Banchory lose an eight-goal thriller

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Banchory travelled to Dufftown for the second time this season for this McLeman Cup first-round tie.

Prior to kick-off the players were informed by manager Steve Scott that he was going into hospital for an operation, so this would be his 
final game of the season and he was handing over to ex-Keith manager Ewan Robb. Jeff Stewart would continue to be assistant manager.

Saints had to make a last- minute change, with new keeper Ewan Morrison being replaced by Mike Ritchie due to an injured finger.

Banchory were slow to settle and the home side scored after eight minutes. After a poor clearance by Henderson, the ball was tucked through Ritchie’s legs from close range.

On 20 minutes it was 2-0 with a cross-field pass eluding the defence and the ball being knocked home at the second attempt. But two minutes later a great run down the left by Smith and a low cross set up Binnie to reduce the leeway.

Ritchie had to make a good save minutes later when it looked as though Dufftown would restore their two-goal lead. Shand then hit the bar with a long-range effort for Saints but the striker scored moments later when he drilled home a lovely cross-field pass from Cheyne to make it 2-2.

On 40 minutes it was 3-2 to Banchory when a Travers free kick fell to Smith at the back post and he drilled the ball in.

Five minutes into the second half Banchory’s Nathan Stewart had to be replaced by Peter, having felt the effects of a crude challenge in the first half. It could have been 4-2 on 55 minutes when a Travers left-foot volley was netbound but was just deflected for a corner by a Dufftown head.

A Dufftown header just dipped over the Saints bar, but on 65 minutes they were gifted a goal when keeper Ritchie spilled a weak shot, leaving an easy tap-in for the home side.

Then Mark Reid lost possession wide right and Dufftown headed home to take the lead on 81 minutes. Three minutes Ritchie somehow let the ball squirm through his legs at his near post for an easy tap-in to make it 5-3 to Dufftown.

Banchory: Ritchie, N Stewart (Peter), Cheyne, M Stewart, Henderson, D Reid, M Reid, Travers, Binnie, Shand (Mackie), Smith. Sub: Morrison.

Banchory host Banks O’Dee in the Superleague on Saturday (2pm).