aberdein tried his luck from distance only to see his effort rebound back into play off a post in 24 mins.

Ian leith then threaded a ball through the middle to set Presslie free, but the combined efforts of keeper and a back pedalling defender averted an Echt opener.

Echt now had the bit between their teeth and Presslie just failed to convert a low cross.

Presslie headed a Kane cross over in 35 mins and play switched again, with the home number 10 firing across Milne but wide of target.

With goalscoring opportunities cropping up at regular intervals something had to give and it was Echt who made the breakthrough in 40 mins.

A ball played forward by Alan Douglas was helped on by Presslie and the pacey Jamie Wood was in to lift the ball over the advancing keeper who got a touch but neither he nor a defender on the goal line, could avert the opener.

Blackburn started the second period at a high tempo and a midfielder should of done better than tamely find the arms of a relieved Milne.

With Blackburn maintaining the pressure Milne did well to block their next attempt on goal but Echt failed to get the ball out of the danger zone and the home number 6 hammered the equaliser into the roof of the net for 1-1.

When Presslie won Echt a free-kick out on the right touchline in 53 minutes there appeared to be little danger, but Wood fired the kick across the face of goal that was missed by everyone to nestle in the far corner of the net and restore Echt’s advantage.

Three minutes later a delivery across the Blackburn box deceived the goalkeeper and two defenders allowing Wood to fire low into the net and complete his hat-trick.

On the hour mark, a Presslie cross field ball picked out the free running Wood on the left,who cut in and unselfishly laid off to Leith who rolled home Echt’s fourth.

Wood won Echt a penalty in 66mins but Douglas failed to convert from the spot.

Blackburn’s number 6 in 70 minutes was afforded far too much time and space by the Echt rearguard and he took full advantage to curl a beauty high past the helpless Milne for 2-4.