The Echt team were on the road at 7am last Saturday for the long journey to Oban in the fifth round of the Scottish Amateur Cup.
Awaiting the Donside club was Scottish Amateur Premier League side Oban Saints, an outfit with a pedigree which could only point to a formidable test for the visitors.
A wet and windswept Glencruitten Park was in remarkably good condition considering the recent west coast weather.
Seconds into the game Echt were on the back foot when home frontman Gemmell swept in a dangerous low cross that had the Echt rearguard in panic mode.
In 5 minutes a left side corner kick was forced into the Echt net from a very crowded six yard box but the home joy was short-lived as the referee blowing instead for an infringement.
Not surprisingly the home side hit the front in the 11th minute. A fairly harmless punt forward from just inside the Oban half, moved around in the wind and ended behind the Echt central defence. D Campbell was on it like a flash, turned Scott Birse and from just inside the box fired past the unprotected Lewis Milne to make it 1-0.
Birse, after a lengthy spell of onfield treatment for a knee injury, was forced out of the action and was replaced by Keiran Graham.
A deep Maitland corner was headed back across the face of the Echt goal and an outstretched home foot somehow lifted the ball over the bar.
Echt’s first sight of the Saints goal was in 23 minutes. Paul Presslie on the edge of the box laid back to Andy Davidson to rifle high and wide of target.
Echt won a couple of corners mainly due to the tenacity of Presslie and from the second delivery Scott Aberdein rose above his marker to power a header against the face of the crossbar.
Oban’s Kerr should have increased the home advantage when a move down the left and cross provided him with a clear sight of goals but he screwed wide of target.
All the action was in the Echt half, indeed most of it in and around the Echt box and L Milne made another fine save but respite came with the referee’s half time whistle and despite the home teams dominance the scoreline remained at 1-0.
Echt took the field second half with one or two positional adjustments having been made, but within a minute of the restart L. Milne was again the saviour making an instinctive block with his foot.
Echt finally picked their game up and levelled on the hour mark when a cross field pass picked out Jamie Wood, he took a touch and delivered diagonally across the box and Presslie dived low to beat home keeper Douglas with a superb header.
As the match moved into the final quarter the balance of play was as finely balanced.
Defiant Echt scored again in 80 minutes, Wood played a halfway line free kick into the home box, Douglas clipped the ball forward and one bounce later it was he who got his head on the ball to send it past his advancing namesake and into the net to incredibly make it 1-2.
However, three minutes later it was 2-2, this time an Oban free kick from the halfway line into a crowded Echt box and the ball broke to Oban defender Craik whose low strike took a deflection and carried into the Echt net.
The Replay will be at Echt on Saturday with a 1.30pm kick off.
ECHT: L Milne, Birse, Wood, Cooper, Aberdein, Douglas, MacLeod, Leith, Presslie, A Davidson, Lawrence. SUBS: Kane, Graham,P Bennett, McGillivray, Daun.