Own goal proves costly for Saints

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Banchory had new signings Connor Scully and Grant Moorhouse in the starting line up with Galashan, Graham, McRae, Ogston and Skene all unavailable for this penultimate Grill League Cup Section 2 tie. The game was decided on a crucial own goal that completely turned the match the visitors way, which meant that Saints had to defeat East End on Tuesday to qualify for the quarter final of the competition.

The Dee opened brightly and forced Grant Sim in Saints goal to save smartly low to his left in an early encounter. And the visitors took the lead after13 minutes when GREIG ran on to a through ball down the left, beat Robertson to fire an angled drive low past Sim.

There should have been an equaliser minutes later when Scully’s shot-cum-cross hit the bar and according to spectators the ball came down over the line and bounced out, but the referee waved play on.

But 5 minutes later the game was level when Stainer held the ball up well to lay off to GARRETT who ran 10 yards and then decided to blast an unstoppable strike past the Dee keeper from all of 25 yards.

Three minutes later it should have been 2-1 to Banchory when Garrett was free again down the right but this time slipped the ball inside to Strachan but with just the keeper to beat, the midfielder shot weakly straight at the keeper. And in a good spell for the home side another Scully hit the side netting but was ruled offside after a good move involving Stainer and Carrol.

Banks o’ Dee came back into the game and almost capitalised on a slip by Robertson but the defender recovered to block a shot inside the box. Goalmouth action was at a premium for the remainder of the first half. Dee scrambled the ball away from a Carrol free kick and Moorhouse had to look lively to intercept Greig in a dangerous move down the left.

Saints started the second half brightly forcing Dee to put in some hefty tackles. Garrett and Scully were the victims of one and the Dee player was lucky to get away with only a yellow card.

But as Banchory were pushing forward and looking the more likely to add to the score disaster struck on 53 minutes. From a long Dee clearance, CRUICKSHANK back pedalled and was always struggling to meet the high ball and with no shout from his keeper could only manage to head over Sim into his own net to put Dee 2-1 up.

Dee were lifted by this and a curling shot was not far away, and on 63 minutes increased their lead when Strachan’s awkward challenge at the back post resulted in a penalty which was dispatched with ease to make it 3-1.

Strachan was booked for a hefty challenge and was replaced by Gray after 68 minutes and Gray was in the action immediately when he homed in on goal but was halted by a tackle from behind and with all the home crowd shouting for a penalty, the referee decided to wave play on.

Garrett’s pace down the right created an opening for the striker but his square ball could only find Fettes who cleared the danger. As the game fizzled out to it’s conclusion, neither side really had any chances worthy of note, but the best chance fell to Greig who’s header was palmed away by Sim. Saints Ferguson replaced the injured Moorhouse in the closing minutes.

Team: Grant Sim, Grant Moorhouse (Nicky Ferguson), Josh Robertson, Gary Cruickshank, Adam Morrison, Darren Pyper, Shaun Carrol, Jake Strachan (Cammy Gray), Scott Garrett, Richard Stainer, Connor Scully: Subs: Campbell Watt, William Rowett.