Hearts too strong for Saints

BANCHORY St Ternan suffered a surprise defeat after a late collapse to Buchanhaven Hearts who are battling to avoid relegation from the Superleague.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st April 2010, 2:52 pm

The patchy pitch and strong winds were not conducive to Saints' usual passing game but this was ultimately a missed opportunity for Steve Scott's men to consolidate their fourth-placed position.

The visitors kicked off with the wind at their backs but it was Hearts who had the first attempt but the centre put his header just wide.

Saints then started to dominate possession and Kris Downing wriggled clear of his marker in the box but his well-struck shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper.

After 14 minutes Alan Forbes did well to get past his marker and bore down on goal but somehow managed to hit the post instead of the hitting the target for a certain goal.

Andrew Courage was guilty of an even worse miss a minute later when he headed wide from five yards with the goal gaping.

Things went from bad to worse for Saints five minutes later when Lewis Shand had to be taken off with an injury and was replaced by Campbell Watt.

The missed opportunities kept coming for Saints with Andrew Courage shooting wide from 10 yards and Mark Glashan heading into the side-netting when a header back across goal would have been the better option.

The second half started the way the first ended with Alan Forbes unfortunate to see his lobbed shot land the wrong side of the post.

With the wind now in their favour Hearts didn't waste any time in opting for a more direct approach as they looked to move the ball from back to front as quickly as possible.

Greg Sim was called into action soon after to make a great save high to his left to prevent the hosts taking the lead.

Saints eventually got themselves in front on 66 minutes when Andy Courage was upended in the box and he got up and took the resultant penalty confidently to break the deadlock.

Steve Scott's side were looking comfortable, although the conditions weren't allowing them to play any free-flowing football. Hearts, with relegation looming, were putting in plenty of effort but didn't seem to have the guile to open up the Saints defence.

Banchory's collapse in the final five minutes, therefore, was completely unexpected. Hearts got back level when, from a corner on the right, their giant centre half rose unchallenged to nod the ball home.

The Saints defenders were still carrying out the post-mortems two minutes later when a goal kick travelled the length of the pitch to a Hearts attacker who appeared to stand on the ball where it broke free to his team-mate who failed to hit the target from a few yards out.

Eyebrows were raised when, to everyone's amazement, the referee awarded a penalty, later stating he had initially allowed an advantage but as the shot wasn't converted he brought play back to award a penalty kick.

Hearts scored from the spot to put themselves ahead with only a minute to play.

The controversy didn't end there as Andy Courage was taken out as he went around the Hearts centre half. However the potential red card offence ended with no action being taken and tempers among the players erupted.

The subsequent pushing and jostling resulted in Alan Ogston receiving a red card.

Banchory are back on the road this Saturday as they travel to Aberdeen to face Hall Russell United in the second round of the McLeman Cup. Kick-off is 2.30pm.

Team: Greg Sim, Michael Skene, Mark Glashan, Phil Watson, Lewis Shand (Campbell Watt), Kris Downing (Alan Ogston) Alan McRae, Andy Courage, Alan Forbes, Richard Stainer (Keith Horne). Subs. Lewis McLelland, Gavin Robertson.