Brave fight as Banchory St Ternan exit Scottish Junior Cup

Dundee East Craigie 7, Banchory St Ternan 2

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 9:50 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 9:50 am
Action from Saturday's cup tie, with Banchory St Ternan in red.
Action from Saturday's cup tie, with Banchory St Ternan in red.

With Dundee East Craigie’s pitch still out of commission, Banchory travelled the short distance to Forfar to play this second-round Scottish Junior Cup tie.

Twice the north eastern men found themselves behind to counters by Fraser Macleod for the home side, but Max Berton ensured St Ternan stayed with them by equalising both goals.

Craigie, however, hit three goals in a seven-minute spell to give themselves a healthy interval lead, before pulling further ahead in the second period.

St Ternan ‘keeper, Ross Salmon, also saved a penalty kick near the end.

A half-chance for the hosts was dragged wide of far post early on but, within five minutes, they took the lead when a move down the left ended with a low shot finding the corner of the net from Macleod.

But, within a minute, Berton equalised for Saints, forcing his way through the middle to poke the ball into the net.

Salmon made a good save from a 30-yard free kick. Then, at the other end, Andrew Close’s move down the left resulted in a cross which found no takers at the back post.

On the 18th minute, a Craigie corner to the back post was easily dispatched from close range, again by Macleod. Salmon then had to make a smart save to keep the score at 2-1.

Saints had a good spell midway through the first half and equalised again on 24 minutes, when Mike Bruce was awarded a rather soft penalty as he broke into the box on the left wing.

Berton made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-2.

This gave Saints confidence and Kyle Harker had a go from just outside the box but the keeper had it covered. Berton then set up Andrew Close, who shot well over.

This good Banchory spell seemed to waken Craigie up and, on 33 minutes, Josh Robertson did well to clear a low cross. But, from the throw-in a low shot from Grady McGrath sneaked past Salmon, who was clearly unsighted with the body of players in front of him. Three minutes later, a great move down the left and an accurate square ball gave McGrath an easy side-foot chance to make it 4-2.

Home number 10 McGrath was now running the show as Saints’ midfield couldn’t cope and it was no surprise when goal number five arrived, with a defence-splitting pass and a low shot by Jack WIlkie sealing a three-goal advantage at half time. But this was not before Salmon made a great double save to keep it that way.

In the second half, surprisingly, most of the half was pretty even. Mikey Bruce had a speculative long-range effort easily held by Craigie ‘keeper Liam Dunn on 54 minutes and then Close had a angled, low shot well saved at the near post. Craigie could have increased their lead shortly afterwards but took too long to get a shot away.

Salmon was getting busier in Saints’ goal, saving from a corner and then preventing a certain goal from Craigie number 7, Lewis Fraser, on 66 minutes. But it only took a minute for the home side to increase their lead to 6-2 through Rory Faulkner with a breakaway move down the middle.

Bruce tried to educe the deficit but his low shot went well past before Salmon prevented a seventh goal with another fine save.

Despite the score, Saints were not giving up and Close shot inches past. Then Bruce beat a defender, only for Dunn to block the netbound shot with his legs.

However, Craigie’s movement through midfield a couple of minutes later created the seventh goal, with another move down the left that ended with a blocked shot being side-footed by Lee Cameron into the Banchory net from close range. Craigie’s Andrew McDonald was ordered off around the same time.

Near the end, Close was in on goal but Dunn did well to save on the 18-yard line. A tackle by Steven Travers in the box was later adjudged as a penalty but Salmon rounded off a fine display in goal by making a double save.

The last chance fell to Bruce, who saw his effort well saved.