Saints fail to take their chances

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Two goals at the start of the second half in this PMAC Superleague encounter proved costly for Saints after a first half that saw the Milton Park side have the better of the possession and chances.

Ellon were the first to threaten when an awkward cross was headed off the line by skipper Darren Pyper and from the resultant corner keeper Chris Irvine smothered the ball after a scramble.

Pyper then made a fine run up the right and from his cross Shaun Carrol’s curling low shot went just past the Ellon post.

On the quarter of an hour mark Irvine had to look lively to save from a 30 yard effort.

Five minutes later it definitely should have been 1-0 to Banchory when Campbell Watt was through on the keeper but he did not connect fully with his shot and an Ellon defender managed to clear the ball off the line.

This sparked a flurry of Saints activity around the Ellon penalty area. First a Connor Scully cross found Carrol who’s header was well saved.

On 22 minutes a Scott Garrett goal bound shot was deflected over for a corner.

Ellon had a half chance foiled by Mark Galashan as he blocked a 10 yard effort after Carrol had lost possession.

Carrol was in the thick of things for Saints and he had a shot blocked and then saw the Ellon keeper make a good low save from his curling right foot effort.

Saints were creating the better chances but not taking them and this was evident in a spell before half time when Garrett used his pace to set up Scully but he missed the cross and so did another two Saints men in the box. A Cammy Gray cross was then also missed by everyone.

Ellon had the last say of the first half when they had a similar chance squared across the six yard box but no-one could take advantage.

At the start of the second half there was no respite from the heavy rain that prevailed in the first, and it seemed that Banchory had left their impetus and concentration behind in the dressing room.

Carrol did have dipping shot go inches over the bar on 50 minutes but soon after the Milton men were 1-0 down.

On 55 minutes the home defence had three chances to clear the ball but it came back into the six yard box where it fell to the No. 7 who picked his spot from close range.

The second arrived two minutes later from a move down Saints left and from a precise square ball the same player made it 2-0 to Ellon.

Scully had a half chance on 62 minutes but yet again the Ellon defence blocked the effort. Scully was then replaced by Jake Strachan.

The deficit was reduced on 70 minutes, rather fortuitously, when the Ellon keeper punched the ball out straight off Garrett’s head and into the net.

But the joy was short lived when a needles free kick was given away and the No. 7 scored his hat trick with a superbly taken curling shot round the Saints wall. The injured Michael Skene who once again had a solid game was replaced by Gary Cruickshank and Campbell watt was replaced by Allan Ogston.

Ellon had another chance to make it 4-1 when shot across the six yard box was missed, but that was their last real chance as Banchory took control of the game for the remaining ten minutes but could not find a way past the Ellon defence.

Banchory St Ternan manager Sandy Carrol said: “It was a case of what might have been.

As in previous games we are playing some attractive football creating numerous chances but at the moment lacking that cutting edge in the last third of the pitch.

“Overall, I can’t fault the players for work rate and commitment and I am sure they will get their just rewards for the way they are going about their business.

“On Saturday we entertain Buchanhaven Hearts at home on cup duty and I will be making a couple of changes to freshen things up a bit.”

This Saturday (24th September), Buchanhaven Hearts travel from Peterhead to Milton Park for the First Round of the North Regional Cup, kick off 2.15pm.

Team: Irvine, Pyper, Robertson, Skene (Cruickshank), Galashan,

Carrol, Gray, McRae, Garrett, Scully (Strachan), Watt (Ogston). Subs: Sim, Ferguson.