Second half strikes bitter blow to Saints

This was a game that Banchory had to win to get themselves out of one of the two relegation spots but two counter attacks from Lewis United midway through the second half put paid to any progress up the league.

The wide open spaces of the Chris Anderson Stadium is never conducive to fast open play and this was no different with a stop start game whilst the ball was retrieved and the referee being a bit whistle-happy, particularly in the first half.

Both teams struggled to find any rhythm. In fact it was ten minutes before any significant chance was created and it was Saints’ Jindrich Biskup who sent a 25 yard effort well over. The home side had a couple of early corners but there was some really scrappy stuff being played.

Chris Irvine did well to punch away another Lewis corner and then from a long throw in a Lewis player headed over the bar. Lewis were posing the greater threat and Irvine managed to punch clear with Darren Reid then clearing.

Banchory were finding it difficult to pick up the second ball and when they did, failed to find their own players with the pass. Their first corner came on 32 minutes but was easily cleared. Biskup’s low shot was easily saved. Josh Robertson found himself in the ref’s book when his late tackle brought down No. 10.

A Ben McGregor lay off found Danny Ross but the Saints midfielder shot wildly over from a good position. On 40 minutes Biskup was through on goal, but his flick came off the keeper’s chest

The second half started with Saints on the front foot. Dean Leith shot just past the post. On 51 minutes Biskup headed down inside the 6 yard box and Andrew Close should have scored from close range but sclaffed his shot over the bar. Lewis retaliated with their centre forward cutting inside and a goal seemed certain but Irvine produced a great one handed save

Craig Graham’s long diagonal pass found Craig Simpson clear on the left cut inside to place his right foot shot inches over the junction of bar and post. Banchory were on top and producing chances with every move.

A McGregor, Close move set up Biskup who’s net bound effort was deflected for a corner. And then Danny Ross set up Simpson who forced the Lewis keeper to make a one handed save. McGregor was the provider next only for Biskup to be denied by the keeper’s legs.

McGregor was replaced by Jack Henderson on 65 minutes and three minutes later captain Darren Pyper headed just over the bar from a Close corner. Five minutes later Saints had to replace keeper Irvine with Justin Knowles having injured his wrist in a previous save.

After all the Banchory pressure it was the home side who out of the blue took the lead on 70 minutes. With Banchory on another attack, Close dummied the ball only to give away a throw in which was quickly taken and thumped up the park catching the defence napping and the No. 10 got past Reid to score from 10 yards.

Straight from the kick off Biskup went close to scoring, but on 75 minutes it was another breakaway that led to Lewis scoring a second. The centre forward collected the ball wide right laid the ball square to his left back who took his chance with a first time shot that found the corner of Knowles’s left hand post.

These were two blows for Banchory who hardly deserved to be behind after dominating the opening 25 minutes. The second goal knocked the stuffing out of the young Banchory players. Leith went close for Banchory with ten minutes remaining with the home side having the last chance just before fujll time.

With this loss Banchory are now bottom of the Superleague.

This Saturday (November 24), Deeside neighbours and League leaders Culter visit Milton Park for a PMAC Superleague match, kick off 1.30pm

Team: Chris Irvine (Justin Knowles), Craig Graham, Josh Robertson, Darren Reid, Dean Leith, Darren Pyper, Andy Close, Danny Ross, Jindrich Biskup, Ben McGregor (Jack Henderson), Craig Simpson. Subs: John Smith, Jack Presly, Andy Smith