Banchory still at rock bottom

Maud 4

Banchory St.Ternan 2

Banchory travelled to Maud for this PMAC Superleague match hoping to turn in their usual good performance at the hosts’ Pleasure Park.

Injured duo Steve Gray and Darren Reid were fit again after missing last week’s Scottish Cup game with Reid starting the match and Gray on the bench. Murray Buchan replaced the injured Blair McIntosh in goal after his long road to recovery from his shoulder injury sustained in the first game of the season.

In the opening minute, Banchory won a corner with Darren Pyper just missing with his attempted header. Moments later, a Maud move down the left saw the resultant low cross flash across the six-yard box with no takers.

With only five minutes gone, Maud took the lead when a cross from the right was swept past Buchan from eight yards, but from the kick off Sean Napier’s speed put the Maud keeper under pressure and, from the attempted clearance, Napier latched onto the rebound to equalise.

The game was being played at a fast pace and in another Maud attack the Saints defence managed to scramble the ball away to safety.

On 15 minutes, a long high ball failed to be cut out by Aaron Scully leaving the Maud forward to shoot low past Buchan to make it 2-1 to the Buchan side.

Banchory had the chance to equalise after 32 minutes when Jack Henderson was clear with just the keeper to beat, but the referee brought the game back - awarding a free kick to Banchory for an earlier infringement.

From a Banchory throw-in, Maud broke away to force a good save from Buchan and then Ryan Whelan was so unlucky when he turned the Maud defence only to see his low curling shot come back off the base of the post.

Saints were gaining in confidence and Andy Close’s volley was headed clear for a corner which put more pressure on the home defence.

Buchan had to look smart to block with his legs in the final moments of the first half and, at the other end, Henderson’s shot was blocked in the six-yard box.

Maud came out of the blocks in the second half, forcing an immediate corner which was headed over the bar and then Buchan had to palm the ball away on the line under pressure.

Banchory made a change 10 minutes in with Gray replacing Scully, but Maud were still in command and Buchan was at the rescue again before the hosts increased their lead on the 66th minute. John Smith cleared off the line but, when the ball came back in again, Alexander was at the back post to hammer into the roof of the net.

Within 10 minutes it was 4-1 to Maud. A good passing move down the right ended with Alexander crossing for Barbour to head home from six yards.

With 10 minutes remaining, Stuart Rogie replaced Whelan but the substitute almost presented the home team another goal when a wayward pass in midfield let Hale through on goal. Once again, Buchan saved the day with his legs.

Right on full time, Jack Henderson’s header from a corner made it 4-2 when the Maud keeper attempted to punch clear but the ball landed in the net.

It was a disappointing result for Banchory who are firmly rooted at the bottom of the league and need to start winning to have any chance of escaping the relegation threat.

Team: Murray Buchan, Aaron Scully (Steve Gray), John Smith, Darren Reid, Josh Robertson, Ryan Whelan (Stuart Rogie), Andy Close, Darren Pyper, Sean Napier, Jack Henderson (Scott Davie), Ben McGregor. Subs: Rhys Bain, Jack Mitchell.

This Saturday, December 7, Banchory travel to Bridge of Don to take on Hermes in the PMAC Superleague at Uniconn Park, kick off 1.30pm