Echt through after penalties

Echt hosted Div 1 East side Nicolls in this Association Trophy 2nd round tie and with several players unavailable fielded former Skipper Kenny Walker at centre half while youngster Lewis Milne donned the keeper’s gloves.

Nicolls opened the scoring in 7 minutes when a ball played into the Echt box saw Milne advance off his line, but back tracking defender Greg Harris headed the ball into the air leaving Nicoll’s frontman Ord with a simple nod home.

There was little between the sides in the opening 20 minutes and Echt drew level in 22 minutes,

Scott Aberdein was fouled in a central position just outside the Nicoll’s box and Jamie Wood fired low inside keeper Webster’s right hand post.

In 29 minutes a cracking Walker 40 yard drive was pushed round a post by Webster.

A right touchline surge and low cross from Wood in 34 minutes raised Echt hopes but although Phil Craig controlled and twisted and turned surrounded by defenders, he just could not conjure up the space for a finish.

Influential Nicolls’ midfielder Mike Reid had a good effort on target from 35 yards in 43 minutes but Echt got their noses in front a minute later. Craig held up the ball before laying off to Darren MacLeod who chipped, the slightly off his line Webster to perfection.

Echt now playing downslope made an excellent start to the second half but in 55 minutes it was the visitors who came close to levelling when a ball flashed across the face of the Echt

goal by Reid, just eluded Brown’s outstretched foot.Echt responded with the left side combination of Wood and Craig and the latter turned his marker to bring out a good stop from Webster.

It was all square in 57 minutes with a wonderful solo effort from Nicolls’ No 9 Ord. Gaining possesssion on the edge of the box he mesmerised three Echt defenders before dragging the ball wide of keeper Milne and despatched into the net from an angle on the left.

When a Nicolls’ defender allowed a ball to bounce over him in 71 minutes, Marc Lawrence volleyed high when an advancement in on Webster might of been more productive.

Echt swopped Craig for Paul Presslie in 74 minutes and then Lawrence for Stewart McLaren in 76 minutes and between these substitutions a Wood left side free curled over Webster but also his crossbar.

Within a minute of his introduction, a McLaren diving header on a McLeod corner hit the crossbar before being cleared.

Webster handled a cross well with Presslie and Kane in close attendance.

Nicolls came agonisingly close to a winner in 90 minutess when Echt cleared a corner to the edge of their box and a piledriver broke off an Echt shirt and flew inches wide of target. 

In the first period of extra time a fine dipping effort from range by Kane clipped the Nicolls’ crossbar on its way over.

Nicolls made it 2-3 in 99 minutes. Milne could only parry a Reid free kick and Ord was on hand for a simple finish.

Scott Aberdein then rose to head wide on a Scott Birse cross.

In 104 minutess Ord raced clear on a through ball, amid Echt appeals for offside, to round Milne and stroke into the empty net to give Nicolls a two goal cushion.

Echt introduced Darren Stewart and withdrew Walker at the extra time break.

Two late scambled goals by instinctive goal predator Presslie, as the tiring visitors failed to shackle the free running Wood on the left flank,took the tie to a penalty shoot out. 

Rainnie, Reid, Storey and Robertson made no mistake with Nicolls first four from the spot and for Echt Birse, McLaren, Presslie and MacLeod held their nerve to do likewise.

But it was hHeartbreak for four-goal Ord in firing the visitors fifth over the top, leaving Harris to score and send Echt into the 3rd round. 

ECHT; Milne,Birse,Kirton,Harris,Walker,Aberdein,MacLeod,Lawrence,Craig, Kane,Wood

SUBS; Presslie, McLaren, Stewart, Roger,Buirds.